A long-time resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, James R. Bakkom has had a distinguished career in stage set design and has also done much fine art painting.
He was born in Sioux St. Marie, graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin in 1960, the earned a master of Fine Arts Degree from Yale University in 1964.
In 1965, he settled in Minneapolis, where until 1974, he was Property Master for the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre. From 1974 to 1984, he was a freelance set-design artist doing regional and national commissions including the Manitoba Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Ford's Theater in Washington D.C., the St. Louis Opera, and the Portland Stage Company.
He also designed and guest taught at over fifteen universities and colleges throughout the United States including the University of Washington, University of New Mexico, and Temple University. Miscellaneous design projects include work for the Bush Gardens Theme Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia; Dayton's Christmas and Flower Shows in Minneapolis and Album Cover Art.
From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by Northwest Teleproductions in Edina, Minnesota, where he designed and supervised the realization of over 500 set for national and regional clients such as Armed Forces Radio and Television Services, Business Incentives, and Tony Sandler Productions.
He has maintained a studio for fine art painting in Minneapolis while working in the above-mentioned occupations, and his painting subjects include landscape, surreal genre, military history, marine and wildlife. A special interest in Civil War History, and his collection of uniforms and other objects and books reflecting that period give him background for his paintings.
Bakkom has also done installation sculpture including a work called "The Birth of Advertising" for a special three-man exhibition in March, 2000. His style ranges from realist to minimalist.
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