James O. Rolle
(born 1943 Nassau, The Bahamas) received special
attention for his artistic talent at an early age. When it came time to take the high school
exams in art , he bypassed the first tier "O Levels" and took the
more advanced "A Levels". Rolle
became interested in drawing and painting at the age of 12, after a cousin with
a talent for drawing visited Nassau and exposed him to the art form. Rolle was immediately taken with what he saw
and began to pursue it on his own.
An objective realist, Rolle paints still lifes and landscapes in oil and watercolour, and drawings in pen and ink.
Rolle studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and took liberal arts courses at the University of Chicago. He graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He also earned a Master’s degree in Art Education with a Diploma in Art History from the University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada, in 1980.
He illustrated Song of the Surreys and Climbing Clouds, publications by his late wife, well-known poet and playwright Telcine Turner. His illustrations for “Song” received favourable reviews in Barrons (The Times of London Educational Supplement) in 1978. He has also illustrated The Rising Sun, a collection of poems and short stories by Bahamian attorney Sidney Collie and, more recently, Follow Your Dreams by Bahamian motivational speaker and performance artist Michael Pintard.
Rolle is also well known for his work as an educator and in the civil service. He founded the Art Department at St. Augustine’s College Secondary School in New Providence in 1968. He played an instrumental role in developing the National Arts & Craft Curriculum for public secondary schools, and coordinated Bahamian representation in a number of regional art festivals.