ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art
, announced that Founding Director Bernice Chu will be departing to pursue new business opportunities effective August 2, 2019.
Chu was instrumental in the design, launch and opening of The James Museum in April of 2018. With expert vision and leadership, Chu built a strong foundation for the museum, laying the groundwork for its growth into a valuable community resource and world-class arts destination.
I have an exciting opportunity to help establish a new museum, the International African American Museum, in Charleston, South Carolina, Chu said. As thrilled as I am to work on this historic project, I am equally sad to leave The James Museum and St. Petersburg Community.
Commenting on the announcement, the museums co-founder, Tom James, stated Mary and I would like to thank Bernice for her leadership, service and commitment to the museum and wish her the very best in her future endeavors."
James stated further, "Mary and I will work with our core leadership team at the museum to oversee the transition until the appointment of a new director.
The James Museum contains over 400 works of art selected from over 3,000 pieces acquired by Tom and Mary James over their 50 years of art collecting. The 88,000 square foot museum includes over 30,000 square feet of gallery space; a double height lobby with water feature; a Native American jewelry collection; 6,000 square feet of rental event space supporting both large events and break-out sessions; a commercial catering kitchen; and a museum shop and café. Planned programming includes special exhibitions in a variety of genres, artist talks and demonstrations, art classes, docent tours and childrens activities. Through exhibitions and education programs, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art emphasizes the core values of art that moved Tom and Mary James: action, fortitude, heritage and integrity.