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James Museum Appoints Two to Leadership Positions

James Museum | Art Museum | Special Interest

The museum has named a director of education and a facilities manager.

ST. PETERSBURG – Julie Matus has been hired as director of education for the Tom and Mary James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg and Thomas Calvert has been hired as the museum facilities manager, according to Bernice Chu, the Interim Director for the James Museum.

They began their new roles on Aug. 21 and Monday (Aug. 28) respectively. Both will report directly to Chu, who was appointed earlier this month.

Matus brings nearly 20 years of experience in museums and cultural organizations and comes to the James Museum from the St. Petersburg College Foundation where she served as the art collection curator for the past two years. Before working at the Foundation, she spent seven years as curator of education at the Tampa Bay History Center and held educational programming roles at the Florida Humanities Council in St. Petersburg and the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in Museum Studies/Education from the University of Florida.

Julie Matus | James Museum | Art
Julie Matus

At the James she will be responsible for a number of activities including creating the museum’s annual calendar of programs for adults and children. Those will include docent tours, artist talks, classes and other interpretive programs; developing programming related to the permanent and temporary exhibitions and providing leadership for educational curricula for Tampa Bay K-12 students.

Calvert has an extensive background in facilities management beginning with a distinguished 22-year military career in the U.S. Air Force, where he worked in engineering and surveying as well as construction and contract management. He spent the past three years as the facilities manager for First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg and, before that, was operations manager for three years at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus.

His role at the James Museum will be to oversee the effective and safe operation and maintenance of the museum facilities, grounds and parking areas, including supervising the security, housekeeping and maintenance staff.

Thomas Calvert | James Museum | Art
Thomas Calvert

“I am delighted to welcome both Julie and Tom to our team,” Chu said. “Their expertise and knowledge in their respective areas will be a great addition to our staff and I am looking forward to working closely with them both as we continue to build out a first class museum – programmatically and operationally.”

The James Museum will be the new, permanent home of about 400 premier works of art selected from the more than 3,000 pieces acquired by Tom and Mary James over their 50 years of collecting.

The 84,000 square foot museum at 150 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg will include more than 30,000 square feet of gallery space; a double height lobby with water feature; Native American Jewelry collection, 6,000 square feet of rental event space, supporting both large events and break-out sessions; a commercial catering kitchen; a museum store and café; as well as all of the spaces required to support and operate a 21st Century museum of this scale.

In addition to the museum space, the development of the James Museum building will include almost 35,000 square feet of leaseable space, owned by James R.E., situated on the east and west sides of the project. The Sembler Co.  is leasing the ground floor retail units and Echelon Real Estate Services is leasing the Class A Office space located on the second floor.

Construction of the museum is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, with a grand opening planned in early 2018.

For information about the James Museum, go to

Photos courtesy of the James Museum.

The James Museum | Julie Matus | Thomas Calvert | Art Museum | Tampabay News | Local News

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James Museum Appoints Two to Leadership Positions
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James Museum Appoints Two to Leadership Positions
The museum has named a director of education and a facilities manager.
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TB Reporter
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