In Loving Memory of Kim Poor

In commemoration to our rebranding and our revamped website, we honor the memory and life of our founder:

Kim Poor

Kim Paul Poor, founder and artist of was born in Phoenix, AZ on March 7th, 1952.

This is Kelsey and Nathan Poor, his daughter and son. We don’t want to talk much about how dad started, and instead would like to focus more on his achievements as a father, a husband, a business man, and an artist.

Poor Family, 1986

Dad was 6’4”, he was goofy (a lot of “dad” jokes), he was witty, he was intelligent, and he was artistically talented. He was tall, skinny, left-handed, loved funny movies, and greeted everybody with a “Howdy!” When we were little, dad was on the road a lot. He packed up his loading van and took his art to mall shows around the United States. He would always come home with presents from wherever he was. He also used to spend a lot of time painting in his art studio in the back of the house.

Artist bio picture, 1996

At night, when we were little, he would get on the floor with us and wrestle, tickle and play with us while we screamed for mom to come help us. Sometimes, he would unwind by playing his guitar in his art studio to his extensive collection of CD’s, while my little brother and I danced around the room. He had an absolute affinity for The Beatles. We had all of The Beatles’ movies on Laser Disc.

The Poors do Abbey Road, London 2001

Before we were born, dad was the first president and one of the founding members of IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists), a league of Space Artists, who would go on landscape adventures to capture the true essence of geological beauty. Sand dunes, craters, and volcanoes were sketched up, painted, and photographed. When we opened Novaspace (formerly Novagraphics), we couldn’t keep our stock on the shelves. Our mother, Sally Poor, kept an order form pad by her bed in case people called to order something in the middle of the night. Dad was so cutting edge, we were one of the first companies on the internet.

IAAA in Hawaii Volcanos National Park, 1982
Courtesy of Marilynn Flynn
(Andrew Chaikin, Marilynn Flynn, Pamela Lee, James Hervat, Joel Hagen, Kim Poor, Michael Carroll, Bill Hartmann)

Dad was diagnosed with a rare genetic brain disease, that was a surprise to our family, in 2001. His disease was called Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3, also known as Machado Joseph Disease (MJD for short). His movements were becoming spastic, and he was losing control of his hands and his legs. He had stopped painting long before he was diagnosed, but I think what he really missed the most was playing his guitar.

In August of 2007, he put together the first Spacefest, held in Mesa, Arizona. He always was so proud of Spacefest, and loved to be the star of the show. Unfortunately, he couldn’t attend Spacefest 8 because of his declining health.

Kim Poor, Spacefest 2007

On August 16th, 2017 at 10:07a.m., Daddy died at home at age 65, after a bath, with mom and Nathan next to him. He was at peace, and wearing his first Spacefest T- Shirt. The date on it reflected that he died almost exactly 10 years after the first production.

He brought a lot of people together, and we will continue to gather again each time in his memory. His legacy has inspired our family, and though it hurts to continue all of this without him, it is what he would have wanted. Now we honor his memory further by relaunching and rebranding

Your family misses you, daddy, and we speak on behalf of mom: We love you. Wherever you are, we hope you are playing your guitar.

Kelsey, Nathan & Sally

Spino Cerebellar Ataxia Type 3 is incurable. It is a cruel, slow disease that keeps your mind intact and debilitates every muscle you’ve ever taken for granted, including your eyes and speech, and has been passed down to Kelsey Poor. If you, or someone you know would like to donate to the fund for finding a cure, please visit The National Ataxia Foundation and contribute.

16 replies on “In Loving Memory of Kim Poor

  • Rick & MaryLynn Geiger

    We are saddened to learn of Kim’s passing. While we periodically receive the Novaspace News email, we missed the announcement, if there was one. We first met Kim in one of the malls in Tucson where he was displaying some of his art in center court. Over the years we purchased a number of Kim’s prints from his Tucson store, four of which are currently displayed in our home, with other prints stored in a closet held for somewhat infrequent rotation. We still remember viewing the original Ladies of the Lake in his store and hesitating to buy, only to eventually learn the folly of that hesitation. A truly talented artists who has brought much enjoyment to our home’s decor.

