Richard W. James received his BFA from The University of Tennessee at Martin (2001) and his MFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas (2016). Between the two degrees, Richard operated his own ceramic/pottery studio before deciding to return to academia to focus on his interest of sculpture and narrative. He is currently a long-term artist in residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.
MFA in Studio Art, Ceramics, University of Kansas, Lawrence 2013-16
Post Baccalaureate, Ceramics, Indiana University, Bloomington 2010-12
BFA in Studio Art, University of Tennessee 1997-01
Artist in Residence Positions
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee 2016-17
Zhenrutang A.I.R., Jingdezhen, China Summer, 2015
Selected Exhibitions: Group, Solo, and Collaborations
Ceramic Sculpture Culture, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD 2016
The Arrowmont Experience, The Emporium, Knoxville, TN 2016
International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement Awards
In Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Grounds for Sculpture Museum,
Hamilton, NJ 2016
Richard W. James Thesis, NCECA 2016 Listed Exhibition, Lawrence, KS 2016
Generations, Filipino Cultural Center, Overland Park, KS 2016
2015 National MFA Competition, First Street Gallery, New York, NY 2015
Intimate Object XI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL 2015
New China From China, 2015 Milano EXPO, Italy 2015
The Seven Colors, Gallery Other (solo), Jingdezhen, China 2015
Raccooning (collaboration with Edward McKenna), Six01Studio 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Tanya Hartman: So That I May Carry You With Me (collaboration) 2014
Daum Contemporary Art Museum, Sedalia, MO
Concordia Continental Ceramics Competition 5,
Concordia Gallery, St. Paul MN 2014
2014 World Cup Tournament, Hyart Gallery, Madison, WI 2014
Lets Talk About Love Baby, Sculpture X, Columbus, OH 2014
Singularities, West Street Art Gallery (2-person), Madison, IN 2013
Lets Talk About Love Baby, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, IN 2013
Flash Point, Plinth Gallery, Denver, CO 2012
In Lieu, Hanover College Greiner Art Gallery (2-person), Hanover, IN 2011
Detritus, West Street Art Gallery (solo), Madison, IN 2011
James, R.W. (In press). Russell Wrankle Profile, Ceramics: Art and Perception.
James, R.W. (in press). Zhenrutang Artist in Residence Program, Ceramics: Technical, May.
James, R.W. (2015). He Said, She Said. Ceramics: Art and Perception, June.
Salamoni, A. (2014). Wood-fired Ceramics: 100 Contemporary Artists, Schiffer Publishing: Atglen, Pennsylvania.
James, R.W. (2013). Low firing with wood. Ceramics Monthly. June/July/August, pp. 58– 62.
Melnick, (2013). D. Pots and Protons: Richard James Ceramics, The Ryder Arts Magazine. May, pp. 22-24.
Individuals, shaped by their own specific cultural beliefs, are the transmitters of historical perspectives. Each recounting takes the imprint of a time and place sewn into the narrative. I view personality building in much the same manner. As humans, we go through a similar process in order to express our current self-description to others. Often a discrepancy exists between how we see ourselves and how we would like others to see us. It is this discrepancy that my work examines. I am interested in how personality construction can cause a rift (alteration) in truths between people. Subtle incongruities can lead to completely different versions of truths passed on to others. It is my wish to better recognize these inconsistencies in order to more deeply investigate my own understanding of my past and my personal version of history.
I have always struggled to navigate the incongruity between the comfort found in my rural heritage and the need to distance myself from its undesirable aspects. In my effort to better understand the “soup” in which I was stewed, I have begun to incorporate materials and processes I associate with poor, rural living. Mending clothes and constructing dwellings were two crafts handed down to me through my parents and grandparents. I have come to see the use of these processes and materials as symbolic of the feminine and masculine aspects of my upbringing. The clay has come to symbolize myself within the trifecta. I believe that using the components of my rearing is the most effective way for me to question the cultural and religious education of my childhood as well as to examine how I see myself in relation to my past.