Caroline James’ Art on Display at Olney Community Library
Olney Community Library and Arts Center has opened its doors and cleared its gallery walls to display the work of a Wichita Falls artist. Caroline James’s paintings are on display in the library’s gallery through May 2019.
James was born and raised in Wichita Falls. She comes from an artistic family. Her grandfather John Speice was an interior decorator for Huff Galleries in addition to the creative talents of her immediate family.
Art teachers played a pivotal role in James’ life. “My art teachers in school were a huge influence in my life. Art was easy for me; academic classes were not,” James said.
James attended Midwestern State University where she continually fused art with her life. James said, “I loved the studio classes. I painted large abstract watercolor targets in painting class and took several ceramic classes, too.”
After graduation from MSU in 1990, James did not travel far. She accepted the offer for employment from Iowa Park High School where she has taught art for 28 years. “[Iowa Park High School] has been a good fit, as I am still happily employed at IPCISD—This is my 28th year,” James said.
Busy with her new roles as wife and mother, James disconnected from art for several years except for classroom demonstrations. In the fall of 2006, she rediscovered art after signing up for a painting class at the Kemp Center for the Arts in Wichita. “Kaye Franklin was teaching a class, and after her painting demo, I was amazed and hooked. I have been taking classes from Kaye Franklin and enjoying pastels ever since,” James said.
It was in Kaye Franklin’s class where James became more traditional and began using a variety of colors as she escaped the collages she used to work with. James said she has dreams about colors such as the brightness of oil pastels. She prefers to work with soft pastels and oil pastels, using a different background in oil pastel paintings. Her colorful dreams are evident in the paintings on display in the library.
James said she has never sold her artwork. Instead, she gives her pieces to family and friends. For the past two years, she has donated some of her artwork to charitable organizations and churches to assist them with their fundraising efforts. Recently, she donated two 8 x 10 works of art to the Mystery Art Festival—a fundraiser for the Kemp Center for the Arts that benefits educational art programs.
James said she was enthusiastic about displaying her artwork at Olney Community Library and Arts Center when Jan Tyler invited her to show her work.
“I want to thank Jan Tyler, Judy Mobley, Evelyn Altmiller, Kaye Franklin and the students in Kaye Franklin’s class for their support. Also, I appreciate the Olney Community and the Olney Community Library and Arts Center,” said James.