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James P. Kerr was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1953 and currently lives in Delray Beach, Florida. Kerr studied drawing and portrait painting with Lazlo Szabo from 1964 to 1970 and landscape painting with Carl Illig in 1971. From 1975 to 1978 James maintained a studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He moved to North Carolina in 1978 and lived near Banner Elk for many years. Since that time he has frequently painted North Carolina-inspired landscapes from the mountains to the Outer Banks. Tropical coastal scenes, jazz and abstract compositions are also themes in his oil paintings.
Kerr has developed a broad colorist approach to painting, working in a direct manner, utilizing properties of light and pigment to establish form, space and color vibration.
James was one of the original artists represented by City Art Gallery when it opened in the 1980’s in New Bern, North Carolina.