Featured Artist Member

Featured Artist Member honors the artist members of Berkeley Art Center, highlighting the breadth and variety of mediums, processes and concepts engaged by our community. Only artists whose memberships are current will be considered. To become a member, please sign up HERE. To fill out our Artist Member Informational Survey , click HERE


James Bonacci

James Bonacci uses his poetic sensibility and thoughtful observation of the everyday to create works on paper, found-object assemblage, and text-based works. He often combines hand-rendered work with his own poetry, integrated into the piece or as accompanying books. The presence of the artist's hand and tactility of the work offer refreshing moments of pause in our busy digital lives. 

Bonacci holds a BFA and MFA as well as a BA in Mathematics from San Jose State University. He has recently participated in exhibitions at the Pro Arts Gallery for East Bay Open Studios 2014, Works Gallery in San Jose and the Berkeley Art Center. He also participates in monthly poetry readings and has read his work recently at Peet's Coffee in Livermore, Swirl on the Square, Livermore, and Works Gallery in San Jose. 

Artist Statement

At first, my writing grew out of a need to record the ideas, thoughts, feelings, images I could not express visually. And, my art focused on the visual ideas, where words did not seem to fit. The combination/interplay of the two always seemed inevitable even as I continued to write for the sake of words, and to make art for the sake of images. The interaction of the two, for me, presented one possible way to tell the stories in my head.

I write poems about art, such as Simple Drawing, 2014, Circle or Square, 2011, and Cyanotype/Sunprint, 2010. I write about the materials and colors I use, as in Indigo and Sanguis, both from 2010. In more recent writings, like Over Land, 2014, I am documenting what is hard to record in my use of traditional 2D/3D media – the view from over land.

And, my writing continues to speak the stories of night, clouds and sky, places and landscapes, of color, and, especially, of memories.

Click here to visit the artist's website 

Click on images to enlarge.

Cyanotypes, 2010, solar prints, pen and ink on watercolor paper 

Bicycles, 2013, walnut and black ink, bicycle stamp on water color paper 

Endless Landscape and Overland, 2014, mixed media, installation view

Endless Landscape iv, 2014, mixed media