Throughout his younger years, James was continually exposed to the arts by his mother who is a musician herself. Through the inspiration of his art teachers, Delora Cummings and Gloria (Tara) Lowery, James attended various art programs during his high school years which deepened his love and appreciation of the arts. These programs were located at and/or sponsored by LRDA, Brevard College, and the NC School of the Arts in Winston Salem.
While attending college, James quickly realized that he wanted to further his education in the arts. He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with concentrations in both Ceramics and Painting.
Upon graduating, he worked in retail sales management while creating art only as a hobby. After several years of working in retail management, James decided to return to his first love and pursue a degree in Art Education. His goal was to teach art in the primary school setting. He returned to UNC Pembroke and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) specializing in the field of Art.
While searching for a teaching position, James began creating and selling the Contemporary Pinecone Patchwork Art. This quickly grew into a full time business. He decided to name the business Dark Water Designs inspired by the dark swampy water of Lumber River that flows thru Robeson County, home of the Lumbee Indians.
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© 2008 Dark Water Designs