The James Museum, an exquisitely designed museum in downtown St. Petersburg, is an architectural marvel, and a resplendent example of fine art, photography, and sculpture. The museum’s educational outreach, and diverse array of exhibits have transformed it into one of the most excelsior cultural institutions in all of the Sunshine City.
What you didn’t know is that The James Museum is also home to one of the best shops in all of St. Petersburg. The Canyon offers gifts for visitors of all ages and interests. The items here are almost entirely made by First Nation Native American artists and makers.
Here are the items you need to see at The Canyon at The James Museum:
Rewrite – Rustico Leather – $22.95 – $215.00
Shop extraordinary luggage tags, credit card wallets, zip pouches, journals, totes and more. Made in Utah from top-grain cowhide. Each piece bears the marks of the original hide so no two pieces are completely alike. The leather softens with use, making each piece very personal
Native Northwest Board Books – $16.95
Goodnight World: gentle reshaping of the classic Goodnight, Moon, celebrating the animals of the Pacific Northwest with artwork contributed by more than 20 Native American and First Nations artists.
Sharing Our World: Animals of the Native Northwest Coast – Native American and First Nations of the Pacific coast share their culture, art, and special relationships with the animals of their region and how observing those animals shapes their views of life.
Woven coasters – Set of 4, $22.95
Imported by a woman-owned company, handwoven in Oaxaca by the Zapotec people, known for their weaving. 100% wool. Smaller version of their characteristic work, absorbent, thick and durable, protects furniture well. Available in assorted colors and patterns.
Bison sculpture – $44.95
From the Sonora desert of Arizona and northern Mexico. Handcarved from desert Ironwood. The wood must be exposed to the extremes of desert climate. Years of exposure the hot, dry conditions cause the natural resins to collect, condense and cure, transforming the wood and making it very dense and having. The harvesting of living Ironwood trees is restricted to artisans search for naturally fallen trees. The art form of carving ironwood was originated by the the Seri tribe who’ve lived in the Sonora desert for over 1,000 years. After carving, each piece is carefully hand sanded and polished. The number of skilled carvers is dropping.
Tile – 6 x 8 $29.95
The art of the late Bill Rabbit and his daughter Traci, both members of the Cherokee tribe. Traci is continuing her father’s legacy by offering a variety of products bearing his work as well as her own. Her company also provides employment to members of the family.
Multi-color horsehair pottery
Navajo Horse hair raku is a method of decorating pottery through the application of horsehair and other dry carbonaceous material to the heated ware. The burning carbonaceous material creates smoke patterns and carbon trails on the surface of the heated ware that remain as decoration after the ware cools.
Bracelet – Eric Begay – turquoise and spring pearl $575
Located Near Hoover Dam. We are 100% Navajo. Erick’s family has been involved in Native American jewelry for generations. His mother, Frances Begay, taught him the art of silversmithing while she sold jewelry in Santa Fe. Erick started making jewelry on his own when he was eleven. When he turned 16, Erick became a full-time jeweler. In 1993, both Erick and his mother moved to Las Vegas and opened their first store.
He has won numerous awards for his work. He uses tradition techniques to make his jewelry, such as tufa casting and sandcasting.
Necklace – Calvin Begay – Freedom Horse jet and opal inlay, sterling silver $415
Calvin Begay is an award winning artist, jeweler, designer and master craftsman. He was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1965 and raised in Tohatchi, northwestern New Mexico. Calvin designed his first piece of jewelry at age 10, learning from his mother an uncle. In more than 20 years as a jewelry designer and craftsman, he has become a master in every aspect of the design and manufacturing process. He has won numerous awards at the Gallup Inter Tribal Ceremonial, including Best of Show in 1989. His jewelry has been featured in Arizona Highways and Southwest Art Magazines.
This gifted artist continually innovates and updates his designs, working in both gold and silver, and adding new motifs and stones to his repertoire. In his leisure time, Calvin participates in rodeos and rides in the back country in his all terrain vehicles. When he creates jewelry, that wild free spirit finds expression in precious metals and stone.
He has a unique ability to translate traditional Navajo inlay techniques into jewelry that reflects his Native American heritage, yet have elegant and contemporary flair. Calvin’s work is prized by clients and collectors, not only in the Southwest, but throughout the United Stated and the world. In the artistry of Calvin Begay, the stunning beauty of the untamed West is reflected in the combination of color and design that create unforgettable pieces of wearable art.
Ring – EMT $255 – Kingman turquoise and sterling silver Mary and Everett Teller
These self-taught silversmiths have been making jewelry for over 20 years. Everett and Mary Teller’s work is made of sterling silver and 14k gold with simple Navajo overlay designs. They incorporate the storm pattern designs on many of their jewelry pieces.
They carefully design their pieces and select the stones using a wide variety of natural stones -Turquoise, Lapis, Oyster Shell, Coral, Onyx and more. They show their work in galleries as well as prestigious art shows such as The Heard Museum and Santa Fe Indian Markets. The workmanship is impeccable – you can always depend upon quality when you purchase a piece of Everett & Mary Teller jewelry. Mary shares her joy for making jewelry, “I enjoy designing something new.”
The James Museum is located at 150 Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. Want $5 off your admission? Use code JMilovetheburg on the James Museum website!