Photo by Heather Lindahl

Remembering Bill Talsma

Last Monday night, our friend Bill Talsma took his own life. He had been living with much more pain than we knew and it became too much for him to carry. Bill was a great artist, a great human being, and a great person to work with. He was a member of the Chicago-based group Lucky Pierre. Lucky Pierre is perhaps the only artist group in the Midwest that has continued to stick it out longer than Temporary Services. Lucky Pierre continues to take on fascinating, complex, wonderful and weird projects. Almost every member of Temporary Services, past and present has worked with Lucky Pierre in some way, is currently part of the group, or has participated in one of their projects. Individually and collectively, we have attended their epic performance events—which can last for as long as 24 hours—performed in their events, curated them into exhibits, and more.
Ribbon Effect c. 2001
We’ve known Bill Talsma for a very long time. Brett met Bill through a co-worker in the late 1990s, before the formation of Temporary Services, when he was playing with the band Motorhome. In early 2001 Bill's former band Ribbon Effect performed in our tiny office space on 202 S. State Street in conjunction with a project called Warming Center. Watching Bill play drums in a tiny carpeted office, 11 floors up, was a delight. Brett plays the group's album, Slip, from time to time as it is a great snapshot of the musical ethos of Chicago at the time it came out. It was later that Bill began working with Lucky Pierre and we all crossed paths and observed each other's development in a regular way. Members of Lucky Pierre, including Bill, have been a part of our personal lives for many years now.
In December 2012, Temporary Services collaborated with Lucky Pierre to publish a booklet for their project 100 Actions for Chicago Torture Justice. Lucky Pierre have never shied away from challenging projects and this publication, which takes on Chicago’s history of the police torturing African American men, is one of their toughest. We admired the work greatly, offered to make a booklet for it, and cherished the opportunity to turn a text on a website into a physical object. Bill and Lucky Pierre figured out the design with full enthusiasm. Bill was a knowledgeable, sharp, and very fast designer. In just weeks Lucky Pierre brought the project from invitation to publication. Bill and Marc had a wonderful Dim Sum lunch after bringing the final design directly to Mission Press in Pilsen. A little over seven years later, the publication seems little-recognized but it remains a favorite of ours. We always bring it to book fairs even though it’s a tough sell because the content is so emotionally difficult to read. 
There is no replacing Bill Talsma. No one thought like him or had a heart like him. We send all of our love to his friends, family, all of Lucky Pierre, and particularly Bill’s partner Heather Lindahl and her son Arlo. All of us will be mourning Bill’s death and celebrating his creativity for years to come. This is a devastating loss.
For information on a memorial service that will take place in Chicago celebrating the life of Bill Talsma, please visit:

A memorial visitation will be held Monday, March 4, 2019, 4:00-9:00 PM at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill Street, Naperville. 

Everyone will meet Tuesday, March 5, 10:00 AM, at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 2003 Hassert Blvd. (corner of 111th St. & Book Rd.), Naperville, IL, to celebrate a Memorial Mass.

Future internment: Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, IL

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to: 

NAMI DuPage (The National Alliance On Mental Illness)
115 North County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 752-0066

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