I was born in Columbus, IN, in 1971 and currently reside in Lexington, KY. As the ninth generation to live and work on my family’s land-grant farm, my work has been heavily influence by the landscape. My sculptures and drawings have been included in over 80 exhibitions across the US and internationally, including exhibitions in Italy, Bolivia, and England. In 1994, I received my BFA in sculpture and drawing from the University of Kentucky and my MFA in sculpture from The University of Georgia in 1996. From 2006 to 2009, my teaching included iron foundry workshops in Coalbrookdale, England. I am currently a Senior Lecturer of Foundations and Sculpture at the University of Kentucky.
London, England, based writer Samuel Cornish well describes my work and methodology in the catalogue Iron Working Drawings. Cornish states, “James Wade sees his work as a celebration of the landscape shaped by vernacular, agricultural and industrial architecture.” He continues by stating that I am “particularly interested in the accumulated evidence of man’s activity in these areas.” As an artist, it is very important for me to address the concept of a work in context of material, location and intent. The appropriate material is chosen for the content of the work rather than forcing ideas into a singular, comfortable medium. I consider myself a landscape sculptor. My work embodies a sense of place and incorporates extensive research and observation of the locales that inspire my creativity.