Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jason Zacharias, 1975-2009
I am brokenhearted to report that the Pikes Peak region arts scene suffered yet another devastating loss yesterday. Jason Zacharias, artist and creative champion, took his own life in Green Mountain Falls this week. A native of Kansas City, Jason became a force in the arts after moving to Colorado. His journey as curator began with his website, Optical Reverb, a place for artists and writers to post their work. He went on to run the gallery space at Cedars Jazz Club, then later a space in the Downtown arts district next to Smokebrush. But he is perhaps best known for working with dozens of restaurants, clubs and bars to place local art by emerging artists on their walls. Among the many establishments he worked with are Phantom Canyon, V Bar, Blue Star, Blondie's, and many, many others in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and beyond. He also was a great friend to COPPeR--in 2007 he curated an art exhibit at the Warehouse that was a fantastic fundraiser for us. That picture of him is from that event--typical Jason in a sassy wink.
Click here to read Kathryn Eastburn's profile of Jason, the "Little Curator Who Could," in The Independent from 2006.
All of us here at COPPeR send out sincere condolences to all of his friends and family. A strong and vital arts community depends artists and the people who, like Jason, are champions for bringing together different forms of creativity and making sure art is visible and valued. His contributions will be deeply missed.
It breaks my heart to write this blog post. Suicide is an extremely painful issue, no matter when it happens. I am extremely disturbed that our arts community has been touched by this horrible issue so many times this year. Depression is real. Please, folks if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone.
JZ, we miss you.
Posted by Bettina at 11:52 AM