Artist ~ Educator ~ Friend

By SAM volunteer Belinda Hanson

     Recently a good friend and former Siskiyou Arts Museum artist, James Kuiper, passed away. James was a friend and a mentor, always challenging as an instructor and always supportive as a friend. In a graduate level painting class that I took,  he gave for the final an assignment I will never forget: Write and read aloud your obituary in iambic pentameter. Outrageous, I thought, and not a bit to do with painting!

James-K-WEB-gallery     But when I wrote and later performed this assignment, I realized it revealed much about who I am as an artist, and also that I had a knack for showmanship, despite a shy streak. We performed these after a couple of glasses of wine and a most excellent dinner of James’s legendary seafood paella. When he lived and taught art in Spain, he had learned the magic of making paella. It was chock full of fish and shellfish and exotic flavor, and epitomizes the best of his, also legendary, generosity. His official obituary is below:



James Kuiper was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1945. He received his MFA from Michigan State University in Drawing and Painting.

James taught Art at Calvin College, Michigan; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas; and California State University Chico, from 1989 to 2016. James taught and exhibited his work in San Sebastian, Spain as well as Sao Paulo, Brazil.

His work is included in nuermous private, corporate, and public collections. The Kuiper Family wishes for donations to be made in his honor to the Museum of Northern California Art (monca) where his artwork is part of the permanent collection.

Donations to monca may be sent to:
900 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95926

Or can be made online at