Emmy Award winning artist James Gayles
attended Pratt Institute in New York, where
he studied under renowned painters Jacob
Lawrence and Audrey Flack He
simultaneously pursued careers in both
fine and commercial art. As a commercial
artist he established himself in New York
as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator,
becoming Assistant Director of Graphics
at NewsCenter 4, NBC-TV. At NBC he won
a elevision Emmy Award for design and
Also in New York he was also a two-time
winner of Art Direction Magazine’s
Creativity Award, one for the NewsCenter 4
logo redesign, and the other for an editorial
illustration for the New York Times. Here in
the Bay Area he won the first place award
for illustration at the California Newspaper
In addition to NBC and the New York Times, James has illustrated for McGraw-Hill, Random House, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, as well as several advertis-
ing agencies on both the East and West coasts.
James’ artwork has been represented by galleries throughout the US. He has won a
public art commission from the City of Oakland Craft and Cultural Arts Department, in
which he transferred his figurative painting technique to ceramic tile murals. In 2003 he
was honored at the Art of Living Black by receiving the Jan Hart-Shuyers Award.
He has been selected twice to show at the California Biennial Watercolor exhibit at the
Triton Museum in Santa Clara. The City of Richmond purchased one of his paintings for
their Civic Center Public Art Project. He has received the City of Oakland’s Individual
Artist Grant in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and received two commissions from the Alameda
County Art Commission to do a series of paintings for the Juvenile Justice Center in
San Leandro and for the Ashland Youth Center.
James most recent accomplishment is his collaboration with the Oakland-Fukuoka
Sistrer City Association to produce public art for the City of Fukuoka, Japan and a
exhibit of his work in Fukuoka Museum.