James Sextro (1949) Missouri, California, Florida
James Sextro was born in Missouri. Art and the creative process captured him at an early age. He loves the outdoors and works “Plein Air.” He is a founding member of the Winter Garden Wisteria Artists, a collective of fou local artists who paint impressions of Winter Garden, Florida on Plant Street Boulevard among the white roses by the gazebo and the fountain arbor covered in Wisteria.
Sextro’s life during the 1970s was like many young men, off to the army (1969-1971) and Vietnam. He served with the 64th Armored Infantry Division. He left the service with an honorable discharge.
After Vietnam he returned home to St. Louis, Missouri. Here he picked up the life he had left behind. His interest and knowledge in art lead him to the art instructor Lonnie Tettaton in 1971 at the Midwest School or Lettering and Design. The graduate course work included silk screening and design. This course work prepared him for the work as a commercial artist.
He graduated from Meramec Community College, Florissant Valley College, Midwest School of Lettering & Design and the Famous Artist Correspondence School.
After graduation Sextro established his own art and design business, ‘New City Graphics’ 1971-1976 on Maryland Plaza in St. Louis, Missouri. Using his graphic design skills and a small “115 Chief” offset printing press he created flyers, menus, and provided signs for local businesses. Always painting and creating fine art projects on the side.
As the economy turned in St. Louis, MO, he found work as a commercial artist at ‘Rainbow Graphics’ 1972-1974 St. Louis, Missouri. His responsibilities were all silk screen printing, printing press operation, materials and screen preparation.
Enjoying the freedom to leave work behind and go home to his art projects and part-time business. He sought another position with ‘The Color Process Company’ in Bridgeton, Missouri from 1975-1989. This position expanded his skills in camera work, reduction/enlargement, typesetting, copy placement, stencil cutting, layout, design and production. Introducing him to new hardware and updating his printing skills. The production process included color and ink mixing. The proof process with clients was his responsibility for sign off and final approval. This company opened the door for his own work and many other art projects.
The knowledge of his art work and painting became known in Missouri and the surrounding community. Sextro’s worked included commissioned projects including, murals, oil on canvas and board, and even work in decorative and ceramic tile. His art is held in private collections throughout Missouri.
Sextro taught classes in still life and was the activity director of a living complex in Nevada, Missouri and provided art demonstrations for retirement homes. Today, he provides private instruction for young aspiring artists in Florida.
In 1997 he was commissioned to assist with the restoration of the Kiefer mural in Fort Scott, Kansas at the Liberty Theater in 1997. This provided him the opportunity to work with “milk paint”, expanding his knowledge in mural work.
Sextro had always enjoyed working Plein Air, weather permitting in Missouri. The opportunity came and he relocated to Florida in 2010. He settled in the Winter Garden in central Florida. He works daily outside with his canvas, paints, brushes and palette. He is a member of the Winter Garden Art Association and exhibits regularly at the SoBo Art Gallery.
Sextro was awarded the 2016 Florida Art History metal for his commitment to the arts in Winter Garden, Florida and Florida.
His art has been exhibited at nationwide in Missouri, California, and Florida in art galleries, public libraries, Chamber of Commerce, retirement villages and businesses. Sextro’s art is owned by private collectors, businesses, public libraries, community centers, and art galleries.
He donates his time and talent to the community for the local Winter Garden Art Festival every year. He designs a new murals and projects every year for the event. This project is in collaboration with the "Winter Garden Wisteria Artists"; Luke Sosinavage (SOS), Rudy Depesia and Ken Armor. These four artists have very distinctive styles. The one thing in common is they paint impressions of Winter Garden, Florida on Plant Street among the white roses by the fountain arbor covered in Wisteria.
His fine art projects are commissioned and free lance. Today he works out of his studio home, the SoBo Gallery and in Winter Garden with the Wisteria Artists.
He enjoys sharing his talent, techniques and art with passersby on Plant Street in Winter Garden, Florida.
This biographical information is based on a series of interviews in person, telephone and text message, November 2017 with James Sextro and Janet Smith.
Copyright 2017 Janet G. Smith and James Sextro
Copyright 2004-2020 Janet Gwendolyn Smith Art
All artwork is copyright of the respective owner or artist.