Studied at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, at the Arts Students League in New York City, as well as at Ricks College in Idaho and Brigham Young University. He earned is MFA in art from the University of Utah in 1988.
James Avati was a sculptor. He won a major competition to create three life-size figures for in education monument in Mesa, Arizona, a life-size General for Fort. Douglas in Utah, Two life-size figures for the Utah Valley Community college in Orem, one life-size figure for the Sand, Utah Courthouse, another life-size figure for Hill Air Force Base, and a 7-foot-4-inch Philo T. Farnsworth for the U.S. Capitol Building.