Remembering the artist and his work.
Please post any memories, comments, thoughts you would like to leave by commenting on this post.
Jim was always a great supporter of my music. I was fascinated by the man and, I hope he knew, I was a great supporter of his endeavors.
Jim had such a gentle soul, i remember he took Vanessa and Jaqueline Carver and Whitney (my daughter) on a “field trip” to the Asian district when they were about 7, 8 and 9. They were watching a man buy a duck and enjoying the petting zoo atmosphere when the man put the duck in a box and repeatedly plunged a huge knife into the box. He was afraid he had damaged the girls for permanently. The girls seemed unscathed and rather excited by their experience.
I met Jim when I was a young aspiring artist. The scope and nature of his story and his work completely changed my view of what art and life could be. I have always been and continue to be inspired by him.
It’s a great deal harder to stay interested in a world without James and his sweet soul in it. His sweet soul. And he graced it with such sights as these:
A post by Phil Munger: http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2011/01/james-l-acord-passes.html
It was such a pleasure to meet my brother Will’s best friend, and all his help and moral support at Will’s passing were a treasure I shall never forget. Thank you for your friendship Jim, I will miss my lovely emails from you. May you have found peace.
The news of Jim’s sudden passing has left me in quite a wake. He was absolutely one of a kind, as a person, a true artist and iconoclast. Got to know him best, while
he produced a gravestone for my parents, twenty-five years ago, which found its home in Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetary. His was not an easy life, but his courage, heart,humor, imagination, values and creative vision served him well. He will be greatly missed by most who got to know him and he will remain quite alive with those so blessed.
One of many favorite memories with Jim: tearing through the Hanford desert in my ’65 Imapala with Janet and Peter Bevis. We were all lit and the Zepelin was blasting (and that stereo could really blast). We were hunting for the carcasses of nuclear subs sent to Hanford for burial. I have no idea if we actually found them (did we?), but that moment (or parts thereof) in time is indelible.
Met Jim in Alaska 30 years ago just after he left Barre Vermont. Some say, including Jim, that he was run out of town for his work unionizing the carvers. We’ve had many adventures over the years, some better thought out than others. Andy and I remember the time we circumnavigated Mount Rainier. Jim told us he would bring the camping gear. There was one piece of insulite about 10 x 30 inches and a couple of blankets for three people. We did find Sasquach on the trip (really! we have pictures). Then there was the time we were attacked by giant squid in Blackstone Bay Alaska that took out one of the propellers and we had to return to port in reverse. It’s been a journey Jim and we miss you. Love Sandra and Andy
Just heard the sad news. I have long been fascinated by Mr. Acord’s work. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
dear Jim i wish my brother nick and me got to know you better
– Sam (Jacqueline and Vanessa’s sis)
I’m so glad that we met but so sorry that we met only one time. I miss you Jim. You will be in my heart here in Finland.
Interested in contact info for person or persons who know something of Jim’s family history, so I can pursue his geneology a little. Want to lend a hand where it might be useful. Have regarded Jim a friend for more then two decades. Am a very good friend of Patsy (Carter) Welton, who has kept me up to speed on your efforts on behalf of Jim’s memory and legacy.
Take care, Kord
Of the many wonderful times I spent with Jim, there was a particularly magical moment when he took me to place north of Hanford, overlooking the Columbia. There was the footprint of a small development, probably worker housing for Hanford or for a public works project along the river – long abandoned. Only the decaying grid of old roads and some evidence of foundations. Near the edge of “town” were a handful of dead trees, bleached white by the years. In these trees nighthawks roosted and slept during the day. Jim was almost like a little boy in his joy and excitement in this simple, yet fantastic, birding opportunity. We spent several hours there. Between the place, the time and the sharing, I keep this image of Jim close. It’s as close as heaven that I think we came to on this Earth. Jim, I hope you’re finding your peace in heaven now. Thanks for sharing it with me then.
I only met James once, in 1998 Eye of the Storm conference, I loved his presentation it made sense he took risks he was a good artist. I wrote notes on all those presenting apart from James, I wrote about his presentation three days afterwords. I then gave my notes to my daughter Isobel 2/3 years ago. She has just given them back to me. This is the first sentence (I was a research student at the RCA at the time ).
I have no notes on this session as I was stunned by what took place, the following is from memory, three days after the event”.
I found James inspiring, I was an artist using high voltage electricity to make images. I had to understand enough physics not to kill myself or others and he was doing something that I felt so needed to be done, he was taking on science. I went and introduced myself to him after his presentation and thanked him for just being himself and doing what he was doing, the only time I met him, he was really friendly and encouraging.
Time passed and my daughter was doing a fine art degree and working with Uranium at university, I gave her my notes on James and she emailed him and interviewed him for her dissertation. He was generous and answered her questions as he could. He helped Isobel and was encouraging.
For me James was doing good art in difficult times.
Len, Your comments reminded of just what an amazing presenter James’ was. We have known Jim since ’93 (give or take) when he contributed to an art show Janet and I curated at Seattle’s CoCA. I’m not an artist and over the years my friendship with Jim had little to do with art (although I respected him a great deal as an artist), but rather a friendship based on a multitude of other common interests (military history, philosphy, religion) and he became part of my family. I was often his de facto computer support guy, but otherwise I had little to do with him professionally. So, by the time I saw him lecture at Imperial College London a couple years ago, I really had no idea what to expect in terms of the quality of his presentation. I WAS FLOORED. Jim was absolutely an amazing presenter, thoroughly versed in his subject with an authoritative yet natural, friendly delivery. I was really impressed when he did not skip a beat when confronted with a PowerPoint slide didn’t play the embedded video as planned. The glitch didn’t phase him and the audience did not feel like they missed anything. The subject matter was compelling, of course, but I knew that it would be. They say familiarity breeds contempt and I was blown away by such a masterful presentation coming from the mouth of my friend Jim.
I encountered the life of James Acord a year ago when I picked up a novel by James Flint called “The Book of Ash” inspired by James Acord and read it under clear skies as European planes had been grounded by the ash from the icelandic volcano. A memorable few days, being the first I can remember in a decade with no vapour trails overhead, and fitting for such a book and such a man. This week I read with great sadness of his death in a tribute in the New Scientist magazine. I have been thinking of both the novel and the artist during the weeks since the Tsunami and the damage at the nuclear power stations in Japan. James Acords efforts towards understanding and openness torwards nuclear issues are needed as much now as ever.
i have some photographs of james from when he stayed with me for 3 months in nottingham – he had his exhibition atomic at wollaton hall as part of the nottingham now festival – we shared art, science, dowsing, gardening, philosophy and much more … please will someone give me an address so that i can post them … yes post in an envelope
I’m probably the last one to know about Jims crossing the bar. I was really sad to hear about his passing. Jim taught me the rudiments of Granite carving at the Fremont Foundry in the early 90’s with Sig Theship. The Monrance was there at the time and I was in awe of it. I will always be proud that Jim was the guy that taught me how to rough out stone with a Handpoint. He was a very interesting man to know.
Mike Dooley – Monterey Bay, CA.
James Accord spoke at my college (Louisiana Scholars’ college) sometime in the 1991-1993 time frame. He was fascinating and had a huge affect on me as an artist.
Hi, I am currently organising an exhibition in London of artists who have used explosive materials in their work and I would like to include Jim’s work in the exhibition. Exploding Utopia will open on 27th September so there is not a great deal of time left. Does anyone know whom I might contact? Many thanks, Rozemin
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