Five years ago this Thanksgiving, it was a very exciting, anticipating, and demanding time knowing that a half dozen of my colleagues at the time, city development officials, architects, contractors, founding SMoW board members, and other collaborators were all working together to prepare our new Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold facility to open in mid-January 2015. It was an incredibly unique time as well, knowing that we were preparing our inaugural exhibits in seven different galleries without our institution’s ownership of one single work of art, artifact, or media.
How did the exhibitions really come about? They did so because of a handful of major collectors who believed in the city-owned institution’s mission and potential and were generous in their loan of some of the nation’s best of the West’s historic and contemporary works that helped our opening exhibits bridge the Old West to the New West. With our fifth anniversary less than two months away, and with Thanksgiving coming up, on behalf of our museum family of members, special donors, and visitors, I as director thank the following individuals who without their hands-on involvement in our first series of exhibitions that helped position this institution as worthy of instant community pride, and continuing their active engagement to this day, we would not be recognized regionally and nationally as a destination institution that helps others from around the world “see the West from a whole new perspective.”
Frankie and Howie Alper ✩ Ken Amorosano
Arizona State University ✩ Bob Boze Bell
Rees Candie ✩ Sue and John Coleman
Martha and Wayne Ecton ✩ Charles Fritz
Ray Harvey ✩ Abe Hays Family
Richard Lampert ✩ Molly and Bronwyn McGary
Christine Mollring ✩ Gerald Peters
Elaine and Tim Peterson ✩ William Ridenour
Dorothy and Les Rist ✩ Dr. Rennard Strickland
Scott Turner ✩ Mark Zaplin (in memoriam)
At this particular holiday time, your museum is also genuinely thankful to all its members, donors, volunteers, Trustees, City Council members and officials, collectors, institutions, and museum staff for contributing in diverse ways to its remarkable maturation in its first five years.
Mike Fox, Director/CEO