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Richard W James, 2017–2018 Speyer Fellow

Richard W. JamesUsing a construction method that borrows heavily from traditional doll making, Richard W. James makes contemporary figurative sculptures that incorporate found objects as well as materials/processes that he associates with his rural upbringing. His work explores how the aggregate nature of personality and memory construction affects the sense of self, and by extension, interaction with the world around us.
Richard grew up in rural Tennessee. He earned his MFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2016 and was a 2016-17 long-term artist-in-residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He has been a summer artist-in-residence at Zhenrutang in Jingdezhen, China, a special student in ceramics at Indiana University, and received his BFA from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2001. Richard is the recipient of Sculpture Magazine’s 2016 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award and joins the Bray as the 2017 Speyer Fellow.

To see more work by Richard visit his website at

Richard W. James
Albert VI, 2017
earthenware, wool, concrete, found objects, 54" x 25" x 17"

Richard W. James
Invented Roman Numeral, 2016
earthenware, wood, fabric, oil can
22 " x 6" x 6"

Richard W. James
The Horn Blower, 2016
earthenware, wood, found objects, fabric, 79" x 12" x 12"

Richard W. James
Folleree and Folleroo, 2017
earthenware, fabric, found object
70 " x 38" x 10"