Rough Artist / Teacher, M.S., M.A.
Multidisciplinary Animator, Illustrator, Designer, Story-teller, Beekeeper.
Satirical Art Director, Cyclist.
Experimental Animation Zone
In 2012 Jim traveled 2,002 miles on a discarded ’79 Schwinn Varsity. In 2013 he covered 1,950 miles on a Surly Ogre, a ’74 Schwinn Continental, and a ’73 Schwinn Tandem Paramount.
An award-winning animator, Jim's independently produced films have screened regionally, nationally, and internationally at festivals that include—ASIFA-East, Red Stick International, RoofTop Films Summer Series and MoMA’s Surreal Shot Films, One Minute Film & Video, Aarau, Switzerland, Cinematheque Tel-Aviv, Israel, and notably, Salon de Refusés, Ottawa, Canada. Jim received his BFA from the University of The Arts, and his MS and MA from Marywood College.
Raised by nuns and jackals, Jim currently lives on the outskirts of an unassuming town. A more than full-time teacher Jim also runs a inconsequential studio, Visual Voice Inc. In his spare time, along with his wife Diane, he raises small mammals for the Department of Environmental Conservation. Jim is also a collector of vintage Schwinn bicycles.
If a student was to ask me the question, “For what purpose are we given this assignment?” or, “What good is this assignment to me?” I, in most cases would reply, “If nothing more, relatively good or poor, every assignment allows for the chance to exercise skills involved in everyday problem solving—thinking, comparing, practicing patience, observation, recording, experimentation, discovery, success and failure. If a student should view any assignment with the slightest contempt, they will have lost a great opportunity by overlooking, these, the most obvious purposes of all.
In relation, if a teacher should view any attempt or solution with a single-mindedness, they will have denied a student the fortunes of self discovery. By doing so, they have overlooked much of what education is about—learning the unknown.
This, at its most basic level, is the purpose of ‘the assignment.’ Anything more is visionary. —J. Downer, 1995