Artist Bio

Gail Katz-James is a Minneapolis artist who transforms steel, wire and recycled objects into sculptures. She is highly motivated to create Public Art.

In 2017, she created Flour Sack Rack, a sculptural bike rack commissioned by the City of Minneapolis.  Katz-James has exhibited sculptures in Hutchinson Sculpture Stroll, Hutchinson, MN, Mankato City Art Walk, Mankato, MN and River City Sculpture Walk, Mason City, IA. 

She won an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, 2016/17, and the Next Step Fund Grant, 2013, Metro Regional Arts Council and the McKnight Foundation.

Permanent commissions include: Playful Prisms, 2015, Minnesota Children's Hospital St. Paul; Entwined, 2013, Art Wraps, Minneapolis Arts Commission; and Found Treasures, 2012, Minnesota Children's Hospital, Minneapolis.
The Japanese minimalist aesthetic, traditional textile processes, and a love of pattern and repetition continually influence Gail's  artwork.
About 15 years ago, her work started to transition from textiles to sculpture, after a welding class introduced her to the magic of heating and bending steel rod to create armatures for fabrics.

Her current focus is metal sculpture covered with hardware, beads and other small objects, to form surfaces. Screen-printing with enamel on steel plate  is another interest, as seen in Flour Sack Rack, 2017.
Resume Highlights

Recent Teaching and other Employment

Outreach Teacher, Artistry, Bloomington, MN,  2015-present
Teach mixed media classes and camps including kids, adults, and adults with special needs.

Sculpture Instructor, Minnetonka Center for the Arts,  2018
Taught wire sculpture workshop to select Northwest Metro High School art students.

Weaving Residency, Hillcrest Elementary, Bloomington, MN, 2015
Taught weaving and created a 3ft x 15ft collaborative weaving with 75 first graders.

Nature Weaving Artist Residency, Caponi Art Park, Eagan, MN, 2014

Silkscreen Printing Instructor, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, 2014
Permanent Public Art Commissions

Flour Sack Rack,  West 29th St., City of Minneapolis, $21,000, 2017
Galvanized steel bike rack, shaped like flour sacks, including 2 double-sided enamel panels.

Playful Prisms, Children's Hospital of MN, St. Paul, 6th floor, $17,000, 2015
Three 3ft x 5ft mixed media wall sculptures made of painted and collaged triangular prisms in display cases. Viewers can rotate the prisms by turning a large handle beneath each one.

Entwined, Minneapolis Arts Wraps, Minneapolis Arts Commission, $1,000, 2013
Designed images printed on vinyl and wrapped around signal boxes around the city.

Peacock Screen, Arts on Chicago, funded by NEA, $3,000, 2013
Designed and fabricated three part, 6ft x 9ft, welded, powder coated steel folding screen for StevenBe Knitting, which was covered with knitting by community.

Found Treasures, Children's Hospital of MN, Minneapolis, 8th floor, $8,000,  2012
Competed against 200 artists to win commission of 4ft x 6 ft mixed media wall sculpture.
Outdoor Public Art Commissions

Bubble Pub, sculpture for Fermentation Fest, Reedsburg, WI, $10,000, 2014
Transformed four corn cribs in a Reedsburg farmer’s pasture, wrapped with fabrics, illuminated.

Fulton Farmers Market Lawn Sign, Minneapolis, MN, $4,000, 2013
Taught market customers to design and create their own lawn signs, in order to attract more visitors to the market.

Fulton Favorites, Fulton neighborhood, Minneapolis, MN, $2,500, 2009
Worked with art committee, Minneapolis Parks staff, local merchants and 100 volunteers, from children to seniors, to design, make, and install 140 unique lawn signs.

Leaf Tunnel, U of MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, MN, $4000, 2006
Worked with 20 volunteers to design, plan, build and install an 18 ft long willow tunnel with 4 oversize, weatherproof, leaf shaped pillows.

49 Squares, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnetonka, MN, $2000,  2005
Worked with 30 volunteers and Minnetonka Center for the Arts to design, plan, build and install a 21ft x 21ft textile artwork on an outdoor concrete wall for 6 months.
Outdoor Sculpture Walks

Hutchinson Sculpture Stroll,  MN, May 2018-2019

Mankato City Art Sculpture Walk, MN, May 2018-2019

Mankato City Art Sculpture Walk, MN, May 2017-2018

River City Sculptures on Parade, IA, May 2017-2018

Mankato City Art Sculpture Walk, MN, May 2016-2017
Recent Grants and Awards

Third Place, Contours of Spring, Juried Show Society of MN Sculptors , 2017

Artist Initiative Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, $10,000, 2016

Next Step Fund Grant, Metro Regional Arts Council, $5,000, 2013

Recent Solo Gallery Exhibitions

Solo Exhibit, Nemeth Art Center, Park Rapids, MN,  2017

Towers Showcase, Intersections: Made Here: Defining Spaces, Minneapolis, MN, 2015

Gail Katz-James, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN, 2015

Surface and Structure, Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, Wisconsin, 2014

Owatonna Arts Center's Healing Arts Project, Owatonna Hospital, MN, 2014
University of California, Davis: MFA, Textile Arts and Costume Design, 1996
Culminated in solo thesis exhibition: On Mapping, woven and dyed textile works.
Worked as Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant in Department of Environmental Design.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Completed two years BFA coursework, 1994
Coursework: studio art classes, Ancient Near Eastern Art History, History of Modern Textiles,
20th Century American Women Artists, Japanese Woodblock Prints, Ancient to Modern Art.

Yale University: BA, East Asian Studies, Japan, 1991
Coursework: Japanese language, East Asian literature, Chinese and Japanese Art History,
Asian Religion, Chinese and Japanese History, Baroque Art History.
For full resume contact:
[email protected]