Diasporal Rhythms
James Demark
September 27, 2023
Artist Profile

James Denmark

James Denmark was born in Winter Haven, Florida, on March 23, 1936 into a family of artists. He was exposed to color and form at an early age by his grandmother, a wire sculptor and quilt artist, by his grandfather, a bricklayer noted for his unique custom design molds; and his mother: gifted with an intuitive feeling for design and a fastidiousness for detail, which she expressed in all aspects of her life. This rich beginning is the root of Denmark’s creative expression.

While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, Denmark came under the tutelage of the artist and acclaimed African-American art historian, Dr. Samella Lewis; who exposed him to the great traditions and accomplishments of the African-American art movement. In 1976, Denmark earned his Master of Fine Art degree at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Fine Art in New York. While at Pratt, he was nurtured by an immensely talented community of artists, and was heavily influenced by abstract expressionists Jackson Pollack, Clifford Still and William DeKooning. The African-American masters Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Ernest Crichlow, instilled in him an appreciation of his African-American artistic heritage; and he began experimenting with collage, along with his primary media of watercolors and charcoal. Denmark’s work has been exhibited worldwide and is in such prestigious collection as that of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in rural Yemassee, South Carolina. http://lowcountryartshop.com