Born Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Works and lives in Brooklyn, NY

 

EDUCATION

1996-99         New York Academy of Art, New York, NY

1993         M.F.A., School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

1991               B.F.A., Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada

 

BIO

Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban environment, metaphor, and cultural iconography through a unique method of painting – one that combines an essentially ‘realist’ approach to the figure with collage, spray paint and mixed media. The juxtaposition of the rawness and urgency of street art and academic ideals has created a visual language that acknowledges a traditional form of story-telling through portraiture, while infusing the work with resonant contemporary motifs.

Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura earned a B.F.A. with Distinction at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts in 1991.  After graduating with an M.F.A. in Illustration as Visual Journalism, Okamura moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to live and work.

Okamura – a recipient of the 2004 Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts – has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the world, including the U.S., Canada, Italy, Japan, Ecuador and Turkey, and has been selected nine times to appear in the prestigious BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

In 2006, Okamura was short-listed by the Royal Surveyor of the Queen’s Picture Collection for a commissioned portrait of the Queen of England.

In 2013, the University of North Carolina hosted a retrospective exhibition of Okamura’s work that focused on nearly a decade of production.

Tim Okamura’s art is on display in the permanent collections of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Toronto Congress Center, the Hotel Arts in Calgary, Canada, and Standard Chartered Bank in London, England. Celebrity collectors include Uma Thurman, musicians John Mellencamp, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (The Roots), director Ben Younger, as well as actors Bryan Greenberg, Vanessa Marcil, Annabella Sciorra, and Ethan Hawke.

CURRICULUM VITAE

AWARDS

2004        Lily Auchincloss Foundation: NYFA Chosen Fellow in Painting

2004        New York Foundation for the Arts: Fellowship in Painting

1991        Alberta College of Art Board of Governors Award

1988-90  Louise McKinney Post-Secondary Scholarship

1989        Henry Clinton Memorial Scholarship for Achievement in Visual Arts

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2001-2011    Adjunct Professor, Drawing and Painting: Parsons School of Design, New York, NY

1999-2006    Adjunct Professor, Drawing and Design: The City College of The City University of New York, New York, NY

2006        Guest Lecturer, The Art Students’ League, New York, NY

2004        Lecturer, Master’s Study Tour, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

2000        Guest Lecturer, St. John’s University, Queens, NY

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014        Love Strength and Soul, Yeelen Gallery, Miami, FL

2014        Her Story, Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2014        Survey 2009-2014, National Arts Club, New York, NY

2013        This Story Has Not Yet Been Told…, The Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum, The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

2012        Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

2011        Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2011        VOLTA NY, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2009        Brooklyn Walls: hopechangedreams, Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2008        Women in White / Bushwick Walls, Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

2006        Urban Portraits + Brooklyn Mythology, Axis ArtCalgary, Canada

2005        Urban Portraits + Brooklyn Mythology, Delgado-Tomei Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 2003 New Urban Portraits + Bricks, Locks, & Obstacles, Kanvas Gallery, NY, NY

2002        Recent Work, Northsix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2001        Urban Portraits, The Cutting Room, New York, NY

TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2015        Begin Transmission, with Chris Marshall, Beelectric Studio, Brooklyn, NY

2014        Recent Work, with Jerome Lagarrigue, White Room, Liquid Art System, Capri, Italy

2009        Love, Strength, & Soul, with TheKidBelo, Show & Tell Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2007        Brooklyn Mythology: The First Nations Cycle, with TheKidBelo, Axis Contemporary Art, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2015        Power, Protest, & Resistance: The Art of Revolution, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY

2015        Trophy Art, Azart Gallery, New York, NY

2015        Spring Preview, Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

2015        Light of the Ancestors, Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington, D.C.

2015        The Artists Gaze: Seeing Women in the 21st Century, Sirona Fine Art, Hallandale Beach, FL

2015        CONTEXT Art Fair, White Room, Liquid Art System, New York, NY

2014        Scope Art Fair, Miami Beach 2014, Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, Miami, FL

2014        Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, Liquid Art System, Istanbul, Turkey

2014        CONTEXT Art Fair, Miami Beach 2014, White Room, Liquid Art System, Miami, FL

2014        Identity, Snap! Orlando, Orlando, FL

2014        Behind Narrative, One Art Space, New York, NY

2014        For the Time Being, Koki Arts, Tokyo, Japan

2014        Fixation, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL

2014        MIA in MIA, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2013        Round Zero, The Art Director’s Club, New York, NY

2013        Body Politic, The National Arts Club, New York, NY

2013        From Motion to Stillness, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL

2012        Scope Miami 2012, Evan Lurie Gallery, Miami, FL

2012        Toronto International Art Fair, Lyons Wier Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2012        The Box That Rocks, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY

2011        Pulse International Art Fair, Lyons Wier Gallery, Miami, Fl

2011        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2011        Here and Now, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY

2010        Pulse International Art Fair, Lyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FL

2010        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2010        The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY

2009        BP  Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2008        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2007        Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada

2007        Fall Preview, Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

2006        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2005        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

2005        Figuratively Speaking: Seven Painters, Delgado-Tomei Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2005        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2004        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland

2004        Commissioned / Non-Commissioned, Chung-Cheng Gallery, St. John’s University, Queens, New York

2004        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2003        After Matisse / Picasso, P.S.1/MoMA, Queens, NY

2002        The Sound of Art, The Puck Building, New York, NY

2002        Fresh 2002, Artspace Gallery, Calgary, Canada

2002        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2001        Face Value: Portraits for the New Century, The Chrysler Building, New York, NY

2001        BP Portrait Awards Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

1999        Volte Face: Portraits, 450 Gallery, New York, NY

1999        Portrait and Figurative Exhibition, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY

1996        10th Anniversary Exhibition, James McMullan Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

1992        Endangered, Art Directors’ Club, New York, NY

1991        After Hours, William Mackenzie Center Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

 

ARTWORK APPEARING IN FILM

 2015        “Urge”, Central Park Films

2014        “HEAVYWEIGHTPAINT”, Martini Films

2007        “The Hottest State”, Barracuda Films

2005        “Prime,” Stratus Films/ Universal

2004        “Jersey Girl,” Miramax

2003        “The School of Rock,” Paramount Pictures

2003        “Just Another Story”, Roxbury Pictures

2003        “Pieces of April,” InDiGent Films

2002        “Unfaithful,” 20th Century Fox

 

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Uma Thurman, actress

Anabella Sciorra, actress

Bryan Greenberg, actor

Vanessa Marcil, actress

Hill Harper, actor

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, musician (“The Roots”)

Ben Younger, screenwriter/director

John Mellencamp, musician

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA

Howard Tullman Collection, Flashpoint Academy, Chicago, IL, USA

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta, Canada

Toronto Congress Center, Toronto, Canada

The Hotel Arts, Calgary, Canada

Standard Chartered Bank, London, England