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James’ Artist Statement

​It has become clear to me in recent years that the “inner” rewards of making art, or any creative activity, are indeed valuable to our soul. 

For me, the making of art happens when I am with my camera, responding to my immediate environment.  It becomes a visceral, intuitive experience that takes me to another dimension of living and allows me the privilege of giving expression to my most intimate and personal inspirations and is a way of realizing deep personal revelations about who I am. 


The “Grandfather Series Rock Formations” (Galiano Island, British Columbia) stirred me deeply when I first saw them.  They are full of texture, colour, tone, images, shapes and mystery.  They draw people to them.  They are comforting, soothing and want to be touched and experienced in ways that we might not understand.  It is said that the “Grandfathers’ spirits” are there within the rocks.  They have been here since the beginning of time and so they know everything. 

Be still and listen.  They just might speak to you.

Curriculum Vitae

Born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada


  • Banff Centre/ School of Fine Arts, Banff,AB: Two-year Visual Communications Diploma (on Scholarship)           

  • “Banff Centre Purchase Award”   -   Six week Summer Photography Session   

  • Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr School of Art): 1 year Sculpture

  • Central Washington State, Ellensburg, Washington: Completed first photography class

Art Grants:                                                                                                                       

  • Columbia Basin Trust  - Major Grant for photography, 2015     

  • Vancouver International Wood Sculpture Symposium - Apprenticeship 

  • Canada Council Grant for photography, 1975


  • Kimberley Arts at Centre 64 – Solo Photography Exhibit

  • Copper Point Resort, Invermere, B.C. rotating exhibit in their dinning room.

  • Pynelogs Cultural Centre, Invermere, BC  Group shows  summers - 2010 to present

  • Canmore Artist Guild (CAG), Canmore, AB: 2013 Group show honoring the opening of their new gallery

  • Harmon Gallery, Banff, AB – a joint exhibit with Carole Harmon in conjunction with Exposure 2010, a Banff/Calgary  Photography Festival, February 2010

  • Canmore Artists and Artisans Guild (CAAG), Canmore, AB:  “Images of the Vancouver Taxi  Scene” – photographs by James McElroy and “Energy in Color” - Watercolours by Carol Gordon; June 1981  

  • “Dangling Conversations” – images transformed in watercolour, wood & silver; James McElroy and Carol Gordon, June 1982

  • Southern Alberta Art Gallery – Solo Photography exhibit, 1976

Photography Projects:

  • Columbia Valley Wetlands

  • Kootenay Burn –  images from the Kootenay National Park Burn  

  • Mexico

  • My Meadow – the meadow just outside my front door, rural area, Invermere, BC

  • Rolf Heer – Radium Hot Springs Woodcarver

  • Sand Dunes

  • The Grandfather Series  -  images of rock formations on the coastline of Galiano Island, B.C.

  • The Taxi Series – night shift East End Vancouver, BC 

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