Haddonfield Memorial High School Alumni

Haddonfield, New Jersey (NJ)

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Jim Coles

Class of 1985

For Immediate Release
Oct. 18, 2010

Joel Gavin
Director of Marketing and Communications
Oklahoma Arts Council
(405) 521-2931


Oklahoma City, OK – James Coles, Tulsa, will be honored by Governor Brad Henry at the 35th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards. Coles will receive the George Nigh Public Service in the Arts Award that recognizes an Oklahoma government official for outstanding support of the arts.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, 15 individuals and two organizations will be honored for their contributions to the arts in their communities or throughout the state. The ceremony is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 10 in the 4th Floor Rotunda of the State Capitol and is open to the public. Presiding at the ceremony will be Governor Brad Henry, Council Chair Kym Koch Thompson and Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Suzanne Tate. A reception on the first floor of the Capitol will follow the 4 p.m. ceremony.

A planner for the City of Tulsa, James Coles was the first City of Tulsa employee to dedicate his efforts towards the staffing of the city’s Arts Commission. In this role Coles is considered the Administrator of the Arts Commission and involved in all aspects of the public art program. Since Coles’ participation with the Arts Commission began Tulsa has seen unprecedented growth in the public art program with over 60 new works being added to the collection. One of the crown jewels of the City's collection is the highly acclaimed BOK Center’s integrated art program. The BOK Center project is the largest “percent for public art” program in Tulsa’s history at over $1.4 million dollars and includes 31 original works. The importance of supporting local artist's is evident in the BOK Center which includes 5 artists, 4 of which have strong Oklahoma ties.

In addition to his assisting in all aspects of Tulsa's Public Art program, Coles volunteers for several local non-profit groups. He currently assists the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, the Tulsa Beautification Foundation, the Tulsa Area United Way and Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa Class XXVI and a graduate of Leadership Arts Class III.

A native of Haddonfield, NJ, Coles relocated to Oklahoma in 1991 and has been employed by the City of Tulsa since 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and a Masters Degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture. Coles’ photography has been featured in several architectural books and an Oklahoma Centennial Commissioned book, The Artwork of Tulsa, by John Brooks Walton.


The Oklahoma Arts Council is a state agency whose mission is to improve lives through the arts by promoting and sustaining the development of a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans.

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