Celebrating Long Beach Arts Month: James R. Morris


October marks Long Beach Arts Month, and the Long Beach Post has partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to celebrate the image makers, the painters, the dancers, the designers, the musicians, and the countless other artists who make our city vibrant and cultured. Our homepage will feature an artist’s own unique interpretation of Long Beach daily, so make sure to check back every weekday to discover or rediscover a local talent.

James R. Morris is most known, as far as visual art is concerned, for his intricate White Paper Relief, a highly detailed form of art that uses high-quality paper from countries as far off as France and Italy. He manipulates individual pieces of paper to create realistic and abstract forms that protrude from the canvas. He has pieces in 280 private collections in London, Paris, New York, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Mexico City, San Antonio, Seattle, Honolulu, Sun Valley, Anchorage and Atlanta.

His uncommon curiosity for the details, lines and patterns found in nature, architecture and other aspects of the world around him, led him to pursue a hobby in photography. This piece, made specifically for the Long Beach Post, is comprised of multiple photographs he took from around his house and then collaged to create the complicated pattern within the letters.

James is a retired art teacher who worked at Hamilton Junior High, Washington Junior High, with the remainder of his career spent at Millikan High School in Long Beach. During his career, he was the only teacher to be asked by the LBMA to curate a show of his students’ work for the Main Gallery (The Hearty Arty Party) while eleven of his students won Gold Key and National Scholastic Achievement Awards. As a trustee of the Long Beach Museum of Art, James has also donated several of his pieces to four of the museum’s auctions and has one of his works of art, entitled “Presto-Change-O,’ in LBMA’s permanent collection.

He has lived in Long Beach since he moved here from San Antonio, TX, to attend CSULB for a masters in art education over forty years ago. It would be impossible to list every one of his achievements in this short biography, however one can easily digest that James is a major asset to the Long Beach arts community and an outstanding, contributing, eclectic member of the Long Beach community in general.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.