An Inside View Of
JT Colfax

[http://www.clarksburg.com/location.htm] The Clarksburg Project
December 21, 1994 ~ December 31, 1995
Clarksburg, West Virginia
[Larger View: Clarksburg by Bill Morse] [http://www.clarksburg.com/photo2b.htm] [http://www.clarksburg.com/photo2.htm] [Larger View: Clarksburg by Watkins]


One of Colfax's most widely publicized undertakings was "The Clarksburg Project" a letter writing campaign that extended from December 21, 1994 to December 31, 1995 and entailed Colfax's writing at least half of the 18,000 random resident of the town of Clarksburg, West Virginia letters detailing his often sordid down and out urban existence.

February 5, 1999, from the article, "The Sorry Saga of J.T. Colfax" by Richard Fleming:

"When he was not working in the death industry, Colfax showed a penchant for bizarre art projects. His most ambitious was "The Clarksburg Project," an experiment that lasted a year and consisted of writing nearly every one of the 18,000 residents in Clarksburg, W.Va. about his daily activities, including graphic accounts of his sex life and drinking bouts. "I write things like, 'I'm sick and drunk and hungover and I just puked on the bedspread,'" he recounts. "I wanted people to be confronted with new thoughts and ideas which were totally foreign to them," Colfax told a German publication, Deutsche Presse-Argentur, one of a number of papers that did stories on his work."

May 22, 1997, from the article, "A Body of Work" by Patricia Calhoun:

"Actually, that's what the Clarksburg Project, which remains "my most favorite thing," was designed to do. "I think a lot of it was crappy," he says of the piece that he started in December 1994, "but I actually founded a brand-new art form." Clarksburg, it turns out, is the fingerprint-identification capital of the country. (Incidentally, it also has a thriving casket-construction business.) Surely by sending a year's worth of irritating mail, Colfax figured, he'd convince someone to check for fingerprints. And then they'd find that the perpetrator was wanted for probation violation in Denver, Colorado. Back in 1989 Colfax spent seven months in jail for stabbing a guy ("We were drunk," he explains), and then skipped town after just six weeks of probation. He supported himself by gay hustling, then moved to Atlanta, where he worked in a bookstore, then on to New York. But somehow, Denver lost any record of his violating probation. The Clarksburg Project was supposed to resurrect it and then "have them catch me." This, anyway, is how Colfax's story goes.''

"Dear Clarksburg" Song and Lyrics by Randy Walker

[1995 Miss West Virginia Pageant, Clarksburg, West Virginia] Strange Parallels
The 1995 Miss West Virginia Pageant
Clarksburg, West Virginia

While Colfax was working on the "Clarksburg Project" he took this photo of the building during the 1995 West Virginia Pageant. He didn't know who Patsy Ramsey was at that time but Patsy Ramsey had won the Miss West Virginia pageant in 1977 and her sister, Pam Paugh won in 1980 and Patsy visited here in 1992 to help select a representive for the Miss America Pageant that year. Colfax had no clue at the time of this photo that 2-1/2 years later he would be a suspect in the murder of Patsy's daughter, JonBenet Ramsey.


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