The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in rural Maine has announced that it was gifted $250,000 from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. The donation will be used to construct a new studio building that will be named after the artist, who served as a visiting faulty member at the institution in 1986.
“The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation gift is coming at a moment of critical development that Showhegan has been undertaking for the last twelve to eighteen months,” director Katie Sonnenborn told Andy Battaglia of Artnews, in reference to their campus-wide renovation that is in its early stages. “Their early participation in the development of this vision we think will be critical to its long-term success and viability.”
Sonnenborn described the refurbishment of the institution’s historic campus over the past five years as “not terribly sexy,” since it focused mainly on maintenance work, but she stressed that it was essential in order to allow the school to make sure its facilities fit the needs of artists working in the twenty-first century. Further proposals outlining the renovation of more buildings, as well as plans to construct additional facilities, will be presented to the school’s two governing boards later this month.