James Grubola joined the Department of Fine Arts and the Hite Art Institute after completing his MFA at Indiana University Bloomington where he worked with Distinguished Professor Rudy Pozzatti. A native Detroiter, Grubola earned his BFA from Wayne State University in both printmaking and drawing. It was during this time that Grubola first began work with the medieval drawing technique of silverpoint. Although he continues to work in a number of different media and techniques including printmaking, his true passion has been for drawing.
Grubola has maintained an active exhibition record highlighted by several one and two person exhibitions including “30 Years of Silverpoint Drawing” at Nazareth Gallery in Nazareth, Kentucky and “Lines on the Landscape” an exhibition in the University’s Hite Galleries / Belknap and the Evansville Museum of Art and Science. Grubola’s work has also been exhibited in numerous invitational and traveling exhibitions and represented in the permanent collections of the Speed Art Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and corporate collections of Bristol Myers Squibb, Eastman Kodak, and McGraw Hill Inc.
In 1975 Grubola joined the faculty of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville where he has served as head of the drawing program. He teaches courses on all levels of drawing from beginning through graduate, including being one of the few to currently teach anatomy for the artist. In 2001 he was recognized by the University of Louisville's Alumni Association with the “Red Apple Award” for excellence in teaching and has been nominated for the Acorn Award for excellence in teaching at the university level in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Grubola also served as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Director of the Hite Art Institute for 16 years. During his tenure he overseen many changes to the department including the creation of the Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship Endowment, the addition of a program in glass along with the construction of the Cressman Center for Visual Arts - the university’s first, permanent, non-medical facility located in downtown Louisville, and the adoption of a selective admissions policy for the department. Grubola was named the 2008 recipient of the “Trustee's Award”, one of the university's highest awards which each year recognizes one faculty member who has had the greatest positive impact on students at the University of Louisville.