The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum was awarded $12 million from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to endow its general operations and programming, the Southwest Times Record reports.
FSRAM (as the museum styles itself) is just the most recent arts institution to benefit from the generosity of the Windgate Foundation, which has given hundreds of millions of dollars in total to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, UA Little Rock, UA Fort Smith, Arkansas State University and UA Pulaski Tech to build and support art and design facilities.
The Times Record reports that FSRAM director Louis “Lou” Meluso was surprised at the news of the endowment. The museum was in talks with the foundation, but “there wasn’t anything definitive until I received the phone call from the foundation,” Meluso told the Times Record.
The museum, formerly the Fort Smith Art Center, opened as FSRAM in a new home at 1601 Rogers Ave., a 16,000-square-foot building donated to it by Arvest Bank, in 2013. The museum has hosted several notable exhibitions. In the gallery now: “Modern Master David Hayes: The Ventana Series,” work by a sculptor who studied under David Smith and Alexander Calder; and “Timothy J. Clark: Masterworks on Paper,” figurative works.