James Oleson is a sculptor and muralist who has made major contributions to public art in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay, and has spearheaded communities and art spaces central to St. Petersburg’s reputation as a haven for the arts.
Oleson describes himself as “a modern-day street alchemist,” and his sculptures in particular unearth the unique character of found objects and repurposed components. His fanciful creatures and characters have graced downtown Tampa, Ocala City Hall, and Hernando High School.
Oleson is also a tireless organizer and art entrepreneur. He is the former head of the Oleson Gallery, which eventually grew into the Bloom Arts Center. Bloom is a 7,000 square foot arts complex featuring artist studios, community education, a bookstore and regular events.
Oleson frequently teaches courses around Pinellas, including at Bloom, the Morean Arts Center and the Dazzio School of Art.