AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin-based foundation is making a major investment in art on the Forty Acres.

According to the University of Texas, the Still Water Foundation will give $5 million to the Blanton Museum of Art to support the museum's master plan to transform the grounds. The foundation will also donate $5 million to the College of Fine Arts' public art program, Landmarks, to serve as the foundation of an operating endowing for the program.

Additionally, each grant includes a $2 million challenge match, intended 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,” UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said. “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.”


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Blanton's director said the Still Water Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the museum, helping the Blanton curate "an encyclopedic collection of works on paper in one of the most active print study rooms in the country."

The Landmarks collection can be seen all across the UT campus, with more than 40 works of art on view. UT said the Still Water gift will help the program expand educational initiatives and reach new audiences.

"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, the 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."

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Still Water's president, Jill Wilkinson, said they hope, in making these gifts, they will be able to raise the visibility of visual arts on UT's campus and encourage participation in fundraising campaigns.

"These programs are jewels in our community that all of us should be excited to experience and support," Wilkinson said.

These gifts from Still Water are just the most recent donated to strengthen the arts on UT's campus. Almost exactly a year ago, the Moody Foundation donated $20 million to reimagine and transform the Blanton's grounds – one of the largest gifts ever granted to benefit Austin's fine arts community and the largest ever given in support of Austin's outdoor spaces.

The TEGNA Foundation and KVUE also recently donated $5,000 to the Blanton, which will support the museum's K-12 arts education programs in 2019-2020.

WATCH: Interview with Blanton Museum's Director of Education 


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