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Sir James Thornhill

Black American Artists' Alliance of Richmond

Below are detail views of the artist's work. Click on image to see the entire piece of artwork. Use the arrows to browse through the gallery of works.

(Click on the image to enlarge)


James Thornhill was born and raised in the historic Jackson Ward of Richmond, Va. Thornhill, creatively known as Sir James L. Thornhill, is an American painter, muralist, and photographer.


He attended Open High School with an emphasis on art, fashion design, and screen printing. His creativity flourished during this time and he found himself embarking on an artistic journey.

James studied various art forms and mediums which include photography, oil, acrylic, watercolor and oriental painting, theater arts, and fashion at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond Technical Center, and John Tyler Community College. Additionally, he has painted over 30 murals in Richmond.

As a photographer and painter, his artwork has taken him to many different countries. A point of pride in his career is his work an aviation artist with the U.S. Air Force art program. As an educator, Thornhill teaches in a number of after-school art programs and the Mayors Youth Academy in particular. His work is often community centered and inspired by the rich cultural and historical dynamic of Black communities. Many of his mural projects are done in collaboration with Richmond Public Schools and local non-profits.

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