news drawing / painting performance book art teaching  
info installation / sculpture digital web contact  
Artist Statement

My artwork deals with memory and mortality.
It explores love and loss.

I’m inspired by connections and disconnections..
Family and relationships.
History and mythology.
How do we connect with each other?
How do I connect with myself?
How do we create meaning?
Or decide what is meaningful?
What do we remember and what do we forget?

What is temporary and what is transcendent?
How does the past affect the present?
How can we affect the past from the present?

My childhood was troubled.
Art provides healing and understanding.
I think beauty comes from tragedy.
My art is intimate.
Sometimes it’s confessional.
I like to share.

I’m a multidisciplinary artist.
I like the term visual poet.
My art includes performances, installations, videos, drawings, and writings.
I survive.
I create my own reality.
I tell my story, so that someone else will tell their own.




James O’Donnell has lived and worked in Atlanta for several years where he both teaches and makes art. His work is based on personal experiences mixed with larger philosophical themes, often exploring love, loss, disconnection, and mortality. He was born in Philadelphia but grew up in Florida where he was too far south to be Southern and not south enough to be South Floridian. He received a BA in art education from the University of Florida in 2004, and since then he has taught elementary, middle, and college art and presents regularly both locally and nationally on a number of art education topics. He recently completed an MFA at Georgia State University and his work is included in collections nationally and internationally, exhibited most recently at Art Basel Miami Beach. He may be best known for his poignant and compelling performance Love Letters to the Sea, inspired by growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic parent. He lives with his cat, Baba, who is a good listener.

created & maintained by james o'donnell