A Dec. 8 networking event and special presentation at the downtown Staybridge Suites is planned for residents who want the scoop on St. Petersburg’s “next art and cultural milestone,” the St. Petersburg Chamber recently announced.
Staybridge Suites is located at 940 Fifth Ave. South; networking at 8:30 a.m. will precede a 9 a.m. presentation by Emily Kapes, art collection curator at Raymond James Financial.
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art will be the city’s newest venue for the arts when it opens to the public in fall of 2017, evoking the vision of philanthropists Tom and Mary James, who traveled extensively throughout America collecting art that spoke of the American west, nature and wildlife.
The 80,000-square-foot venue will house several hundred works of art from the couple’s own collection. In developing the concept, Tom James spoke of how art can capture the essence of a cultural experience.
“It’s difficult to create something that will evoke memories of where you were, what you saw, what you thought,” James said. “I found art had a way of doing that.”
The museum will not only enhance the local arts on its own, but also join with the existing Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and Chihuly Collection — and the forthcoming Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement — in elevating St. Petersburg as a valued cultural destination.
The event is presented by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, an umbrella arts organization striving to be a voice for the arts community and an advocate for arts-related economic development in St. Petersburg.