About the James Ray Award

James “Jim” Ray was a master of color in the arts. As a 61 year member of the Lincoln Artists’ Guild, James proved his ability to promote art and encourage others throughout the state of Nebraska. The Lincoln Artists’ Guild celebrates his life in the arts with this special award.

The Lincoln Artists’ Guild was graciously given memorial funds to use fo an annual “James Ray Award.” This award will be given during the Fall Lincoln Artists’ Guild Juried Show. James was a great example of what LAG is all about.

James served our country in WWII for 4 years in the South Pacific as a Pharmacist Mate, 2nd Class. James works as an Occupational Therapist at the Lincoln Regional Center for 29 years. He also enjoyed teaching art. His highlights in art included studying with a nationally known Nebraska artist, Terence Duren. Duren compared Jame’s work to VanGogh. James won the 1996 Association of Nebraska Art Clubs, “ANAC MONA Purchase Award” and the Best of Show Award for a floral painting at the LAG Fall Show in 2004. James attended the Omaha Art School on the GI bill in 1948 for a couple of years, attending the Chounard Institute in Los Angeles, and studied for three months at the Dale Nichols School of Art in Tubac, AZ. IN the 1980’s, James received a scholarship, attending UNL’s art program.

James paintings are in a permanent collection at the Museum of Nebraska Art and the Sheldon’s permanent collection along with work from his mother, Waunita Ray and his brother, Web Ray. James gave a lot of credit to numerous people for his success in art.

“Never give up,” exclaimed James, when asked to give advice to other artists.