The Best Thing You Can Do Today: Keep up with the Jameses on $10 Tuesday
James Michaels: An American Pop Life, the second special exhibition at the new James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, is a must-see no matter what the day, but seeing it on a Tuesday offers you more bang for your buck. Not only is the usual $20 admission reduced to $10, Tuesday is also the day when the museum stays open till 8 p.m., with live music included with admission from 5-8. Tonight’s guests: 6 Volt Rodeo, whose description is as irresistible as their name: “Rising from the dust and tumbleweeds of Palm Harbor, Florida, these aficionados of classic country, swing, jazz, and rockabilly have combined to create Florida’s most exciting Western swing band.”
The museum’s main attraction at the moment is the work of another artist hailing from Palm Harbor: James Michaels. His exuberant Pop-inflected paintings can be found in major collections throughout the Tampa Bay area, including that of Tom and Mary James, from which this exhibition is drawn. Michaels’s interestingly varied background — Air Force vet, political cartoonist, commercial artist — finds its way into his art, which can be both playful and pointed, and, as the museum’s promotional materials rightfully state, “resonates with multiple generations.”
Which could also be said of the museum as whole. Its wide-ranging collection of top-flight Western and wildlife art holds appeal for kids as well as adults, and the building itself, designed by starchitect Yann Weymouth, is a stunner.
James Michaels: An American Pop Life runs through March 3, 2019.