FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Blackwell
Blackwell & Associates
Brian Marki Fine Art & Framing announces its next exhibition and opening, Magical Things, on Friday, November 14, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Palm Springs, CA (November 4, 2014) Brian Marki Fine Art & Framing announces its next exhibition and opening, Magical Things, on Friday, November 14, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
James Randall Chumbley’s work of mixed media on canvas and wood can be found in the collections of Fortune 500 corporations in Atlanta and the Southeast as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico and Washington D.C. His works are prized in private collections in Chicago, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Miami and London.
Born in Fayette, Alabama, Chumbley graduated from Mercer University in Macon, GA with a Bachelor of Arts studying art and psychology where he experienced “…discovering and exploring a love of beauty and the difficulties and struggles often associated with achieving it.”
Chumbley continued, “With every finished piece, I've found a sense of belonging, and the realization that I’ve been blessed with the freedom to create something, anything - whether it be the face of a stranger, the sporadic line of a pencil, a cloud engorged horizon, a solitary, distant tree, or two colors running together down a canvas - to express parts of me to share.”
In addition to his paintings, James Randall Chumbley is working on his fourth book, along with past novels, “Alabama Snow”, “Before the Last Dance” and “In the Arms of Adam, a Diary of Men”, all exploring growing up in the deeply-segregated South in the early 1960s. These books have been met with critical and professional success for a very humbled artist.
Gallerist Brian Marki said, “James Randall Chumbley’s paintings are filled with layers of expression and personal symbols of which the meaning is not known. Being human, we try to derive meaning from the world we see and therefore we immediately have some association with the symbols contained in his paintings in our own view. It is with this interpretation we engage these wonderful paintings that are at once rather simple yet the more we look, the more we see.”
The exhibition opens Friday, November 14, 5:00 to 8:00 pm at 170 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs (between South Palm Canyon and South Indian Canyon). Exhibition continues through December 10.
James Randall Chumbley says ‘goodbye’
July 19, 2013
Students from the Atlanta Art Institute, SCAD and Atlanta Technical College donated time and talents to custom decorate three-drawer chests from Ikea. The pieces will then be raffled off. Professional artists, including Chumbley, Leroy Campbell and Son of the Moon, have also been asked to contribute to the benefit.
When asked if he would participate, Chumbley says he jumped at the opportunity.
“I know Maggie,” he says. “She has supported my art for a long time. She asked if I would be interested in participating in doing one of the chests. Of course I said yes, particularly when I found out what the event was about. It’s for kids who have dealt with a lot and come from an abusive background, something close to my heart.”
Chumbley himself was the victim of abuse as a child, he says candidly. Those struggles, an abusive father and alcoholic mother, shaped his early life.
“My father, who was abusive, killed himself and destroyed my family, destroyed my mother,” he says. “My brother and sister went their own ways, who could blame them. But I could never leave my mom. She had mental illness and alcoholism most of my life, most of her life.”
Chumbley says that his mother inspired him to go to college, something he, as an artist, thought wasn’t necessary. He stayed by her side while continuing his education, saying he felt like a caregiver.
“I ended up going to college because [my mother] told that they could take away everything but they could never take away that education,” he says.
After caring for his mother throughout his college years, Chumbley moved to Atlanta in 1981. He worked in merchandising. He was also briefly a male model. It was then that he began to question his sexual orientation.
“There was a sense of comfort, being with a man, that I never felt with a woman,” he says. “I was getting strength from them. I accepted the fact I was gay.”
Over the next few years, Chumbley became more involved in his art and also began writing.
Chumbley says that he works mostly in mixed media. His current project involves using pages from a series of art books written in the 1960s that his mother gave him. Chumbley also paints.
“I use some photography, abstract to landscapes paintings,” he says of his style.
Off to the West Coast
Spurred by a particularly painful breakup and following an attempt at his own life, Chumbley says that the time is right to start fresh. At the end of July, Chumbley will head west to Palm Springs, Calif., a place he’s wanted to live since he was a teenager.
“In a way, that’s why this event was important to me,” he says. “The children who have had horrible struggles, I can totally relate to that. I have so many great friends here and they all I know I should go. I need to find myself again.”
Chumbley is not only a mixed-media artist, he’s also the author of three books, including 2009’s “Alabama Snow,” a memoir that details his family struggles and his coming to terms with his sexuality. Chumbley says he’s currently working on his fourth book.
“My art, my writing gives me purpose,” he says. “If I can keep giving to my community, it makes me want to go on.”
Top photo: Local artist James Randall Chumbley is moving to Palm Springs, Calif., at the end of July but not before one final art benefit for local youth in need. (Courtesy photo)