James Lahey is a Canadian artist living in Toronto where he maintains his studio. He completed his BFA at York University in 1984 with studies in Art and Architecture in Italy (1982) through a joint programme with York University, Toronto and Lowell University, Massachusetts. In 1986 he obtained a certificate from the O.M.A. in the preservation of Art and Artifacts. Upon graduation, James negotiated career and vocation, including positions at The Art Gallery at Harbourfront, The Power Plant, The Art Gallery of Ontario and Bruce Mau Design. Since 1998 James has concentrated exclusively on his painting practice.
In 2001 James was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy. James is a Member of the Board of Directors at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, a Member of the Board of Directors for Dancemakers and is a Member of the Acquisitions Committee for the Prints and Drawings Department of the Art Gallery of Ontario.
James Lahey is represented in galleries across Canada, in Britain and the United States where his work can be found in numerous private and public collections. In 2005 the MacLaren Museum installed his “Index” exhibition and published a catalogue of the same name with contributions by Ihor Holubizky and Mark Kingwell. In 2007 “Index” was installed at The University of Toronto Art Centre. In 2008 James opened one person shows in New York and in London where “your imperfect history” was published in conjunction with the exhibition by Flowers U.K. His last project “Guido’s Rhombus” opened at Museum London in the fall of 2009. A catalogue co written by Ihor Holubizky, Curator of Contemporary Art at Museum London and Dennis Reid, Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario accompanied the exhibition. Lahey’s project “Eight Days” was accompanied by a publication produced in collaboration with Toronto writer and poet Lynn Crosbie.
James Lahey most recently donated the painting “Flag of Canada – Nipigon Ontario (from East to West and back on the Trans Canada Highway)” (2017) to the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper charity for their fundraiser in April 2017, courtesy of Galerie de Bellefeuille. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper/Swim Drink Fish Canada’s mission is to ensure a future where water is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for everyone. They represent a network of 1.8-million people in communities where access to clean water is threatened. They teach water literacy and support grassroots efforts to combat beach closures, drinking water threats, and disappearing habitat. Their flagship projects fuse science, culture, law and digital media: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Watermark Project, and Swim Guide. The Waterkeeper Gala Toronto is the biggest night of the year for water in Toronto. This annual tradition, happening April 20, 2017 at the CBC Building, is the most influential fundraising gala for a water charity in the country. Every dollar raised helps to restore swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters so that our communities can prosper. The event has raised $2.4 million since 2012.