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Stephanie James

Published January 28, 2019

Department of Art



Professor Stephanie James is a fine artist previously serving as Chair of the FSU Department of Art , Director of the School of Art at Syracuse University, NY, and Associate Dean and Head of the School of Visual Arts at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB), United Kingdom.

James is a member of several professional organizations: European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), National Council of Art Administrators NCAA and the College Art Association CAA. She was a member of the steering group of Paradox Fine Art European Forum, affiliated to ELIA for 6 years.

Her research focuses on curation and the dynamic between space and the creative process. She creates artworks and engages in exhibition making–organizing, curating, and developing strong working external partnerships to realize major projects; including Boite-en-Valise at the Venice Biennale.


  • 2009-2010 SEDA/CLTAD Supervising research degrees for professionals in art, design & communication at UAL.
  • 2000 Research supervision CLTAD
  • 1980-1982 Master of Fine Art, Newcastle University
  • 1977-1980 Bachelor of Art in Sculpture – 1st Class Hons, Hull College of Art and Design
  • 1974-1977 Bachelor of Fine Art with distinction, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Research & Teaching Areas of Interests & Expertise

  • Studio Arts
  • Professional Practice
  • Internships
  • Graduate Critique
  • Recent funded research has focused on developing a framework for determining the way in which leaders assess effectiveness and evaluate the impact of the “art school” gallery; she believes that the gallery is an important space for pedagogy and a rich site for developments in research in arts, design, media, and performance. In the studio the research focus is on the body and the language we use to describe the body. Material and technical research focuses on non-ferrous metals, wood-carving, stone-setting, precious metal casting.

Notable Accomplishments


  • Paradox Conference 2017 – London, England
    • In September 2017, I along with the other Steering Group members held a 2-day conference and 10-day student project in London on the value of diversity; examining difference in fine art practice, research and education.
    • It was hosted by Middlesex University and Central St Martins at Conway Hall & the Artworkers’ Guild, London.
    • I co-facilitated the Strand: Diverse Ethics.
  • Boîte-en-Valise: the generator
    • This project was a collaboration with two curators from the UK for the Venice Biennale, May 3rd – 13th.
    • Boîte-en-Valise aimed to encourage transportability of practice, the nurturing of collaboration and the cross-fertilization of artistic practice. We were awarded a Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council England, ACE, and research grant from Syracuse University, US,
    • The project focused on production, intended to be generative exploring the process of creating contemporary art, and sharing this with targeted audience groups in Portsmouth UK and Syracuse US. Six artists from the UK and USA were invited to use a suitcase as their generator – to explore, explode, expand and then exhibit their practice.
    • The suitcase contained all that the artist needed to produce new work, working with materials transported within the suitcase or sourced from the environments in which they were resident. The normal sized suitcase was transported as luggage on a flight/train/bus journey and taken from the suitcase for production and/or presentation. Artists were invited to interpret this brief according to their practice.
    • For three days, the artists worked intensively with communities from, in and around Portsmouth, UK, and then continue to develop/make their work with visitors to the exhibition/presentation in the international art hub of the Venice Biennale. Finally, the artists were invited to take the project to Syracuse University, providing an opportunity to reflect on the experience, while also enabling the further development of the work with targeted SU audiences. The artists worked closely with and were supported by curators: Mark Segal, Joanne Bushnell (Aspex, Portsmouth) and Stephanie James (Syracuse University, New York).


  • Paradox Conference 2015 – Poznan, Poland
    • As a member of the Steering Group of Paradox I work with 9 other members to hold a conference every two years. In Sept 2015 the conference was titled: Alternative Zones: Uncovering the Official and the Unofficial in Fine Art Practice, Research and Education.
    • I co-convened Strand B: The Politics of Performance.
  • Grant for Arts May 2015
    • The Boîte-en-valise project awarded a grant for the arts from the Arts Council England ACE, to support 9 artists on exhibition during the preview week of the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. Working with two other curators, Mark Segal and Joanne Bushnell Director of Aspex Gallery UK, the project included 3 artists based in NY USA, 3 artists based in the UK and 3 artists from Switzerland in dialogue across three venues; 2 in Venice and Aspex Gallery UK. Project was also funded by College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University, and the Arts Council Switzerland.


  • Paradox Conference 2013 – Granada, Spain
    • As a member of the Steering Group of Paradox I work with 9 other members to hold a conference every two years. In Sept 2013 the conference was titled: The Inheritance: Contesting Legacies in Fine Art Practice, Research and Education.
    • I co-convened Strand A: Material Meanings
  • Arts Pavilion Bournemouth – Grant for Arts, Arts Council, UK, March 2013
    • Presents, during the preview week of the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, Boîte-en-valise, a series of live art performances by established and emerging practitioners. Appropriating and transmuting Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise and responding to Venice Biennale Art Director Massimiliano Gioni’s theme of The Encyclopedic Palace, each of the selected artists has been asked to pack work in a suitcase and travel to Venice for presentation at [Palazzo Zenobio].
    • Lead organizer and curator working with Carol Maund, Arts Bournemouth and Mark Segal, Artists Agency.
  • Small Grant Award from Leadership Foundation 2011-12
  • The Art School Gallery; understanding the effectiveness of galleries in the HE sector
    • This project investigates the effectiveness of the programming and management of Galleries based in and largely funded by Universities and Colleges and to evaluate the impact on the learning environment. It enables in-depth research to take place that for the first time brings together stakeholders to develop a framework for determining the way in which leaders assess effectiveness and evaluate the impact of the Art School Gallery.
    • The project is concerned with ‘the gallery’ within a higher education institution and its relationship to the learning, teaching and research associated with creative art, design and media curricula. The project seeks to explore what ‘the gallery’ means within the context of new media and its potential to support innovative approaches to art, design and media pedagogy with opportunities for haptic and creative learning interactions. The gallery space offers a focus for virtual as well as material interactions and may provide an extended network of collaborators. The gallery is both a physical space, a place of exhibition and congregation, and a conceptual space that can sustain a wider sharing of ideas through discourse and critical exchanges: a space of bringing in and sending out.
    • As part of this project I organized on the 28 January 2012 – ‘Art School Galleries of the Future’ Symposium that programmed six case studies and a keynote speaker – Sarah Shalgosky.