A Tribute to Bob Raymond (April 21, 1952 - February 27, 2012)

Mobius is deeply saddened and mourns the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Bob Raymond.  Bob died on February 27th after a short illness.  He was the backbone of Mobius and a mainstay of the Mobius Artists Group for nearly thirty years. An accomplished artist, a supportive, loving friend, an unselfish, generous person;  an inspiration to all who knew him for his kindness, insight, professionalism, honesty, sincerity, integrity and abilities; who often put his needs second to those of others he wanted to help.

Bob personified the ethos of Mobius through his dedication and work. He embodied and held the conscience of Mobius, defining new modes as the organization grew and changed, guiding us through difficult terrains. He was a can-do, problem solver in all realms, whose presence and skill always led us forward. He was the real deal, without an ounce of pretense. Those who knew him will agree that these words are not hyperbole.

It was through his presence, which I also mean quite literally, spent witnessing and quietly documenting the work of the Mobius Artists Group and its guest artists throughout the years, where his impact is most evident. Without intending to at first,  but through the consistency of his commitment and purpose,  Bob amassed an enormous body of work about Mobius. Without exaggeration, here are some numbers: he photographed thousands of artists over an almost thirty-year period resulting in an archive of over 15,000 35mm slides and 10,000 digital images. This was done by coming to nearly every single event that has ever happened at Mobius as well as countless off-site events he attended and photographed. And there he was accompanied by Marilyn Arsem, his wife and the founder of Mobius, who survives him.

Only recently has that work begun to be brought to light, but in time its value will grow. At Mobius, we have appreciated it for a long time, for we know that its quality has helped define Mobius and been instrumental in our success. To put it in a larger perspective, I will also say this: now that the archives of alternative arts organizations have taken on significant importance in artistic, historical provenance, Bob's Mobius photos probably constitute the largest single body of documentation created by one person, committed to one alternative arts organization, in existence.

Bob was modest, almost to a fault, about his accomplishments. But they will emerge now that we must acknowledge his departure. We will honor and celebrate Bob and carry out our work the way he would want us to. On Saturday, April 21st we will also have a celebration of his life and work. More details about this event will emerge soon.

Life humbles and seasons us, and ultimately leaves us. Occasionally we are offered moments of beauty, grace,  and human dignity to experience, enact, and share. Bob reminds us of this in what he has left behind, and in all the ways he has given to us and to so many people; that he will always be remembered with all the love and care he gave, that we can also share and give back  now, in his lasting memory and image.

--Jed Speare, Director and member, Mobius Artists Group February 29, 2012

Sat 21 Apr 2012

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