Curtis Fest Artisan Spotlight: Jim Ford

Simultaneous Avalanche

Born in Sacramento, California Jim moved to Aspen, Colorado to be a real ski bum and in 1964 he became the first city draftsman for the City of Aspen. He returned to Sacramento in 1967 and founded Simultaneous Avalanche, a psychedelic light show which led to designing and drawing rock art posters. These posters and handbills have become sought after collectables in the rock art world. Four of the posters, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company are published in The Art of Rock, New York, Abbeville Press, 1987.

Lured by the snow, Jim returned to Aspen and eventually joined Norm Clasen Advertising as a freelance graphic artist and illustrator. His Aspen Town art became the national advertising campaign for the Aspen Skiing Corporation from 1972 to 1974 and for over ten years it was the logo for Aspen. In the same style, Jim created town art for other ski resorts: Vail, Sun Valley and Park City. He also designed numerous logos for individuals and companies.

In 1981, Jim permanently returned to Sacramento and completed a series of 13 pen and ink drawings depicting his favorite places near Sacramento. He continues to draw, design logos, and has expanded his portfolio to include metal art sculptures.

About Curtis Fest

Curtis Fest returns to William Curtis Park on Sunday, Aug. 27. More than 60 artisans are expected to show their work at the 11th annual event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the north end of the park under the beautiful tree canopy. Curtis Fest has become a Sacramento favorite, and many premier artists have joined the lineup this year.

This free, public event includes food from award winning chef Keith Breedlove of the Culinerdy Cruzer food truck along with delicious street tacos from the Turnt Up food truck. John Merriman, Dianna and the Cherry Kings and the Ranell Carpenter Band will perform.

An expanded petting zoo returns this year as well as the climbing station, and the children’s fairy. Curtis Fest will be followed by Music in the Park from 6-8 p.m.

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