  • Don Scott

    Kim Poor was a remarkable human. NovaSpace and Spacefest are highlight memories for me, and they always include his smiling face and cheerful discussions. The discount package offered to teachers was a boon for educators and students; and we of NASA-AESP included the information in our teacher workshops. His paintings are the legacy … if life imitates art, his work encourages us to visit the places he inspires us with.

    Don Scott, NASA-AESP ret (state rep for Nevada, Montana, et al). Writer and photographer.

  • James J. Duprey, MSgt, USAF, Ret.

    He touched our hearts and minds with his talent and insight. His art reflected his devotion to his craft and appreciation for his audience. What a privilege to meet him. His art is displayed in our home. We enjoy it everyday. I remember walking into the art gallery in Texas and that is where it all began. The festivities outside of the Tucson gallery. Memories that will be with us forever. God Bless. James and Vickie

  • Wayne

    I first met your amazing dad when we were both young men at some space/astronomy event in southern California in the late 1980s. I do remember his passion for space art back then. Growing up during the historic “Apollo Era”, I also shared his enthusiasm for manned spaceflight having been recently employed a few years earlier by a major aerospace company as a full-time commercial illustrator. I joined the IAAA not too long after meeting your dad but was limited in my ability to participate in the many field trips IAAA hosted due to my full-time illustrator job which I still have to this day. It wasn’t until I attended Spacefest 2007 in Arizona that I would connect with your dad again. I will be forever grateful to both your parents for putting on this awesome event. It was there that I met and interacted with many of my “space heroes” for the first time, including having dinner with my favorite inspirational Space Artist Robert McCall, along with getting to meet many of the Apollo astronauts. I remember running after your dad as he whipped around the conference hall in his wheel chair and stopping him in order to personally say, “Thank you so much Kim for putting on Spacefest 2007. These experiences I’m now having have meant the world to me.” Your father had a positive impact on many lives by bringing many people together of like mind and passion. You have much too proud of and thankful for.

  • Frederick Urbasek

    I never met Kim. I am truly disappointed that I did not have that pleasure. Many years ago, I visited the store in Tucson. Not sure if I bought anything. However, I have in my collection of space art of many artists. My 1st purchase was Globular Star Cluster. It hangs above my bed along with the famous
    Ladies of the Lake. That framed lithograph has hung on many walls in many places I have lived. I now have a total of 15 adorning my bedroom and living area. I ran out of wall space to put the rest up. As I write this, all I have to do is turn away to the left and the Ladies are watching over me. Thank You,
    Kim Paul Poor.


    – He instructed how to frame over the telephone.
    – He also sold me one of the crew patches that flew onboard Apollo 13.

  • Mike Fisher

    I first met Kim in Scottsdale at an art fair. I also bought my first art of his there. He was funny, very sociable and made me an instant fan. I continued buying his art through the years and in a move from Phoenix to Seattle, I damaged one of his prints. I was heartbroken. I emailed him to see if he had any remaining prints of that specific art, and he said yes. So I bundled up the damaged print, flew to Phoenix, drove to Tucson and went to his shop. EVEN CLOSED, we warmly welcomed me inside (HEAVEN) and signed and numbered a new print and handed it to me! He wouldn’t let me pay for it in any way. That man was GOLDEN. He was my hero. I still miss him.

  • jane and kurt

    Have not been on your site in a long time and did not know. So extremely sorry. I think it is amazing you all kept Spacefest going through those difficult last years. Kim accomplished so much during his lifetime. That is truly a great thing as so many waste their talents and abilities . What a fine person, he always made such an effort to meet the interests of those who came to his business . God Bless Kim.
    sincerely, Jane and Kurt Straub

  • Michael Carroll

    Kim kept many of us space artists afloat in the early years, helping us sell our art and create prints that sold through Novaspace. But Kim was far more than a business partner; he was a lovable, talented and funny guy. He added richness to our lives. We all miss him very much.

