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Jim Nawara Prints

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Jim Nawara was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking at the University of Illinois, Champaign. In 1969 he accepted a teaching position at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where he was a senior Professor of Painting and Drawing until his retirement in 2015.

His paintings, drawings and prints have been shown in a long list of international, national, and regional group exhibitions for more than forty years. He has presented solo exhibitions at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario; South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota; The Dennos Museum, Traverse City, Michigan; Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; and most recently a solo retrospective at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon, Michigan.

Nawara’s work has been purchased for numerous public and private collections. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, The Toledo Museum of Art, The National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., Bradford City Art Gallery (England), the Aukland City Art Gallery (New Zealand), and the Warsaw Museum of Art (Poland). His work is also represented in a number of university collections including the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, Northern Illinois University, Georgia State University, the University of California, Auburn University, Miami University (Ohio), and the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Corporate collections include the Ford Motor Company, IBM, First Federal of Michigan, Ameritech, Dow Automotive, and the Polk Corporation among others.

The source of Nawara’s work has always been landscape. During the first years of his career, his images focused on imaginary terrain seen from an aerial viewpoint. While the subjects are invented, they are informed by considerable observation from airplanes, a helicopter, and on one occasion, from a hot air balloon. His interests in geology, cartography and archaeology also influenced this work.

Nawara’s recent paintings are based on landscapes that he found in Michigan, Ohio, Vermont, Arizona and Utah. While these images refer to actual sites, the artist considers his paintings as essentially abstract organizations of shape, light, space, and color. He does not necessarily choose subjects because they are beautiful; in fact some subjects are mundane or peculiar. His images are interpretations based on observation, imagination, and memory as well as the multi-layered physical process of painting. He is also intrigued by atmospheric optics and weather phenomena in the landscape.

Nawara has said that he considers subject matter a vehicle to express something that is ineffable, yet guided by acute observation, history and by the inspirational works of a wide variety of fine artists, past and present.

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