cover photo

James Marks

James Marks

About Artist

Basic Information

  • Artist Statement

    I make people out of wire using electric fencing from feed stores, high voltage power lines from scrap yards, and cotton pipe cleaners from New Jersey. My art never leaves my side; coming with me to parties, past security checkpoints, and even funerals. My work ranges from ladies small enough to fit in your hand, to wire monsters screwed onto telephone polls, and twenty foot tall metal men. Don’t be afraid to touch my creations! I am a provider of playthings rather than an aloof artist, only to be observed. My website?
  • Resume

    James is one of Shreveport's premier Outsider artists*. He is certainly one of the longest producing ones. He has been making wire men since he was three. His mother can tell you stories about James swiping the twisty ties from the bread in their kitchen so he could make his creations.

    In 2015 and again in 2017, he was named a Collectible Artist via the Shreveport Regional Arts Council's Collectible and Collector project.

    Documentary filmmaker Rob Peterson says about James Marks (@littlewirebird) — "One of my all time favorite art workers." James always seems to be working. His hands stay busy with computer projects or wire sculptures. He transports his undertakings in modest bags slung over a shoulder.

    2017 has been filled with accomplishments for Marks. First the mural selection, then a studio space at Artspace and finally being named, once again, as a Collectible Artist. Also in 2017 he participated in his first show at the Andrew Eldin Gallery in New York City.

    Several years ago arts writer Robert Trudeau observed — "One would have to conclude that Marks is also recommendable to collectors. Currently, his pieces are affordable. Next year, who knows?"

    Art collector Judy Williams on James — "I always love Jay's work --- he's great to work on with commission, he's done two terrific pieces for us to give as gifts!"

    *Outsider art — ‘Outsider Art is perhaps a catch-all term,’ explains Christie’s specialist Cara Zimmerman. ‘I tend to classify it as art made by people who weren’t working within the artistic establishment.’ In the United States, she says, the material stems from a folk-art tradition. Most Outsider artists received no formal training and were influenced by pop culture and the world around them rather than other mainstream artists.

    *Outsider art — "...the roots of Outsider Art can be traced back thousands of years, it is most useful to look back to its most recent precursor, art brut (Raw Art) to hear the most vital articulations of its true spirit. In his 1947 manifesto, French artist and curator Jean Dubuffet coined the term art brut as follows: 'We understand by this term works produced by persons unscathed by artistic culture, where mimicry plays little or no part (contrary to the activities of intellectuals). These artists derive everything...from their own depths, and not from the conventions of classical or fashionable art.'...Over the years, the parameters of Outsider Art have expanded dramatically to include art made by a wide variety of art-makers who share this common denominator of raw creativity."


    “Anatomical Anomalies,” LSU Medical School Library, Shreveport, LA

    ”Art is Gift,” Columbia Cafe, Shreveport, LA
    ”Person, Place, or Thing,” Columbia Cafe, Shreveport, LA

    “Et Tu, Art Brute?,” Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY (curator Jamie Sterns)
    “InGRAVED, Artspace,” Shreveport, LA (Artistic Director William Joyce)
    “Meta*Moore*Phosis,” Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA (Artistic Director David Nelson)
    “Collectible Artists Exhibition,” Central Art Station, Shreveport, LA
    “Artspace Artist Studios,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA (Artistic Director William Joyce)
    “Critical Mass V,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA (Artistic Director William Joyce Critics Curator Robert Pincus)
    “Uncensored Louisiana,” Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA
    “Critical Mass IV,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “Critical Mass III,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “Critical Mass II,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “North Louisiana Artists Triennial Competition,” Meadows Museum, Shreveport, LA
    “Critical Mass,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “Dia de Los Muertos,” Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA
    “Impromptu,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “BECA:Bridge for Emerging Artists,” Albuquerque, NM,
    “Illumination de LUMIERE,” Lee Hardware Gallery, Shreveport, LA
    “Shreveport Homegrown,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA
    “Girly Girl and Manly Man Show,” Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA
    “Covert/Arts,” Bailey's Manhattan, Shreveport, LA

    Designer/Fabricator Nick Cave Beaded Blanket frame emblishments.
    Artist/mural designer Shreveport UNCommon Murals (Artistic Director Lesli Marshall)
    Artist-in-Residence, “The Music Box: Calanthean Canyon,” New Orleans Airlift
    Highland Open Studio Tour Sundays (HOSTS) (Featured artist and artist studio)
    Artist-in-Residence, Wayne White Puppet Parade
    Highland Open Studio Tour Sundays (HOSTS) (Featured artist and artist studio)
    Artist-in-Residence “La Belle Poubelle, Economy of Means in a Mean Economy” with Doug & Chris Fitch
    Artist-in-Residence, Chicken Stock, Cultural Crossroads, Minden, LA
    Artist-in-Residence, “Arcadia,” with Patrick Dougherty

    SB Magazine May Artist of the Month
    Voted Best Culture Crush Artist Studio
    Culture Crush Collectible Artist (Critics Curator Robert Pincus)
    Common Culture Collectible Artist (Critics Curator Robert Pincus)
    Artist as Entrepreneur, The Arts Council of New Orleans, SRAC, Shreveport, LA

    Devin White, “James Marks, Sculptor,” SB Magazine, May 2017
    Tiana Kennell, “25 NWLA Artists You Need to be Collecting Now!,” Shreveport Times, March 30, 2017
    Bonnie Culverhouse, “April Culture Crush,” Forum News, March 29, 2017
    Jada Durden, “Five Things to do in Shreveport this Weekend,” Shreveport Times, April 2, 2015
    Robert Trudeau, “James Marks's Wire Wonders,” Heliopolis, February 12, 2014
    Charisse Gibson, “Free After School Program Promotes Art,” December 20, 2013
    Artplace, “UNSCENE!,” Artplace America, August 24, 2013

    Artist Talk, “Art – Object or Plaything?,” Artspace, Shreveport, LA, 2017


    Renzi Education & Art Center – wire, robots, and ceramics – 2003 – Present

    Minden Cultural Crossroads – pipe cleaner art – 2011 – 2016

    Noel United Methodist Church Summer Program - pipe cleaner art - 2011

    Caddo Magnet High School - wire sculpture - visiting artist - 2012

    Peter Lyons, LA
    Shreveport Regional Arts Council, LA
    Judy Williams, LA
    Pam and Bob Atchison, LA
    Cultural Crossroads, LA

    Penland School of Crafts

Contact Information

Member since
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 00:00
Last online
3 months ago