James McCreary was born in Dublin. He worked at the Harry Clarke stained glass studio between 1960 and 1963. From 1964 to 1978 he worked as a steel erector for Smith and Pearson’s structural steel engineering works.
In 1973, he joined the Graphic Studio, Dublin studying etching and lithography and became the studio manager there in 1980. He set up and managed the Visiting Artists’ programme, which introduced many of Ireland’s leading artists to print making over the past 25 years. Along with Mary Farl Powers and James O’Nolan, he was responsible for setting up of the Graphic Studio Gallery in Cope Street in 1988. In 2004, he left his position as studio manager to concentrate solely on his own work.
Selected solo exhibitions include Galleri Astley in Sweden (2004); Graphic Studio Gallery in Dublin (1993). Selected group exhibitions include: The cracked looking-glass in Dublin and in the Old Print Shop, Lexington Avenue, New York; (2004); 6e Triennal Mondiale Chamalieres, France (2003); The London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy, London (1997-2003).
He has represented Ireland at the Biennale of European Graphic Art in Heidelberg and the International Print Triennial in East Berlin (among others). His work can be found in the public collections of the Modern Art Museum in Cairo, the Chester Beatty Library, the National Gallery of Ireland and the Crawford Municipal Gallery in Cork.