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.

8 comments:

crystal said...

Thank you for posting all his accomplishments and memories you have of him. This kansas city native will miss him and his creativity. Thank you for posting.

Bettina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

Dear Friend
will miss
you
always

Bettina said...

There is a change:
The memorial service will be held on Monday, August 3 at 10 a.m. at:

Community Congregational Church of Manitou Springs
www.manitouucc.org
103 Pawnee Ave
Manitou Springs, CO 80829-2148

Anonymous said...

Jason was a good friend of mine and I will miss him dearly.
Albert Rothschild

Anonymous said...

Jason Paul touched so many lives and never knew what a positive influence he was to all of us. His beautiful smile and laugh are greatly missed. He gave the best hugs and made everyone feel so welcomed and loved. Let's keep JZ's memory alive and continue to share stories and dreams that we may have of him. His family would greatly appreciate hearing all of our stories.

I can't imagine not having JZ to talk to a few times a week, but he is always with me. I love you Jason Paul Zacharias.

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