James MacIntyre was born in Coleraine in 1926. He is a self taught artist who has worked professionally as a painter and sculptor since 1946.
In 1956 he was awarded the CEMA Travelling Scholarship which took him to Paris for the first time. CEMA – Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts – was the precursor to the Arts Council. In 1958 he moved to London where he worked for some years as a free-lance book illustrator and graphic designer.
MacIntyre`s work has been exhibited regularly over many years in Belfast and he has had one man exhibitions at the Arts Council Gallery Belfast, the Cardiff Gallery, the Dublin Painters` Gallery, the Reese Palley Gallery in New Jersey, the Aisling Gallery in New York and at the Ulster Office in London. In 1983 the renowned Old Bushmills Whisky Distillery commissioned him to produce a major exhibition of more than sixty oil paintings to celebrate their 375th Anniversary.
Examples of the artists work are held in the collections of the Belfast City Council, the Ulster Museum, the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts, Queens University, Belfast, the University of Ulster, the B.B.C, Ulster Television, the Arts Council, Old Bushmills Distillery, the Department of the Environment, the Belfast Harbour Authority, the Trustee Savings Bank, Coleraine Borough Council and in many private collections at home and abroad.
Whilst MacIntyre`s distinctive painting style is well known his sculptures cast in bronze are greatly sought after by collectors.
MacIntyre wrote and illustrated two books. The first one ``Three men on a Island`` published by The Blackstaff Press in 1996 which is a fascinating account of a six week period in 1951 spent on the island of Inishlacken situated just off the Connemara coast, in the company of fellow artists Gerard Dillon and George Campbell.
And a second book named``Making my Mark`` also published by Blackstaff in 2001, in which he recollects his early life and the art scene in the Belfast of the 1940`s and 1950`s.
James MacIntyre is considered to be one of the most important and collectable living Irish artists. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Ulster Academy in 1965 and became an Academician in 1987.