[Tucson, AZ :: b. 1986 Melbourne Fl.]


Jim Graham’s paintings are most often recognized for their thin layering of imagery and intense chromatic surfaces. Grahams work relates to a group of contemporary painters opting for a more varied image making process that devalues the importance of a singular object and focuses on creating new combinations within a rich visual society. As a result, the images fluctuate nimbly between historical norms of representation and abstraction allowing for a more immediate response to a fresh and active present.


Graham received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BFA from Florida State University. His paintings have been exhibited in both independent art galleries and academic institutions throughout the country including recent shows at the Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans and the Sella-Granata Gallery at the University of Alabama. He has also been a visiting artist and lecturer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. He was a 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant nominee and a 2017 State of Louisiana Research Grant recipient. Graham is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Drawing and Painting at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 



My current research aims to translate the historical practice of painting to a broader contemporary discourse that has seen an abandonment of the “either, or” mentality in substitution for a “plus, and” society.  Specifically, I am interested in the ways in which human intervention has blurred the line between origin and modification.  By combining imagery of engineered materials such as parquet flooring, processed noodles, and the hombre hairstyle with that of the “natural” landscape, I aim to call attention to our passive acceptance of the present state as its most authentic.  The combination of these two seemingly disparate subjects points to a postmodern desire to reliably predict outcomes of sizes, shapes, and colors and the subsequent revitalized interest of a “post-internet” generation that questions the benefits of such methods of organization.

In my most recent body of work, I use snarky humor – transforming the browning needles of a dying evergreen sapling into a fashionable ombre dye job - to highlight the product of human intervention.  Much of my research originates from 17th century Dutch floral paintings. These artists collaged imported, multi-seasonal flowers into the ideal arrangement and painted them as the “best versions” of themselves – impossibly fresh and impeccably organized.  I take similar liberties with my own subject matter.  By layering imagery that straddles the exotic and the familiar, I capitalize on the human desire to simultaneously compartmentalize and hybridize.


[Download Full CV Below]




2010-2013                   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: MFA Painting

2005-2010                   Florida State University: Bachelor of Fine Art with a Minor in Art History.




2016                Visiting lecturer, Structure + Subject, University of Alabama

                        State of Louisiana Travel and Research Grant


2015                 The Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant Nominee


2014                 Visiting Lecturer, Singles, Couples, Collections, University of Utah


2013                  Visiting Lecturer, Purposeful Pairings, Southeastern Louisiana University


2013                  Helen E. Platt Blake Foundation, Visual arts Grant recipient


2012                  Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship Grant, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign




2016          Solo Exhibition, Lowcountry Longleaf, Cole Pratt Gallery, New Orleans, LA

                  Two-person exhibition, The Carrot and the Stick, Sell-Granata art Gallery at the University of Alabama

                  Southeastern Louisiana University Fine Art Gallery, Faculty Exhibition, Hammond LA

                  10th Annual Louisiana Fine Arts Showcase Hammond, LA


2015          Northwest Nazarene University Permanent Collection, Purchase Award, Nampa ID

                  Inside Northside Publication, Cover Image, Covington, LA

                  Southeastern Louisiana University Fine Art Gallery, Faculty Exhibition, Hammond LA

                  Ace Collaborative Artist Project, New Orleans, LA

                  Group Show, The Henry Hood Gallery, Covington LA


2014          Solo Exhibition, Joan Derryberry Art Gallery at Tennessee Technological University, TN

                  Solo Exhibition, New Paintings for Exotic Tastes, Henry Hood Gallery, Covington LA                 

                  Select Paintings, Cole Pratt Gallery, New Orleans, LA

                  Select Paintings, Ten Gallery, New Orleans, LA

                  St. Tammany Art Association (Jurors Award), Covington, LA

                  8th Annual Louisiana Fine Arts Showcase Hammond, LA

                  Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery, Faculty Exhibition, Hammond LA


2013          Generations, Museum of Fine Art, Tallahassee, FL

                  Krannert Museum of Art, Champaign IL

                  Tales They Told Us, Loudon House, The Lexington Art League, Lexington, KY 

                  Lawton Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI                                   

                  Peanut Gallery, Chicago, IL


2012          Solo Exhibition, Fishing for Queens and Things, Indi-go Gallery, Champaign, IL

                  Art Basil, The Link Gallery, Champaign, IL

                  Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, IL