Brian James

About the Artist

Brian James grew up on the Coldwater First Nation near Merritt, in the central interior of British Columbia. He was always interested in art and after spending several months working at a Footlocker Store in Dawson Creek, he returned to Merritt and enrolled in an art program at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Kamloops.  Mary Longman (whose work can be found in the ARTSask Theme Homelands) ran this exemplary program and she introduced her students to many outstanding Aboriginal artists from across Canada, including Jane Ash Poitras (whose work can be found in the ARTSask theme Identity), Joane Cardinal-Schubert, and George Littlechild.

Following this intensive program, James studied  draftingDrawing sketches and plans of buildings, machinery, and manufactured products. Most contemporary drafting is done digitally, using computers, but for generations, draftsmen drew upon drafting tables, using such analog tools as rulers, T square, triangles, compasses, and French curves. (  at Caribou College (now Thompson Rivers University) in Kamloops. But he still wanted to learn more about art and methodology, so in 1995, not knowing a single person there, he decided to attend the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada) in Regina, Saskatchewan. Two years later he graduated with a Bachelor of Indian Fine Arts (BIFA) degree, and his  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (  Ozone (presented here) was purchased by the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

James likes working with kids, so after completing his BIFA degree, instructor Sheila Orr (whose work can be found in the ARTSask theme Identity) encouraged him to enroll in the Arts Education program at the University of Regina. He graduated with his Arts Education degree in 2001 and has been teaching ever since.  He currently (2008) is working at the Kahkewistahaw First Nation School near Broadview, Saskatchewan, where he enjoys interacting with students, coaching and teaching in his workshop classroom.

Ozone Part 1
Ozone Part 2
Ozone Part 3
Understanding Your Craft
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning