James T. Bennett
Jim, a retired insurance executive, began his newfound art career shortly after moving to Lake Arrowhead with his wife Dolores. Without the benefit of any formal art training, but always painting and drawing, Jim decided to take an art class while recovering from cancer in 2001. His instructor realizing Jim’s natural art talent invited him to teach art with him and encouraged him to enter juried art shows. He did and won first place.
His specialty is drawing landscapes, seascapes, and animal life. At first, Jim sketched only in pen and ink, but now paints in color and various media. Known for his great attention to detail, his drawings contain an intrinsic, spiritual quality, drawn from his personal beliefs and convictions. After 9/11, Jim painted a series of paintings depicting the terrible events of that day. Copies were hung in the Office of Emergency Management in downtown Manhattan and in the White House in Washington D.C.
For a LAPOA fundraiser in 2009, Jim was asked to paint a scene of Lake Arrowhead to be reproduced on Christmas ornaments. It was a success and Jim has continued to paint new scenes for this project ever since. At the request of his Pastor, Jim painted and donated religious icons to churches both in the U.S. and in foreign countries. In 2012, Jim was selected by the County to draw a painting depicting all the historic homes in Cherokee County. In all, over forty buildings were included in the painting. The County printed over 3,000 copies for distribution. In 2019, under the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program, Jim, a Korean War veteran, was asked to develop sketches for statues of both a male and a female soldier for the new Cherokee County Veterans Park in Canton.
Jim believes in serving one’s community. He is a 22 year volunteer with MUST Ministries and was a long time First Responder with the L. A. Volunteer Fire Department, a member of CERT with Dolores, a Board member of several art associations including the Cherokee County Art Association, a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and several other church groups. He also served as President of his local Lions Club before moving to Georgia. Over the years, Jim has also donated numerous paintings for charitable fundraising events and finds it an honor to be able to do so.