When the BCA honored Tom James in 2009 with the Leadership Award, he already had quite an impressive resume of sustained arts support between the Salvador Dali Museum, the American Stage Theatre Company, and the Tom and Mary James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection. The majority of the latter were displayed in the corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, earning the workplace awards for having a creative environment.
James once said of headquarters, “office space is the next best thing to a museum because we have a high traffic area with about a million square feet here.” Now, these works have made their way to the best thing – The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.
What was once an annual art show entitled “The Wildlife & Western Visions” hosted at the headquarters has developed into its own museum. Housed in a building with an exterior inspired by the American Southwest and an interior by cubism, the museum has over 400 pieces on display. Many of these works are by living artists, from whom Tom and Mary have made a conscious effort to buy. The museum features six exhibits: Early West, Native Life, Native Artists, Frontier, Wildlife, and New West spread throughout 84,000 square feet.
The grand opening celebration weekend will be April 28th and 29th.
Photo: Tom and Mary James at the BCA 10 Gala in 2009