Brittany James graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009 and has been a full-time artist ever since. As a Jersey Shore native, James began painting in Island Heights with mentor Elaine Sgambati. She currently lives and works in Asbury Park. Her paintings are of surreal images, depicting the relationships between women in nature and society.
James’ philosophy is that artists are seekers, always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. Nothing is exactly as it seems and reality is often hidden behind illusions. She has represented this in many of her paintings which are often inspired by dreams, memories, and real life experiences. As a further emphasis on the relationship between reality and illusion, she often uses a technique of dripping many layers of turpentine mixed with oil paint down the canvas before adding the images on top. This creates a break in the realism of the painting. James is currently focused on the struggle some women face trying to find the delicate balance between wanting to be feminine and domestic, versus wild and free, and trying to be both at the same time. One of her more recent series of paintings, “Women’s Work” focuses on gender stereotypes and inequality, objectification and oppression of women. Another series depicts a woman representing the phases of the moon, while another shows women representing the elements: fire, water, earth, and air.
In addition to painting, James teaches art classes for children and teens at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft. She also teaches painting and life drawing classes for adults at art629 Gallery in Asbury Park and runs an open studio for local artists. She is experienced in oil painting, acrylic murals and abstracts, performance art, and mixed media. James has painted live on stage at the State Theater in New Brunswick and the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, and was part of a performance art piece during the Summer of Love concert at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. She has been a muralist and featured artist for the Asbury Underground Art & Music Crawl for 6 years, and has shown her work in several New Jersey galleries.
James says, “The healing therapy of art- making and self-expression has been very important to me throughout my life, and is something I continue to share with others through painting. I could not be who I am today without the ability and freedom to channel my thoughts onto a canvas. Whether it be through creating or teaching, I want to continue to make an impact on others lives through art. That makes me feel like I am doing my job as an artist.”
2021 Holiday Group Exhibition at Over The Moon Studio, Asbury Park, NJ
2021 "Studio Survey", Group Exhibition at Warburton Galerie, Yonkers, NY
2021 "Little Things", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2021 "Home", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2021 "Peace in the Chaos", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2020 "Women's Work", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2019 "Arts Fest 2019", Group Exhibition at Broadway Gallery, South Amboy, NJ
2019 "Transcendent Impressions", Group Exhibition at Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
2019 "Moon Phases", Solo Exhibition at Wild Eye, Red Bank, NJ
2018 "Portraits", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2018 "Shore Enough", Group Exhibition at Local Vision Fine Art Gallery, Red Bank, NJ
2018 “Spring Fever”, Group Exhibition at Local Vision Fine Art Gallery, Red Bank, NJ
2018 "Escapism", Solo Exhibition at Belmar Arts Center, Belmar, NJ
2017 "Metamorphosis", Art629 Exhibit with Patrick Schiavino, Asbury Park, NJ
2016 "Return of Saturn", Solo Exhibition at Concrete Gallery, Red Bank NJ
2016 "The Locals", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2015 Spring Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2014 "The Locals", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2014 Fall Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2013 Summer Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2011 "27: A Musical Art Show", Solo Exhibition at CoWerks Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2009 BFA Group Exhibition, George Segal Gallery, Montclair, NJ
2008 Solo Exhibition, "Something Pretty" Gallery 3.0, Montclair, NJ
- Manager/Curator at art629 Gallery, Asbury PArk NJ 2018-Present
- Painting & Life Drawing Instructor at Art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ 2014- Present
- Art Teacher at Inspired Minds Fine Art School, Lincroft & Brielle NJ, 2012- Present
- Private School Art Teacher at WeExcel LLC, Toms River NJ, 2010-2012
- Art Teacher at West Hudson Council for the Arts, Kearney NJ, 2008-2009
- Manager of Galeria Classica, Spring Lake NJ, 2008-2010
ASBURY PARK PRESS, Oct 2016, "Artist displays introspective dream visions in Red Bank" by Billy Anania
RED BANK GREEN, Oct 2016, "Saturn Rising at Salon Show"
INDUSTRY MAGAZINE, Feb 2019, "The Seeker" by Laura D.C. Kolnoski
MONMOUTH ARTS, Feb 2021, "Creative Connections Persist at Asbury Park's art629"