Jim Falck grew up on a family farm near Buchanan, North Dakota. He entered North Dakota Agricultural College located in Fargo, North Dakota (now North Dakota State University) in 1948 as a student in the Department of Architecture. It was a time of intense learning and partaking in a vibrant atmosphere of college life and this has always been a pleasant and rewarding memory for Falck.
After his graduation in 1953, Falck entered the United Air Force as a commissioned officer. After his tour of duty he moved to Denver, Colorado to begin a career in architectural practice which moved him to Houston, Flagstaff and Phoenix, Arizona and then back to Denver where he worked for Victor Hornbein, the most significant architect of the region. During his stay in these cities, Falck attended continuing education programs in drawing and painting classes.
While in Denver, there were sabbaticals from architecture when he had the opportunity to paint and draw in his home studio. Exhibits of this work were shown at the Denver Art Museum, The Dallas Fine Arts Museum, several Colorado galleries, as well at Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Falck moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1966 to work in the Gropius lead office, the Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, and at the Boston Redevelopment Authority with an important change of work as the Chief Landscape Architect for the Metropolitan Park System. After his regisnation in 1988, Falck decided to enroll at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, to study visual arts in painting and drawing, history of art, and senior studio life. This was an inspirational time for Falck as he studied with much younger students. The energy of the art college, the challenges made and met, and the idea of learning the discipline of art was a complete renewal of life. He was graduated with a degree in Visual Art with a concentration in painting in 1991.
Falck undertook additional studio work at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston. This was a time of consolidation in painting with the guidance of Tim Nichols, a demanding instructor and painter in his own right. Painting became a very personal part of life for Falck during this period. Opportunities to travel and paint available in other countries with important cultural aspects not found in the United States. Falck made four trips to the Initituto at San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in addition to five visits to the summer program of Montserrat College to study and paint at Viterbo, Italy. This was a learning experience to be in a concentration of Renaissance Art and Architecture as well as in trips to Rome, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Venice and Arezzo where the frescos of Piero dela Francesca are presented including the Discovery of the True Cross in the church of St. Francesco. The joy of painting in this beautiful country is beyond description.
Falck spent month long residencies in Portugal and Spain where spring's awakening of nature was an inspiration. The residency held at the beautiful estate of the Albuquerque's in the northern Portugal wine growing region allowed Falck a simple private studio adjacent to the great mansion. Meals were taken in the dining room of the Albuquerque's with open windows overlooking a lovely formal garden and the vineyards beyond. Conversations with Senior Albuquerque and his wife Amelia at the table were about worldly affairs in art and music. At the end of his there was a meeting of the European Ministers including the Prime Minister of Portugal. Jim's paintings of this time there were exhibited in a new gallery at the estate.
A year later, he was invited to Gallifa, Spain, where the Artigas Foundation offered terrific studio space for painting. At this location, Miro and Llorens Artigas designed the ceramic walls for the Harvard University cafeteria, the UNESCO building in Paris, as well as the mural at the Barcelona airport. Falck experienced an inspirational time there filling the walls of the studio with paintings reflecting the location and inspiration of this fortunate gift of place and time.
Painting is a great renewal of life for Falck. His long search to be an artist in this life is giving satisfaction beyond anything else. Art has given him hope, satisfaction, a renewal of youth, and an unending possibility with much desire for future. This artistic experience has been a complete renaissance itself.
Falck wishes to thank the Department of Visual Art at North Dakota State University for making this exhibition possible. The satisfaction of being back on campus is another great experience.