Artist's Bio


BS, Northern Illinois University, 1961

MA, University of Illinois-Champaign, 1965

MFA, Northern Illinois University, 1970


James Bowden, born in Kankakee, Illinois in 1938, is a retired art professor and former teacher (Chicago State University, Murray State University, Chicago Public Schools). He currently owns and operates a graphic arts/signage business, which he started in 1973. In 1980 he decided to put down his artist's brushes in order to concentrate on growing his sign business and restoring his 1917 craftsman-style home. After a 25-year hiatus, Bowden resumed his painting in 2005. He works primarily in the medium of painting, focusing on linear and graphic elements.


Bowden has won awards for his artwork from Western Michigan University (1966), the Gretchen Charlton Art Gallery (2015), Bridgeport Art Center (2020), South Shore Arts (2020, 2021), and CAVA (2022). He has also received numerous mural commissions from major companies in the Chicagoland area, including Northern Trust Corporation, Turtle Wax Corporation, Amphenol North America, Continental Can Company, Kean Brothers, Inc. and Noral Color Corporation.


His artwork has been featured in special exhibitions at Chicago State University, Northern Illinois University, Chicago's Art Institute and Cultural Center, as well as included in group exhibitions at museums and universities in Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.


Bowden lives and works in Peotone, Illinois.



James Bowden's abstract art to be exhibited in Park Forest, Joliet. Ginger Brashinger, Daily Southtown, September 20, 2017

Peotone’s Bowden is back with his artwork, Daily Journal, Kankakee IL, Daily Journal Staff, April 6, 2019

No motivation? No problem. Aryana Adkanian, Daily Journal, Kankakee IL, January 30, 2019

Meet the Artist: James Bowden, Orland Park Patch, July 13, 2018