SUMA Receives Utah Museum Association Award of Excellence

Published: November 08, 2021 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUMA Receives Utah Museum Association Award of ExcellenceSouthern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) received statewide recognition this week earning the 2021 Award of Excellence from the Utah Museum Association (UMA). The award is given to the individual, team, or organization that has shown superior achievement within Utah's museum community in the last 18 months.

"We are honored to receive this award from UMA as it recognizes SUMA as a top museum in the state," said Jessica Kinsey, SUMA executive director. "Our team is creative and adaptable, and that was proven when we had to pivot during the early days of the pandemic. This honor recognizes all of the great ideas and hard work from our team to continue making an impact in our community."

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges for museums, SUMA flourished during the unknown of the past year. The team has proven to be creative thinkers and took action when they saw a need in the community, especially for K-6 students who were unable to visit the museum during closures. The team quickly pivoted from in-person tours and events to create, prepare, and send 5,000 art kits home to students along with the free lunches provided by the Iron County School District. Their efforts to support access to art and supplies were so successful locally that they now offer distance learning kits to classrooms beyond Iron County. Education programs also transitioned to virtual engagement opportunities leading to an expanded audience and larger reach.

SUMA was among the first museums in the state to reopen after the COVID-19 closure, and has continued to create a positive community impact.

“Since reopening in June 2020 we’ve welcomed more than 20,000 visitors into our galleries,” said Emily Ronquillo, marketing and communication manager at SUMA. “We are excited to continue offering collaborative exhibitions to welcome first-time and repeat visitors to the museum.”

Adding to the impact of the SUMA experience, as well as those attending the Utah Shakespeare Festival, two new sculptures have been added to the Stillman Sculpture Court this year. The two sculptures, Pastoral Dreamer and Conversation With Myself, were added to the court in partnership with the Stillman family and reflect a diversity previously unseen in southern Utah.

Since opening its doors in 2016, SUMA has become a creative community gathering space. From features displaying works from students and community members to corsets from around the world and a retrospective of Jim Jones, exhibitions are varied, thought-provoking, and engaging.

Found on the campus of Southern Utah University, the SUMA is home to the artwork of regional artists, faculty and student artists from the SUU Department of Art & Design, as well as emerging and distinguished artists from around the country. Learn more about SUMA.

Tags: SUMA College of Performing and Visual Arts

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