I met Jesse Edwards at the Copy Art Exhibition when he purchased several pieces that were in the show (see info at Copy Art Exhibition). He was not what you would think of as far as art collectors go in that he was young, hip and knew a lot about local art in what many collectors and critics would consider "marginal" arts. He was a dead ringer for a Dennis Hopper look alike. Jesse knew what he liked and was a prolific buyer. A couple of his local favorites were S Clay Wilson (previous post Poetry - Comix - Comics ) and stencil artist Scott Williams. Before I left for Europe he asked me to call him when I returned.
I began working for a few hours a week as a consultant for Jesse, first setting up a database of artists and artworks and second introducing him to the artists I knew locally and internationally. He introduced me to a few artists he had been collecting. I think Clay and I surprised him when he found out we knew each other since we weren't in what Jesse knew as the same art circles. When Clay said he's been to my house several times I think Jesse thought we were kidding. I advised Jesse on archival storage methods I had learned through photography. I encouraged him to give his collection a name and to have a business card at the minimal for giving out to the artists I was bringing in to meet him. Georgina designed a card and I suggested the list of names of who was included in the collection to be added to the back.
Later, for mailing purposes, Jesse wanted a postcard to send out. After seeing a set of postcards I had made using computerized photo booth images, Jesse selected the image in this well known card to go with his JES Archives information.
Because Jesse loves to know how things are made - the card was made from a photobooth image taken in Europe run through a video camera attached to a computer and dot matrix printer printout. Then resized on a copier, overlayed with Rubylith for the color separations made by hand, and printed full color. The background was Letrapress film screening and the text was a computer printout. This is a process made virtually obsolete by current computer graphic design capabilities. In its day it was an unusual image.
Jesse supported many Bay Area artists and promoted much of the art scene in the 80s. He helped InterDADA 84 artists by sponsoring the hostel. He and Georgina moved to southern California and opened a successful store on the Venice Beach boardwalk, selling Asian imported jewelry and wearable items. Years later they sold the store and now travel extensively.
I was always treated like a member of the extended family by Jesse and Georgina. We stay in touch today via the Internet. As far as where the collection is now I think Jesse is weighing several options. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to make a contribution to the arts and helping many artists by introducing them in the early years to JES Archives.