Jim Rohal was born in 1974, in Virginia, of John P. and Venetta Rohal. He was raised in Ellicot City, MD, Hopewell Springs, NJ, and Potomac, MD. He is a former resident of Boston, MA, New York City, NY, New Orleans, LA, Kensington, MD, Los Angeles, CA, and Durham, NH. He currently resides in San Francisco, CA.
His education continued at Boston University, which granted him a BFA summa cum laude in Painting in 1996. His teachers at BU included John Walker, Alfred Leslie, John Moore, Hal Reddicliffe, Richard Raiselis, Stuart Baron, Michael V. David, and Art Historian Caroline A. Jones.
After his undergraduate study Rohal wandered across the country looking for a new direction in life. Among his diverse work history, he has been as an elementary school teacher in New Orleans, a hedge fund associate in Manhattan, and a clerk at an independent bookstore in Washington, DC. His experiences crossing the country by car inspired the creation of eclectic paintings that embody the contemporary American landscape.
In 2005 he returned to formal study to pursue a MFA in Painting at the University of New Hampshire, which was awarded in 2007. His teachers at UNH included Langdon Quin, Jennifer Moses, Grant Drumheller, Brian Chu, Craig Hood, Ben Cariens, Scott Schnepf, and Art Historian David Smith.
Rohal has taught Art on the university level at the University of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He currently teaches at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, CA.
Among his influences, Rohal cites Francisco de Goya, Pieter Brueghel, Rembrandt van Rijn, Georges de la Tour, Francois Boucher, Edgar Degas, Chaim Soutine, Edward Hopper, and Richard Diebenkorn.