Born in St. Paul, MN and currently living in Minneapolis, Penfield paints abstract landscapes. Drawn to graphic elements found in any environment, whether natural or synthetic, Penfield’s eye digs through layers of extraneous visual information to reveal harmonies and compositions using these elements, usually photoing an area of interest first, then painting afterward. He uses color mostly as a constructive element to push and pull space based on depth necessary, to create a sense of instability or rhythm with light, as it reveals form.
Penfield was involved in a serious head on collision when he was 16, resulting in a 3 day coma. After a full recovery, he felt a new lease on life had been given to him and so he went off to Colorado when he was 18 for college. Returning to Minnesota, Penfield attended Hamline University where he studied fine arts and received a BA in Art History. Due to his success in his undergraduate career, James was awarded two travel scholarships to study art in Europe for a month from the art department.
Upon returning to the states, Penfield designed art for the local music scene in Minneapolis, creating images inspired by and complementing the music. Later he moved to New York to attend Parsons the New School to receive a degree in Graphic Design. After interning for Vice Media and working in the city for various design agencies, Penfield returned to his love of the outdoors, moving back to MN, closer to nature and closer to the Rockies. The plan is to return to this through painting, and he has now established himself as a successful artist in the subject. He’s painted large scale permanent murals and taught painting. Besides painting, Penfield loves illustration and design and recently finished up illustrating 6 “How to Draw” books including 240 drawings total, released into elementary schools in early 2015 through Abdo Publishing.
RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 – ”The Affordable Art Stroll,” Gallery Mar, Park
2014 – ”Make the Machine Feel Human,” show with Brian David Downs, Soo Local Gallery, MN 2014 – ”3 Person Show, with Michael Belloti and Mark Rivard” Rivard Art Gallery, MN 2014 – ”3 Person Show, with Louis LaPierre and Jason Wasyk” Will Call Gallery, St. Paul, MN
2013 – “Parsons Alumni Exhibition 2013,” Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, NYC
2013 – “The Show That Never Was,” Abend Gallery, Denver, CO 2013 – “Art For Life,” Abend Gallery, Denver, CO 2013 – “Bold New West,” Abend Gallery, Denver, CO 2011 – “Skate Related 2,” XYZ Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2011 – “Teenage Elixir,” Tarnish and Gold Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2010 – “EYE Will,” Nicademus Art and Framing, St. Paul, MN 2010 – “MN State Fair Annual Art Exhibition,” St. Paul, MN