James Luckett
422 North High Street
Yellow Springs, OH 45387


download CV

2017: Master of soups, salads, comfort food casseroles and more at Tables of Contents Cafe. Grow a garden in the summer, every weekend bake multitudes of naturally fermented sourdough bread for the good people of Yellow Springs. August is growing up fast, begins The Antioch School preschool.

2016: Buy a house in Yellow Springs, settle in for the long haul, continue as chef at Tables of Contents Cafe, begin series The View Behind The Cafe.

2015: Still fomenting photography at Antioch College. Mother dies. Quit baking, begin cooking at Tables of Contents Cafe.

2014: Work monkish nights as a baker handcrafting artisan loaves by the whirling calm of a hobart mixer, the swooshing hum of a convection oven and the dim dim illumination humbly proffered by dim lights; work days as an Adjunct Professor of Photography at University of Dayton, Wright State University and Antioch College. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

2013: Move to the tiny arboreal village of Yellow Springs. Spend the year driving an hour and a half each way to serve as Visiting Assistant Professor and Head of Photography at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Suffer delusions; convinced I’m an angel. August Frederick Townes born December 1; life given meaning.

2011-2012: Receive an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for photography. Begin working as Adjunct Professor of Photography at Art Academy of Cincinnati and Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of Photography at Edison Community College. Continue cafe job, keep making the art.

2010: Work counter intel at local cafe. Make art in my studio.

2009: Marry long time friend, move to the eternally depressed town of Springfield. Rents are cheap; rent a garret in a nineteenth century mansion turned apartment building for studio and darkroom.

2007-2008: Get a job pushing book full-time in the graduate library; care and maintain a collection of 4 million books with a great group of dedicated book pushers. Move out to tiny Tokyo sized apartment in the back of someone’s house; granted access to the basement, set up darkroom and studio.

2006: Repatriate to midwestern college town of Ann Arbor. Endure a year of accusation, recrimination and acrimony. Divorce.

2004-2005: Continue as real-time hustler of English language services for professionals working internationally in the world’s largest metropolis. Bespoke suits, impeccable chops. Also begin catering business, cooking traditional home style Japanese new year’s dishes known as Osechi-ryori to 15 families across the country.

2003: Criss-cross Tokyo on train and foot hustling English conversation, editing Japanese to English translations and empowering foreigners to shop and cook Japanese homestyle foods. Eat a lot of soba.

2002: Forget about art, move to Tokyo and refocus on housewifery. Fail to speak Japanese language but manage to decipher cookbooks. Cook a lot of Japanese food, eat a lot of Japanese food. Work as Instructor at Tokyo University of Fine Arts of Music, teaching the nations most promising young musicians the English.

2001: Live for two months in a basement in Portland, Oregon enacting fantasy of being a miserable artist that lives in a basement in Portland, Oregon. Return to Chicago, the so-called “city of broad shoulders.” Work in a large University library as a professional book mover. Relocate 12% of the collection (750,000 volumes) from one place to another place. Develop a mighty grip and powerful forearms. Experience mystical insight into the nature of time.

1998-2000: Transplant to Chicago, the so-called “city that works.” Employed swing shift as master photographic printer at a custom photography lab specializing in meeting the evidential and illustrative needs of lawyers and insurance agencies. Make prints from approx. 80,000 unique negatives and drink untold gallons of Busch beer, often on the job, to depress nervous system, suppress nightmares and induce brain death. Begin consumptive.org as an alternative to participation in the unseemly. Get married. Spend weekends instigating photography at local community college.

1995-1998: Attend and work at a university in Tucson. Meet future wife, begin to practice Japanese homestyle cooking. Hide from the sun, emerging only to teach award winning photography classes and carouse with the boys. Spend several days with Frederick Sommer. Ask about ethics, time and photography – says “that’s neither here nor there.”

1995: Phoenix, Arizona. Hapless immersion in continental philosophy, night watch of elderly uncle.

1991-1994: Went to school in Olympia. Independent study of art with Imogen Cunningham, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Morris Graves, John Cage, Joseph Beuys and Margeurite Duras with the kindly profound facilitation of Craig Carlson. Live in a shotgun shack. Spend financial aid money on wine, drum tobacco and photography supplies.

1990-1991: Receive college rejection letters; find legs and a mentor, the esteemed artist, photographer and teacher Don Gregorio Anton, at the local community college. Drop other classes, spend nearly every day in the darkroom. Constant debate with friend whether art or cooking is the greater service.

1989: Nearly fail vocational photography class due to creative tendency. Meet Lou Reed.

1988: Take career aptitude test, says I am most suited for “chief dietician.” Disregard result. Become a “theatre person.”

1987: Learn to juggle, go on to win numerous talent shows, but circus never comes to town.

1984-1986: Resettle on other side of Puget Sound in Port Orchard. Just start “failing” after a teacher accuses me of cheating on a drawing. Try to remember to bring interesting books to read during classes. Obsessed with G.I. Joe action figures; fantasize about owning a miniature posable father. Arrested for shoplifting. Lie and tell other kids at group counseling that I stole Hustler magazines.

1983: Learn to use chopsticks.

1982: Shadow aunt as she lives life as a bohemian, artist and model.

1981: Move to a Seattle suburb. Collectively raised by tragic mother, artistic aunt, pragmatic grandmother and MTV.

1980: Get a Big Brother of America, an owner of a janitorial company named Stan. Teaches me to fish.

1978-79: Reading, writing and cable tv. Fall from a height, injure back and proceed through life with a “scholarly hunch.” Spend lonely Lynchian summers with the Little family at a sawmill in Newport: man machines, guns, hunting, broken horses and a leather discipline.

1977: Father vanishes from the face of the Earth and Elvis dies too. Become man of the house. Begin cooking.

1976: Spend days as a knight slaying the couch and defending a castle built from the dining room table. Somehow realize the anachronism; change career goal to native american. Learn to build a teepee out of branches and a blanket and hunt buffalo. Father changes career to anti-communist mercenary.

1974-1975: Sunday school. Fail to understand key concept of Christianity – why are we happy to kill Jesus? Visit from Easter bunny, who becomes a trusted companion and confidante throughout childhood.

1973: Nearly lose hearing following a series of excruciating earaches.

1972: Father retires with a standing ovation from the United States Army, transfers us to Spokane, Washington and opens a bookstore.

1971: Born near an army base in Stuttgart, West Germany. Tour Neuschwanstein Castle.