Jim Nawara was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking at the University of Illinois. In 1969 he accepted a teaching appointment at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, where he is Professor Emeritus of Art.
His prints, drawings and paintings have been shown in a long list of national and international group exhibitions over the past two decades. Additionally, he has had one-man exhibitions at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
Nawara's work has been acquired for numerous museum and university collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Bradford City Art Gallery (England), Aukland City Art Gallery (New Zealand), National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland), Northern Illinois University, Georgia State University, University of California, Auburn University, Miami University, University of Western Ontario, and others.
Nawara's work has focused on imaginary aerial views of landscape. While the subjects are invented, they are based on considerable observation from airplanes and interests in geology, cartography and archaeology.