James Ormsby was born in 1957 of Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato, Te Arawa and Katimana (Scottsman) decent. He was raised and educated in Hamilton and currently lives and works in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
He left the local Teachers Training College in 1981 to spend over thirteen years in Melbourne – Australia, working and then studying for a Degree in Education. He graduated in 1990, and then tutored in Design at the University of Melbourne. In 1995, James returned to New Zealand to help establish the first tertiary Indigenous Art School with Crown Status – Te Kura Toi, at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, there he tutored in Drawing, Painting, European and Maori Art Theory; producing work for group exhibitions, and Marae commissions. Finally he administered within the national Te Kura Toi Management Team, 2003 – 2006.
In 2002 he achieved his Master of Fine Art from RMIT (Melbourne, Australia), and started to exhibit at dealer galleries. He also teaches part-time at The Bay of Plenty PolyTech and guest lecture at MIT, UoW, TWoA. He and his wife Betty have four children and currently live in Mount Manganui.
James Ormsby is represented by PAULNACHE, Tūranga, Gisborne.