James Tughan is primarily known for being a visual artist working in visual mapping with chalk pastels, as a cartographic realist. This work celebrates attachment to visible surfaces of the northern Ontario wilderness but additionally the less visible human psyche, through a careful use of metaphor. He is also an extensively published editorial illustrator having had his work appear magazines such as Rolling Stone, GQ, House and Garden, Saturday Night, Financial Post Magazine, and Atlantic Monthly. He returned to his world of origin in fine art exhibition and curriculum development as a past-serving member of the art faculties of Sheridan University, Redeemer University College, and Tyndale Seminary and College. He currently is the lead art instructor and curator at the Halton Waldorf High School, Burlington Ontario.
More recently, he has been drawn into the world of poetry, through the need to process the experience of loss in the untimely death of his son. Poetry has given him a way to articulate more directly certain aspects of the world of persons, the world of spirit, both in terms of lament and celebration, and in overview and intimacy.
He is the founder of The Semaphore Fellowship and co-founder of the Flagship Gallery, Hamilton and its first born The Portage Group, a small collective Ontario artists focused on mental health and the Arts. He is currently studying the intersection of theology, psychology, and creativity aesthetics at McMaster Divinity College in the DPT program.
His work is available for viewing at: tughansemaphore.wordpress.com