Born and raised in the rural environment of western New Jersey, James Mullen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture and Printmaking from the University of New Hampshire in 1985. In 1986 he participated in the LaNapoule Summer Art Program, then completed his Master of Fine Arts in Painting at Indiana University in 1991. He has taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, the University of Evansville in Indiana, and since 1999 has taught at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, where he is a Professor in the Department of Art. Mullen has received numerous awards and scholarships including an Individual Artist Grant from the state of Georgia as well as Research Grants from both the University of Evansville and Bowdoin College. He has had over twenty solo exhibitions at venues including the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta, GA, The Chattahoochie Valley Art Museum in LaGrange, GA, Artemisia Gallery in Chicago, IL , The Maine Center for Contemporary Art in Rockport, ME, and at Providence College in Rhode Island. He has also had several solo exhibitions at the Ruschman Art Gallery in Indianapolis, IN and at Sherry French Gallery in New York City. He has also been awarded residencies at the Spring Island Artist in Residence program in South Carolina, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL. In 2010 he was selected for an Artist Residency at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, and in 2015  was awarded a residency at Hewnoaks Artsist Colony. In 2015 he was awarded a Puffin Foundation Grant for the Pilgrimage Project. Recent solo exhibitions have included Phoenix Gallery in New York City, University of Southern New Hampshire, Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, NY, the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME,and the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College in Wenham, MA.