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ABOUT THE ARTIST

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."     -- Albert Schweitzer

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Equine painting in progress.

I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. There was never any doubt in my mind that, one way or another, I would become a professional fine art painter. This had always been my dream.
After obtaining a BFA in painting, I yearned for more and began additional study as a private student at the Dan Welden Lithographic Studio in Long Island, N.Y., and shortly after, as a painting apprentice in the art studio of the late contemporary painter, Gregory Gillespie, (Fulbright Scholarship, Whitney Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, Forum Gallery, N.Y.C.).

The French post-impressionist, Paul Gauguin, moved to Tahiti to live and paint its people and tropical landscape. Admiring this artist's choice, I left for the island of Jamaica to do the same.

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The view from my backyard rental in Port Antonio, Jamacia

Purchasing just a one-way ticket, his easel, paints. a 10-speed bike, and $300., I set off to the Caribbean. I  was looking for an inexpensive shack to rent, away from tourist areas.  My legs pedaled me around the island until I found the town of Port Antonio where my days were painted away while drinking coconut water, Red Stripe beers, and swimming. After a few months, however, I realized my cash was running low when a Jamaican entrepreneur approached him. The man wanted me to paint him a sign for a new lobster house he was planning to open.  I never painted a sign before, but needing the money, so accepted his offer. When I returned to the states, it was this sign that prompted me to begin painting vintage signs on canvas as fine art. 
I'm currently represented by the Leslie Levy Fine Art Online Gallery and the Xanadu Gallery, both in Scottsdale, AZ
.  I would welcome additional representation at a quality gallery outside Scottsdale.

Gucwa's painting of 'The Blue Swallow Motel.' Acrylic on canvas, 15" x 24.

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'Blue Swallow Motel' acrylic on panel, 15" x 24"

My photorealistic paintings of vintage neon signs caught the eye of one fine art gallery after another and before long I was having one-man exhibitions in some of the finest art galleries across the country, from Scottsdale to L.A., San Francisco to New York City, and points in between. In 1998 I was made an Officially Licensed fine artist for Harley-Davidson, Chevrolet-Corvette, and Mattel Toys/Hot Wheels Division. The two images below are available as limited-edition, museum quality, signed and numbered, paper prints (not posters)

'Bill and Wanda's' among the first Harley-Davidson painting that was printed and circulated to H-D dealerships throughout the country.

'Bill and Wanda' acrylic on canvas, 64" x 48". Limited Edition prints are available.

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'King & I' acrylic on canvas, 64" x 48".  Limited Edition prints are available.

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'Portrait of the Artist' acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24"

I'll paint any subject of your choice, in your favorite style. Use your imagination and let me bring your idea into reality. Heck, I'll not only paint a masterpiece for you, I'll serenade you with some smooth jazz, and read something from one of the books I've authored. How about a mural on the wall of your business or home? The sky's the limit, (I know, that cliche is worn out already). Hope to hear from you soon.

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   JAMES  GUCWA  BIO/CV

ACADEMIC

Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Newark, N.J.

The School of Visual Arts, N.Y.C., N.Y.

Memphis Academy of Art, Memphis, TN

Bachelor of Fine Art Degree

Arizona State University, Special Masters Program with contemporary masters Ralph Goings and Robert Bechtle.

ADDITIONAL STUDY

Private study with Dan Welden, Dan Welden Lithographic Studio, Deer Park, Long Island, N.Y.

Apprenticeship with the late Gregory Gillespie, Belchertown, MA.

AWARDS

The Peabody Hotel (a National Historic Landmark), Memphis, TN,

painted 'The History of Memphis' large scale historic mural.

The City of Mesa, Mesa, AZ. The Mesa Southwest Museum.

painted six historic murals.

Made an "Officially Licensed" fine artist for Harley-Davidson, Chevrolet/Corvette, and Mattel Toys/Hot Wheels Division.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2009, 2021, 2024 - Talon Gallery - Northland Pioneer College, Show-Low, AZ

1997 2000 - Bruce R. Lewin Gallery, SOHO, N.Y.C.

1988, 1990, 1997 - Leslie Levy Fine Art Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1993, 1996 - Modernism, San Francisco, CA.

1999 - Shwartz-Cierlak Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1985, Miami State University, Miami, FL.

CURRENT REPRESENATION

Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Leslie Levy Fine Art, Online gallery,  Scottsdale, AZ  

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

Uptown Gallery, Manhattan, N.Y.

Horwitz-Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Vannier Fine Art Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Suzanne Brown Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

The Cultural Exchange, Scottsdale, AZ

Eiteljorg Museum of American Western Art, Indianapolis, IN

Begovitch Gallery, Cal State Fullerton, CA

'Common Tread, Traversing the American Landscape'

Los Angeles County Museum, L.A., CA

PUBLICATIONS

Voyageur Press, 'This Old Harley.'

Kingneon Books, 'Signs of Art'

California State University Fullerton, Mike McGee, 'Common Tread'

Modern Media Publishing Ltd., Airbrush Art + Action International

Voyageur Press, 'This Old Corvette.'

The Open Studios Press, 'New American Paintings' Number 12.

Chronicle Books, Barnaby Conrad III, 'The Martini.'

Eiteljorg Museum of American Western Art, Mike McGee, 

'New Art of the West.'

MEMBERSHIPS
 

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