James Rieck was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1965. He earned both his BFA and his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the latter at the Mount Royal School of Art. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. 
Rieck's paintings have been exhibited across the United States. Museum and group shows include: "We Could Be Heroes: The Mythology of Monsters and Heroes in Contemporary Art" at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT; "Size Does Matter­," curated by Shaquille O'Neal, the Flag Foundation, New York; "As Others See Us: The Contemporary Portrait," Brattleboro Museum, VT; "The Seasons," Nassau County Museum; “Baltimore Liste,” The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore MD; and at the Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC. 
His work is present in the West Collection, Pennsylvania; the Burger Collection; the Bollag-Rothschild Collection, Switzerland; and the Chadha Collection, The Netherlands, among others. In 2006 Rieck won the prestigious Trawick Prize. James Rieck is currently based in Joshua Tree, CA.
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