We lost a great human being on March 4, 2018. I first got to know James Luna as a spectator, as someone who admired his work. When I started teaching at UC San Diego, I organized a reading of one of Mr. Preston Arrow-weed’s plays. I was thrilled to see James Luna in the audience (and more than a little star-struck). I gathered my courage and introduced myself : we talked, me all formal, and him his usual generous self and I gradually relaxed. Over the course of emails and phone calls in the following months, we talked about projects, his, mine, and what we might be able to do at UC San Diego together. A few years later, we managed to bring his show Ishi: The Archive Performance to UC San Diego. It was powerful, necessary, and resonant.
James Luna was a brilliant, tender, generous, funny, incisive artist. He past away too young with many conversations left unfinished. He was celebrated by friends and family at the La Jolla reservation and was put to rest in a landscape as beautiful as he was. He will be missed.