A Farewell Exhibition from James and Ann Rogers

Feb 4, 2014

by Cary McMullen | Publications Editor

As they say, you can’t take it with you. 

Over the years, Dr. James Rogers, professor of art history at FSC, and his wife, Ann, a library specialist in the Roux Library, amassed a considerable art collection, many of the works purchased from FSC students and faculty. The Rogers are retiring – Ann in February and Jim at the end of the spring semester – and they realized that they had no place to keep all their art in the condo in St. Petersburg where they will live.

“We have paintings everywhere – stacked in the closets and under the beds. We said, ‘What are we going to do with all this?’” says Jim Rogers. “Although we think all the work is outstanding, there are only a few that we can take with us. We thought this would be a good opportunity to sell works, with the proceeds going to the Department of Art and Art History to be used to meet special needs.”

So an idea for an exhibition was born. The Rogers chose a few dozen works and organized them into an exhibition in the College’s Melvin Gallery, “22 Years of Faculty and Student Art: Collected by Jim and Ann Rogers from Exhibitions at Florida Southern College.” The exhibition opened Friday with a reception and continues through Feb. 28. Some of those works are for sale through silent auction bids, and beginning prices range from $20 to $200. (To see some of the works, click here.)

The Rogers came to FSC in 1992 and have been deeply involved in Lakeland art and civic organizations. Jim Rogers has served on the boards of the Polk Museum of Art, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and Historic Lakeland. He was chairman of the Department of Art from 1999 to 2003 and then chairman of the Division of Fine and Performing Arts from 2003 to 2012.

Professor of Art William Otremsky says Jim Rogers has worked tirelessly to improve the department.

“Jim has been a great leader for the Department of Art and Art History and has been an eloquent, forceful voice representing the College as a whole.  He is open, communicative, and hard-working, and he is an outstanding professor and friend. Jim is an ideal colleague and mentor, and I count myself lucky to have worked with him for the past 15 years. I will miss him terribly,” Otremsky says.

Jim Rogers says he and Ann are excited about retirement but regret leaving behind the many friends they have made here.

“I still enjoy teaching, but it’s nice to leave when people can say with some degree of honesty, ‘We’re sorry to see you go,’” he jokes.

The Melvin Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when Florida Southern classes are in session. There is no admission. For more information, call 680-4743.