James Michaels: An American Pop Life

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About The Exhibition:

James Michaels (1945-), (left) Howdy Doody Dutch,  (right) J.M. 1990

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is proud to present the special exhibition James Michaels: An American Pop Life open November 17, 2018 through March 3, 2019. This group of paintings, chosen primarily from the Tom and Mary James collection, highlights more than 30 years of James Michaels’ prolific artistic career in the Tampa Bay region.

Combining pop culture iconography with 1950s childhood memories, Michaels’ Pop Expressionist paintings are bold with color and composition, expressive brush strokes, and deliberate paint splashes. His work resonates with multiple generations with its themes of pop culture and nostalgia.

The works featured in James Michaels: An American Pop Life are expressive, thoughtful, and oftentimes amusing. A creative painter combining technical expertise and vision with childlike fun, Michaels adds an unexpected pop of Pop to The James Museum.




About James Michaels:

Born in New York in 1945, James Michaels knew early on that he wanted to be an artist. After time in the U. S. Air Force in the 1960s, he attended the Pan American Art School in New York. The 1970s brought a move to the Tampa Bay region, a job drawing political cartoons for the Tampa Tribune, and

successful work in commercial art. He also attended Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida. After painting on a part-time basis for several years, Michaels took the leap to pursue a fine arts career in 1980 and has had decades of success at regional art festivals.

Honors and recognition include a 1986 Awards in the Visual Arts national fellowship in painting, multiple grants from Pinellas County Arts Council and the State of Florida, and two Best in Show awards at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa. Michaels’ art is represented in the permanent collections of the Tampa Museum of Art, Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, and The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.