James Groleau was born in Lewiston, Maine in 1960. He is self-taught. He produced his first serious drawings, which were political posters, with the aim of discouraging military draft registration.
Following three years of human rights work in Guatemala, he received grants from the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute and the Haymarket People’s Fund which he used to render a series of drawings on indigenous life in the highlands. These drawings were reproduced in a limited edition book of 300.
Since 1995, Groleau has devoted his efforts towards creating mezzotints. Currently, he is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and the Bay Printmakers of San Francisco. He is a board member for the Graphic Arts Workshop, a printmaking cooperative.