Sydney G. James (b. 1979, Detroit, MI) is a fine arts painter and muralist living and working in Detroit. James began her career as art director of an advertising agency after earning her BFA from Detroit’s College of Creative Studies in 2001. In 2004, James moved to Los Angeles to work as a visual artist in the film and television industry and earned a master’s degree in secondary education. Since returning to her native city in 2011, James has become known as the eminent muralist of the Detroit art scene, transforming the city’s skyline and artistic legacy as well as completing murals across the country, including New Orleans, LA; Brooklyn, NY; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Worcester, MA; and Hawaii.
James was awarded a 2017 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellowship and served as a 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowship panelist in Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MOCAD), the Charles H. Wright Museum, Inner State Gallery, PlayGround Detroit Gallery, Collective Detroit Gallery, Detroit Artist Market, Red Bull House of Art, Janice Charach Gallery, and was included in the Arts, Beats and Lyrics traveling exhibition. James’ work has also been featured by major marketing brands including Vans shoes, PepsiCo, Ford Motor Company, Detroit Pistons, and Detroit Lions. James is a co-founder of the bi-annual
BLKOUT Walls street mural festival which debuted in Detroit in 2021, created as a direct response to the lack of diversity and artist remuneration across the country’s creative economies. In 2022, James participated in the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) Residency in Brooklyn, NY.