As associate director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council for 25 years, Kim Duffin was all about supporting artists.
"He always had good advice and showed them great patience," said Karen Krieger, the council's executive director and Duffin's boss. "He was known for patiently guiding them toward their goals, whether it was how to be a better candidate for a grant or a better candidate for a show."
Duffin died Sunday at age 57.
In his job at the Arts Council, Duffin coordinated the visual arts exhibits at the Finch Lane Galleries and the council's Guest Writers Series. Among his claims to fame was arranging the first Utah reading by then up-and-coming poet Katharine Coles, who later went on to serve as Utah's poet laureate from 2006 to 2011.
Krieger said Duffin was "very, very kind, considerate, thoughtful, respectful." He also had a "very playful and dry wit," she said. She recalled visiting Duffin in the hospital earlier this year after a stroke, and the longtime smoker told her, "Well, I guess I just quit smoking."
Duffin was born April 22, 1955, in Salt Lake City. He graduated from Skyline High School in 1973 and received bachelor's degrees in business administration and environmental science from Westminster College in 1977 and a master's degree in arts administration from the University of Utah in 1983.
Before his long stint at the Salt Lake City Arts Council, Duffin worked as a program manager of the Utah Arts Council. He was on the board of the Utah AIDS Coalition, the Utah Wilderness Alliance and other nonprofit groups.
He is survived by three brothers and two nephews.
A celebration of Duffin's life is set for Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Art Barn, 54 Finch Lane, Salt Lake City. A brief remembrance will begin at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to contribute to the Arts Council for a commission to be dedicated in his honor.