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A fibonacci spiral by Jim Denevan

Jim Denevan

Jim Denevan was born into a large family. His mother was an accomplished mathematician and he is the second youngest of her 9 children. Sadly, his father died when he was only 5 years old, and this was followed later by a series of painful family tragedies. Being always drawn to the beach, Jim Denevan turned to sand drawing as a way of coping with these tragedies. Jim also worked as a chef to support himself and his artwork.

Jim Denevan uses simple tools such as a stick and a rake to make his drawings which are done on a massive scale. Some of these drawings are over a mile across and others require him to walk over 30 miles in order to complete them. Many of his drawings depict geometric patterns which are rendered with extreme precision. One example of his patterns is based on a fibonacci spiral (similar to the golden ration spiral used in our logo). What is even more impressive is that he does it all free handed without any drawing aids. Similar to a live concert, his magnificent artwork is made to last only in the moment and then be washed or eroded away.

In his other major artistic endeavour, Jim Denevan works as a traveling chef who puts together large outdoor banquets. Each banquet is hosted on or near a farm with all of the food being grown within a relatively short distance from the location. This performance is appropriately named Outstanding in The Field. Each one is an event for people to re-connect with the Earth and with the food that grows on it. It is a place for laughter, storytelling, and for people to connect with each other. Like his sand drawings, his banquets are supposed to last only in the moment.

Jim Denevan as seen on KQED

Jim Denevan's genius shows in the quality of his work as well as the different perspective from which he approaches it. Unlike many artists who strive for permanence, Jim wants his work to be as fleeting as the clouds. In doing so, his elegant works send a clear message to enjoy the beauty in the moment because the moment will soon be gone. Ironically, the numerous photos of his beautiful works in galleries, online, and other places mean that they are likely to remain in people's memories for generations to come.

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