  • Sean Keane

    I remember seeing “Jupiter from Io” on the cover of Omni magazine when I was a teenager. A few years later, when I was about to graduate from the University of Arizona, I learned that he was based in Tucson! It was called Nova Art in those days. I was newly married and didn’t have money for anything but the necessities, but I went to the gallery where I met Kim. I left with a lithograph of Jupiter from Io, and the only charge on my credit card up to that time that I couldn’t immediately pay off. Best decision I ever made. If I were forced to decide on only one work of art that I now own to keep, that would easily be my choice. The Sword of Herschel would be the runner up.

  • Robert ledesma

    I ran across your dad’s work shortly after arriving in Phoenix from Chicago. Always loved the concept of space, the Cosmos let alone discovering your dad’s treasure trove of imagination & talent. Subsequently ordered a few of his renderings via postal mail. I guess was the reliable venue back then. One day saw an advertisement for a Kim Poor exhibition at Metro Mall. I was surprised your dad remembered me and my purchases due to my nick name “Butch.” The only Butch on his mailing lists. I was Honored. Condolences on your wonderful Dad’s passing.

  • Michael McCarthy

    I met Kim in 1982 during the time I lived in the Phoenix area. I am not sure exactly sure where, but as I remember, it was at a mall in the Tempe/Mesa area and I was immediately was attracted to his space art. I purchased 3 prints; 2 signed, numbered, and dated and 1 signed and dated. The signed, numbered and dated are; Bajada Chubasco, #70/950, signed and dated 1982; Saturn from Dione, #211/950, signed and dated 1981. The
    signed and dated is Morning Launch dated 1982. I had them matted and framed shortly after I purchased them and ever since then they have been on display in my home office; almost 40 years. I was not aware that Kim had stopped his artwork and passed away until recently. I have been enjoying these pictures for the past 40 years and will continue so as long as I am here. RIP Kim.

  • Bruce Farr

    Kim was a beloved artist for us. We purchased five of his pieces over the years and loved his creations. We actually licensed from him the Spacefest art and used it as the centerpiece for CactusCon, the 1987 North American Science fiction Convention – originally the piece was know as (from my recollection) leaving (for?) home. I went to high school with him at Cortez. One of the pieces we bought was “Maserlight”. I met KIm at the MAMA Fair (old town Tempe) several times when he exhibited there and talked about old times.

  • Andy Boston

    I first met Kim in (or close to) 1988 at a space related show in Anaheim, CA. We were both vendors at a Disney hotel in a very small hall with very few other vendors. Although I consider our (Winco’s) work to be primitive at that time, thankfully, Kim liked it. Of course, like so many others, I loved his incredible art and was in awe! Since the show was a bit slow, Kim and I talked about art, space and probably music and we also spent time deciding what we would trade for. He picked some of his favorites and I picked some of my favorites of mine (I did not have enough editions to trade for all of his that I wanted). I never did ask Kim if he thought I did better in the trade since I felt that way… his work was spectacular and I was still figuring out how to frame ours. Regardless of our marginal presentation, Kim apparently liked ours because it presented (and still does) NASA’s official emblems. It seems our primitive framing could not take away from this. Even though the pieces Kim received are now collectible and part of NASA’s legacy, I feel I should have given him more of mine. Now, I wish I would have shared this with him since I know we would have had a laugh! Later, I found out about Spacefest and we were a vendor at the 2nd Spacefest and then many more (only missed 3). I always enjoyed seeing and connecting with Kim at Spacefest and considered it an honor to be a participant in part of his legacy. I will always cherish his art and will have fond memories.

  • Thomas Wheeler

    I first met Kim Poor when he started doing art shows shows at Park Mall in Tucson. Being a longtime follower of space exploration, and an artist myself, although not remotely on his level, I was amazed and astounded by his artwork. I was thinking about him tonight, as I have several prints of his work hanging in my home, but had sadly not kept up with him. So I Googled him, and was shocked and saddened to learn of his passing, and from such an awful disease. He achieved so much, though, bringing together artists and space explorers, and that’s a very fine ongoing legacy to have. Please accept my belated condolences, and my prayers for Kelsey. And my thanks, of course, for his amazing artwork.

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