laura james


laura_jamesLaura James was born and reared in Brooklyn, NY.  A self-taught painter of Antiguan heritage, she has been working as a professional artist and illustrator for almost twenty years.  A keen student of the Bible and ancient African cultures, she first gained recognition for her very deliberate and painstaking interpretative paintings of biblical themes in which she utilizes the iconography found in traditional Ethiopian Christian art.  She has also done several scrolls which combine text and pictures, among them a phenomenal seven foot scroll with 29 illustrations titled, “The Story of Job”.  Today she is best known for her illustrations in the Book of Gospels lectionary published in 2000 on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.  An award-winning edition of the four gospels, it includes 34 paintings rendered in her now signature Ethiopian Christian art style. 

Also a painter of secular works, James paints women, families and scenes of everyday life that often hide a sharp commentary on race, class, gender and identity.  Her current series, Nannies and other Mothers, is an attempt to start a conversation on the subject and social consequences of migration of unskilled women from the Caribbean. 

Among the many honors and award the artist has received was a retrospective exhibition of her work titled 15 Years: The Art of Laura James by the College of New Rochelle, NY Castle Gallery.  She has been the subject of some twenty solo exhibitions since 1996, and has participated in numerous group shows.  Her work has illustrated, or has been featured in some thirty books and publications.  Her work is in public and private collections in the US and abroad.

Works by Laura James

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