James Hajicek is a native of Indiana who has lived and worked in Chicago for over 30 years. He studied painting, drawing, and sculpture at School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Columbia College Chicago; the American Academy of Art; and the School of Representation Art in Chicago, where he completed the four-year French Academic atelier program. A devoted plein air painter, James has participated in regional competitions across the country, most notably Easton! Plein Air in Easton, Maryland, and Los Gatos Plein Air in California. He teaches at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. His classes include Portrait and Figure Drawing; “Anatomy for Artists” ; and Figure Sculpture Open Studio.

Artist’s Statement

I love to create things with my hands. The act of creating is entrancing. I use many different materials to create, striving to express the different characters I encounter, or emotions that we all experience in everyday life. I love to see when one of my favorite sculptures provokes a reaction form people. 

For me, the art-making process seems to happen in a timeless space. When I’m working, the hours spent drawing, painting, and sculpting pass in the blink of an eye. It’s as if I step into a “free zone,” an unaccounted-for part of my life, save for the art that is the end result. Many people experience this phenomenon while doing things they love—running, swimming, singing, hiking, dancing, or sailing. 

When I show my work, the most fulfilling thing is to watch as it brings forth reactions and feelings: a brief moment of nostalgia, an emotional memory, a sense of resignation and acceptance. Even an expression of distaste or rejection can be satisfying, because I know I touched something inside.

Spectra Art Studio

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