James Mannix

Short Biography in a Nutshell: A fun journey My first foray into the art world was receiving a summer scholarship for high school students at Potsdam University’s program in the Adirondacks. Upon graduation, Potsdam being way to far north, I went to SUATC Farmingdale. This small college didn’t offer the excitement I expected in then my ambition for advertising art. Bored with the future of drawing ads for matchbook covers, I tried out for a scholarship to School of Visual Art in NYC. Losing that prize but was accepted for their Film Studies, majoring in production and title design. The work force beckoned with low run positions in television commercials from ‘gopher’ to set construction and eventually some design. As paths interwove I eventually wound up in visual merchandising for a major retailer, MACY*S, the store meant something then. Those were fun creative years. Within a few years, promoted from store to store I eventually managed a “Jewel Box” store. There we had great resources and matching budget to experiment on concepts for the rest of the chain. Leaving the grind to move on for some freedom, I freelanced with Creative Force, an independent visual merchandiser. It was exciting, traveling along the east coast, city to city, doing installations and remerchandising. Eventually I moved into private industry working alongside Bob Samuels, decorator from the Midwest, who oversaw an estate in Amagansett, NY. The owners were always remodeling and for them I created art works, murals and faux finishes. It was an entertaining time. It brought me to work with Robert Isabel, a noted party designer, on four extravaganzas. Free time was spent doing sound production for theater readings, designing programs and filming /editing short films alongside Gaby Rogers. I studied watercolor at SUNY Southampton. Doing many workshops at the Art Barge, Napeague brought me to come under the tutelage of Norman Seaver, famed east end watercolorist. Upon retirement I’ve been experimenting in many formats, going back and forth from early works to something new. Still searching for that ‘special something’, always enjoying the journey.