I am lost today and can’t sleep because I’m sad and overwhelmed by the loss of my dearest Jim Yood—one of the most significant critical voices of the art world, a knowledgeable teacher and my greatest mentor; a caring man with a big heart and a warm smile that was an honor and a blessing to be around.
I never really thought of him as a friend. He was family.
Jim shaped the way I look at, think and write about art. But to him, it wasn't enough to teach me art history for two years during my New Arts Journalism Master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He would clarify my thinking and fine-tune my visions, he would inspire and motivate me, he would always find the best way to support me through good times and bad in academia, in work and in life, and he would honor my work with his thoughts and feedback for years to follow.
It was some 6 years ago that we first met. But life is not going to be the same without him. True mentorship, though—a relationship, deep and lifelong—never dies. I’ve already been impeccably touched by his lessons, wisdom and grace. As I preserve his memory and get back to work—writing, editing and leading in a profession I couldn’t have had if it wasn’t for him—I can only hope for one thing: That I measure up to his job.