Sydney G James was born in Detroit on July 6, 1979 and raised in Detroit’s historical Conant Gardens neighborhood. As a second generation Detroiter, Sydney’s grandparents moved to the city from the south during the Great-Migration.

Her artwork consists of large-scale murals, figurative paintings and drawings that embody and demonstrate ideas and scenarios that affect her. James’ current body of work consists of images of “strong” black women in vulnerable scenarios that may be figurative or literal. These pieces portray black women in American society – often viewed as “lesser than,” or not seen at all. James began her career as an ad agency Art Director after earning her BFA in 2001. In 2004, Sydney relocated to Los Angeles briefly before returning to Detroit in 2011. She has since become one of the leading visual artists in the city participating in community arts projects, was awarded a Red Bull House of Art residency and has completed murals in Detroit, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. In 2017, she was awarded Kresge Arts Fellowship in Detroit.

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