Photo: Courtesy The University of Arizona Museum of Art
Art Treasures Seldom Seen By Valerie Vinyard
The University of Arizona Museum of Art has quite a stash – of rare and seldom-seen works of art. In fact, the museum’s 10 rooms can showcase a mere 3 percent of its collection at any one time. “There are a lot of things that just never go out on display,” said Olivia Miller, curator of education for this museum with a world-class collection of more than 6,000 pieces. The museum is in the UA fine arts complex off Speedway Boulevard. “We’re going to try to bring the 97 percent out as much as we can,” said Jill McCleary, UAMA archivist and one of the organizers of the museum’s spring gala. “We’re using it as a reason to celebrate what we have.” That’s everything from Rembrandt and Goya to Picasso, O’Keeffe and Lipchitz. UAMA is holding two events in the coming months to introduce people to the museum, showcase its art treasures and grow membership. The events ¬– a membership drive and the gala – complement a series of 21 exhibitions over the next 18 months. The first event will be open to the public on Jan. 24 – a membership drive called Mysteries from the Vault. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will start off the evening of mystery, scavenger hunts, mini art tours and entertainment. Lori Carroll, new to the UAMA Partners Board, co-chairs the membership 58 BizTucson
drive along with fellow board member Pattie Johnston. As the owner of Lori Carroll & Associates, an interior design firm, Carroll is surrounded by art. She said it’s exciting to see what is available at the museum, and she hopes to grow museum membership. “I’d like to invigorate the enthusiasm for the arts,” Carroll said. “You think of all that is available to do at the university. There is some amazing art here. But it’s going to take some young, energetic blood to have the enthusiasm to embrace it.” Like many museums, attracting new members is an ongoing challenge. UAMA is developing programs to draw in new members from curious adults to toddlers.
MYSTERIES FROM THE VAULT Friday, January 24, 6 to 9 p.m. University of Arizona Museum of Art 1031 N. Olive Road (off Speedway Blvd.) No charge For reservations, call Lori Carroll, (520) 886-3443
SWINGIN’ UNDER THE STARS Saturday, March 22, 6:30 to 10 p.m. University of Arizona Museum of Art $200 per person For reservations contact Christine Aguilar, (520) 621-5676, firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’ve started a program for the university community called Out of the Vault, where we pull a work of art that’s not on display and have a professor come and talk about it during lunchtime,” Miller said. A new early childhood program called Art Sprouts aims to lure more families to the museum. In keeping with tradition, the 2014 gala event would have been called Bouquets to Art, where local florists create a bouquet inspired by a piece of art. Yet UAMA wanted to try something different as it celebrates 90 years of campus art exhibits. The new gala will take place March 24 and is called Swingin’ Under the Stars. Held outside in front of the museum, it will feature tents with food and drink. The Jeff Haskell Band will play swing music, there will be a photo booth and likely a silent auction. The gala also will have interactive activities – such as living statues interspersed among the “real” statues. “People can be a part of the art,” said McCleary, who is hoping to have 300 people at the event. “With Swingin’ Under the Stars, you’re under this world-class art collection,” Miller said. “It’s just not every day you have that opportunity. “We will have live swing music and dancing in a beautiful, sparkling setting. It will be really fun and really different.”
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