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Bill Narum

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William Albert "Bill" Narum, 62, was born in Austin to William Gould Narum and Mary Firmin Narum in 1947. Bill was deeply loved by his family, including his wife of the heart Gloria Badillo Hill, sisters Wendy Narum-Hart and Heidi Narum Hyatt, brothers Jon Eric Narum and Kurt Narum (deceased), daughters Michelle Narum and Nico Narum D'Auterive, grandaughter Alexandria Groce, and grandson Julian Groce.

Born into a Texas arts dynasty, Narum's father was a highly acclaimed designer, illustrator, art instructor and former president of Houston's Artist Guild. His mother was a successful gallery owner, sculptor, portrait painter and teacher who served on the board of Houston's Art League. Narum received his fine and commercial art training from Texas Academy of Art, Lamar University, and private tutors. He began his professional career in Houston, where he co-founded a radio station, a video production company, a newspaper, and an art gallery before returning to Austin in 1976. Narum's eclectic portfolio includes studio art, illustration, and graphic design; music posters and album covers; stage sets and costume design; radio, television and film production; computer graphics, multi-media and Web design; gallery startup and museum management; writing and teaching; and independent research in the fields of Austin history, renewable energy, and wilderness survival. In addition to one-man, family, and participatory invitational shows in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas; Santa Fe; Los Angeles; New York; Cannes, France; and Santiago, Spain, Narum's artwork is displayed in private and public collections including the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin and the Austin History Center.

Narum served as art director for Antone's, Armadillo World Headquarters, Threadgill's, Origin Systems, KLOL-FM, KPFT-FM, ZZ Top, Zippity.com, Spectra Magazine, and the Austin Sun. He was founding president of the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture and served on the boards of the Texas Music Association, Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy, Pacifica Radio, and 'GO-GO Studios. For his contributions to Austin arts, Narum received a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Austin in 1993 and was voted Austin Poster Artist of the Year by the Austin Chronicle in 1988. His other awards included certificates from Houston and the State of Texas plus gold and platinum albums from the music industry.

Bill Narum was the king of Texas album cover art, a man whose simple strokes with pen and brush forever connected Texas and rock & roll. A memorial tribute is planned to coincide with Narum's birthday in January. Samples of his work can be viewed online at http://www.billnarum.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Nov. 29, 2009
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