Rosalux lost one of our most beloved collective members this past June when artist James Wrayge passed away after a years long battle with cancer. James was a long time member of the collective, having joined in 2002 as we moved from our original location on central avenue and sticking with us for nearly fifteen years after. James was a great sounding board who never pulled any punches when giving feedback to other artists who sought out his counsel. He was a greatly admired artist within our community whose insight and integrity could always be counted on to encourage others get through the rough patches that occur in the studio from time to time. He was a great friend to many of those who shared time with him at Rosalux, always ready with a joke and a snort or a hilarious story from his past having to do with just about any situation that came up. James was someone we could always count on, even after he left the collective, who regularly attended our exhibitions and kept in contact with many of our current artists. James was an inspirational figure within our community who will not soon be replaced and will be sorely missed, we will love you always and wish you peace on your continued journey.
Obituary of James Roland Wrayge
James Roland Wrayge, age 75, of Minneapolis, died on June 16. He was preceded in death by parents, Frances and Roland “Bud”, and brother, Tom. He is survived by wife, Erica Christ, sisters Roseanne and Susan, daughter Nina and nephews Tony and Nick Carlson. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he was drafted and served in the US Army. He studied art at the University of Minnesota. Jimmy was a bartender in downtown Minneapolis for forty years. More than half those years were spent at Eli’s on Hennepin Avenue, where a giant painting of his looked over the hundreds of customers, co-workers and friends of his that came and went over the years. An artist in vocation and spirit, he leaves behind several hundred paintings of surpassing beauty, many of them in homes, offices, and galleries locally and all over the country. He worked in a studio in northeast Minneapolis, and, with his studio-mate of almost 30 years, Matt Madson, opened his studio for every Art-a-Whirl since its inception. Jimmy will be remembered for his uncompromising taste, his short temper, his long memory, his wisdom, his sharp wit, and his stubbornness. You could count on him to tell it like he saw it, whether or not you wanted to hear it. He was a jazz lover, an excellent cook, a screwball, and a fighter. He was remarkably dedicated to his art, throughout his life and especially throughout his three years of cancer treatments, last working in his studio less than a week before his death. A memorial celebration will be held at noon on August 5, at the Black Forest Inn on 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis. He will be interred at Fort Snelling at a later date.