James Joseph Childs was born in North Dakota in 1945 and received a BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1970.
In 1971, Childs began studying at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis with Richard F. Lack, where he continued to craft his skills as an artist until 1975. Equally as influential on Childs was the time he spent in the summers of 1971-1973 studying imaginative painting in Massachusetts with Robert Hale Ives Gammell. Childs is viewed as a member of the Gammellites, the artists who followed in Robert Gammell’s footsteps. In 1974, Childs traveled to Europe to study classical and academic painters, which further influenced his artistic output.
Neither academic nor impressionist, Childs was most interested in allegorical figurative painting, which his skills as a draftsman matched perfectly. Childs devoted the bulk of his practice to painting and drawing subjects that express a heroic view of the human figure.
From the 1970s until his death in 2020, Childs took part in over twenty solo and group exhibitions, including shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tatischeff Company in New York, and Leighton House Museum in London, and the Cultural Organization of the City of Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games.
Child’s work is represented in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; Blanden Art Museum, Fort Dodge, IA; Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico; and Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN.