#26: Jim Milmoe
Just weeks shy of his ninetieth birthday, Golden photographer Jim Milmoe is deservedly basking in the 2017 Month of Photography limelight, with shows of his work running concurrently at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and Pattern Shop Studio. It’s a fitting topper to a vita too long to encapsulate here: Milmoe settled in Colorado with his wife, Marilyn, more than six decades ago, kicking off a career as a photographer, teacher and community-builder and, over the years, amassed a highly varied photo portfolio of scenes from cemeteries, nature shots, abstractions, landscapes, travel scenes — you name it — along with enough material for more than fifty solo exhibitions. That’s just the solos. Here’s our way of paying tribute to a Colorado original: Milmoe’s participation in the 100CC series follows.
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Alexander Calder. I have always admired his sense of humor (wire circus figures), his jewelry (which I have tried to make myself) and his mobiles. I copied a small one and made a large one of my own design.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Sculptor Mark di Suvero. I met Mark in 1967 and have photographed his sculptures in ten cities. I also visited his studio in Long Island City, New York, and traded photographs for one of his sculptures.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
The depiction of the dark side of life in America, particularly offensive images of people.
What's your day job?
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Write and have published the two books I have been working on: Cemetery gravestones (I have photographed in over 300 cemeteries in thirty countries) and bolos (I have a collection of 500).
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
Love it! I stayed in Denver because of the climate, central location for air travel, and because it is an environment for experiment and exploration.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Find a way for artists to live, work, have a decent life (i.e., reasonable rents) and have galleries and large venues to show their work.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Collin Parson. An artist with a great attitude and curatorial abilities.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
Completing unfinished projects: cataloguing framed photographs and transparencies and printing old black-and-white negatives.
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Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Hopefully, young women artists who are new to Denver.
See work by Jim Milmoe in Stop/Look/See: Photography by James Milmoe, through March 26 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, and in Up Close and Far Away: The Photographic Art of Jim Milmoe, through April 15 at Pattern Shop Studio. Pattern Shop will host a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday in April, and Milmoe will give a free artist talk from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Learn more about Milmoe, his work and his career online.