James Gould grew up in Lockport, New York, not far from Buffalo. His family valued working with their hands to make and repair a wide variety of things.
Smitten with creating artwork and making from an early age, James disregarded advice to the contrary and studied art through high school and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in the subject from SUNY Brockport. He then took a spontaneous detour and created a popular secondhand bookstore in Rochester, NY before selling the store and being lured to New Mexico 11 years later.
James perfected his skills as a woodworker in Santa Fe through on-the-job training and experience making custom furniture and architectural features and carving decorative picture frames. His original work often combines painted surfaces with fine woodwork and has been recognized with various awards. He has taught in the Fine Woodworking Department of the Santa Fe Community College since 2002. In addition to woodworking and the pursuit of other art forms, James has also exercised his range of skills to help people take care of buildings. He was the Property Manager for the McCune Charitable Foundation for several years. He has a select group of private clients with second homes in Santa Fe, and he personally owns and cares for a small rental property. James has held the position of Building Manager for the Institute since the building opened in 2008.