Lewis and Clark Community College Professor and Art Curator Jim Price passed away Sept. 19, 2018. Price was a beloved colleague, teacher and friend to many on and off campus.
“Jim’s impact on all of us and our college community was profound,” said L&C President Dale Chapman. “Jim was a brilliant teacher who cared deeply about his students, a creative curator of world-class art, and a charismatic interpreter of art to the public. We will always remember Jim’s enthusiasm and passion for interpreting the art which defines the Monticello Sculpture Gardens. Our thoughts and expressions of grief are with Jim’s family and his extended network of colleagues.”
Price began working at L&C in the fall of 1993 as an adjunct faculty member, and began teaching full-time in 1994. He taught a variety of courses, including the Art of Film, American Government, Western Humanities, American History, Latin American Civilization and more.
“Our faculty have suffered an irreplaceable loss,” said L&C Faculty Association President Mike Lemons. “Jim Price was a mentor and friend to many of us, and we have all benefited from his leadership in our association. We grieve for our friend and colleague, as do the countless students who loved taking his classes. Jim’s passion for teaching and compassion for students were well known, and something to which we could all aspire.”
Price was nominated for the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) Outstanding Faculty Member Award in 2012.
His interest in research resulted in a summer fellowship funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The seminar on “Center and Periphery: 15th and 16th Century Spain and New Spain” was hosted in Mexico and New Mexico.
The Newberry Library recommended him to attend the research conference “Native Peoples and Museums: Building Reciprocal Relationships for the Twenty-First Century” in Washington, D.C. At the same time, he was serving on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum curators’ advisory committee.
Price was well respected by his students, many of whom still remark about his profound impact on their lives.
Price curated various memorable art exhibits at L&C, featuring renowned artists including Ed Paschke, Joe Emons, Winifred Godfrey, Dale Threlkeld, Carolyn Mazloomi, Ruth Duckworth and Michiko Itatani.
In 2014, he curated L&C’s Rocky Fork Exhibit, a multimedia learning experience that honored the history of the descendants of a secluded community located at the confluence of the Piasa Creek, the Rocky Fork Creek and the Mississippi River.
“Jim had a curator’s eye for the extraordinary in the ordinary,” said L&C Dean of Career Programs Sue Czerwinski, Price’s friend and colleague. “He found beauty, humor and hope in art and nature. He was also an incredibly loyal friend.”
Chris Green, L&C Maintenance worker, collaborated with Price on the college’s art exhibits.
“Jim’s presence will be felt here for many years to come,” Green said. “His shoes will be unfillable. He was a very close friend of mine. He educated me, inspired me, and pushed me to do the best I could do. He will be greatly missed by all. Let us never forget him.”
Before joining the Lewis and Clark family, Price was a curator for the humanities at the Center for the Arts in Vero Beach, Florida. He also taught at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Florida, and at the College of St. Francis in Melbourne, Florida.
Early in his career, he was a founding board member of the SouthEast Sculpture Association, a non-profit dedicated to the presentation of sculpture in public spaces, and project director for the Hollywood Mavericks: American Independent Filmmakers, an art film subscription series.
He held a Certificate in British History and Shakespearean Studies from Cambridge University in England, a Bachelor of Arts in History at the Florida International University, and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Chicago.
He was fluent in Spanish and also spoke some Portuguese.
On the morning of Sept. 20, Lewis and Clark lowered the flags on campus in Price’s memory.
A memorial page featuring photos of his curations and highlights from his 25 years of service to the college can be viewed at www.lc.edu/price-memorial.