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Still Water Foundation Gifts Strengthen the Arts on UT Austin Campus

Austin-based foundation’s leadership gifts will support Blanton Museum of Art and Landmarks Public Art Program

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Austin by Ellsworth Kelly 1
Ellsworth Kelly, Austin, 2015. ©Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. Photo courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — With recent gifts to the Blanton Museum of Art and Landmarks, the Austin-based Still Water Foundation is making a major investment in the way people experience art on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

The foundation will give $5 million to the Blanton’s master plan project to reimagine and transform the museum grounds. Landmarks, the university’s public art program in the College of Fine Arts, will receive $5 million to serve as the foundation of an operating endowment for the organization.

Still Water’s generous investment will propel forward these significant initiatives, elevating the arts across the Forty Acres and benefiting generations of students and visitors who encounter renowned works of art on campus. Each grant includes a $2 million challenge match that has been designated to inspire additional support.

“The Still Water Foundation’s profound investment will bring visionary new artwork and landscaping to the outdoor spaces of our campus,” said UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves. “For over 130 years, the Forty Acres has grown and evolved with each generation. The Still Water Foundation is leaving their own creative imprint on our historic campus, one that will be appreciated and enjoyed by students, scholars and visitors at UT for decades to come.”

The Blanton’s master plan project will reshape the footprint and face of the Blanton to create an iconic destination that facilitates the museum’s vision for innovative outdoor programming. It will form a vital connection between the university, the city of Austin and the Texas State Capitol Complex.

“A long-standing supporter of the museum for three decades, the Still Water Foundation has had an impact that can be felt across the Blanton,” said Blanton director Simone Wicha. “The foundation has helped the Blanton curate an encyclopedic collection of works on paper in one of the most active print study rooms in the country. This recent gift towards the Blanton’s master plan project, one of the museum’s most significant projects, underlines Still Water’s dedication to championing the arts, education and the environment on campus, in Austin and beyond.”

Still Water’s gift to Landmarks will serve as the cornerstone of the organization’s upcoming endowment campaign, ensuring its ability to serve the campus and community for generations to come. With its collection sited throughout the Forty Acres — more than 40 works of art are on view across campus — Landmarks is often students’ first opportunity to engage with great works of art. The Still Water gift will consolidate Landmarks’ core strengths, positioning the program to expand educational initiatives, outreach to new and more diverse audiences, and conservation and communications efforts.

“Still Water has supported Landmarks from the outset. They understand that having art in our daily lives shapes the ways we see the world and our connections to each other,” said Andrée Bober, founder and director of Landmarks. “Simply put, their gift is transformative. In one bold stroke, it promises the continuation of our award-winning program and enables us to serve the broadest possible community.”

“Landmarks and the Blanton represent outstanding programs at The University of Texas,” said Jill Wilkinson, president of the Still Water Foundation. “In making these gifts, our hope is to raise the visibility of the visual arts on campus and to encourage broad participation in the fundraising campaigns. These programs are jewels in our community that all of us should be excited to experience and support.”

A private family foundation, Still Water is based in Austin and primarily supports organizations in Texas. The foundation’s main areas of concentration include the arts, education and the environment. The foundation is also deeply committed to partnering with rural communities, particularly those in West Texas.