TIM OKAMURA

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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 U.S. and Canada, 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, he was short-listed by the Royal Surveyor of the Queen’s Picture Collection for a commissioned portrait of the Queen of England.

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.

Tim Okamura is currently represented by Lyons Wier Gallery in New York, Douglas Udell Gallery in Canada, and Franco Senesi Fine Art in Italy.

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

Collections

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Uma Thurman, actress
Anabella Sciorra, actress
Bryan Greenberg, actor
Vanessa Marcil, actress
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

Credits

ARTWORK APPEARING IN FILM

2013 “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

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

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014 Begin Transmission, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2013 Depicted/Connected, The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington, D.C.
2013 This Story Has Not Yet Been Told... The Work of Tim Okamura, Retrospective, The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, University of North Carolina, 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 Art, Calgary, 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

2009 Love, Strength, & Soul, with David Brunning aka TheKidBelo, Show & Tell Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2007 Brooklyn Mythology: The First Nations Cycle, with David Brunning aka TheKidBelo, Axis Contemporary Art, Calgary, Alberta, Canada



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2013 Art Miami, Lyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FL
2013 The Pond, The Mirror, The Kaleidoscope, The School of Visual Arts / Visual Arts 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,

Teaching

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

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