Upon graduation from East Nashville High School, James earned his way to Vanderbilt University as an athlete and scholar. After completing his degree in Fine Arts from Peabody College of Vanderbilt, James returned to the public housing community of his youth as a leader. He used his creative skills as an artist and teacher to develop neighborhood youth art programs. He was also involved with community outreach and fundraising efforts for the community. James served as the Community Services Director of Edgehill Center, Inc., where he established several successful programs for youth including the PAVE WAY Mural painting program for underserved students.
He used art as a teaching tool to educate youth on the importance of staying drug-free and in school through the Tennessee Communities Against Narcotics program that he supervised. In 1995, James was asked to serve as Special Assistant for Community Affairs and Arts in the Office of the Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, Philip N. Bredesen. This endeavor allowed James to use his experience and connections in the Nashville community to help bring diversity awareness and policy to the local Nashville government. James has served as Executive Director for 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee; managing the organization’s administrative support services, recruiting members, and coordinating the youth activities. James became a nationally recognized artist and advocate of the arts and has received many awards in his career not only for this gift but also for his involvement with numerous organizations. In 1994, James received the Metropolitan Jaycees Distinguished Service Award.
James has received national recognition for a mural program he established and received an Emmy Award in 1994 for a mural created for the Viacom Television Network. He was named CSAAM Man of the Year in 1997 and in 1998 the YMCA Black Achievers Program named him "Achiever of the Year".
James was presented with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s “Father of the Year” Award in 2022. James traveled to South Africa in 1995 to create a mural with South African art students. During his trip, he also had the opportunity to visit with President Nelson Mandela. James was also the co-illustrator of a successful children's book series that has been featured on Sesame Street. His work has also been featured in the Disney movie; “Snow Dogs”, “The Jamie Foxx Show”, “Living Single”, and “NCIS” on CBS. James’ work represents a passion for vibrant colors and textures created with the use of palette knives and brushes. He aspires to reach the community of art lovers, collectors, and especially youth through his inspirational images that uplift and promote harmonious appreciation for the richness of our cultural heritage.
James has also established a reputation as a motivational speaker, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Community Outreach expert, and a designer of unique hand-painted coffee mugs and Giclee prints.
Make the world a more beautiful place with my unique, vibrant, artwork! Feel free to contact me with any questions about my art pieces, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.