Poised for Success

RECEIVED Fri., March 27, 2015

Dear Editor,
    I was thrilled to read such an in-depth article by Caitlin Greenwood about the Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria, recognizing its history, Clara Driscoll, and the great work we’re doing now to build a contemporary art sculpture park in nature [“Glorious Renewal,” Arts, March 27].
    I would like to add kudos to past Austin Museum of Art trustees and staff who, between 1999 and 2008, led historic preservation efforts raising nearly $4 million from individuals, families, foundations, the city of Austin, and national government agencies to expand the Art School and preserve the Driscoll Villa, surrounding formal gardens, and the historic gatehouse at Laguna Gloria. These significant efforts led to preservation awards from regional historical societies and a national landscape award for the restoration of the two-acre garden surrounding the Villa. With these historic areas having been so well cared for and preserved – along with recent, arduous efforts by our staff and board to address invasive species and other ecological issues throughout the 14-acre, wooded site on Lake Austin – Laguna Gloria is now primed for its next chapter as the Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria, including the historic Driscoll Villa and Gatehouse, the Art School, and the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park.
    Having worked at Laguna Gloria for more than 40 years, I feel privileged to participate in this time of exciting growth at the museum, as it flourishes under Louis Grachos’ thoughtful leadership. I believe adamantly that Laguna Gloria has never been better poised for success as an art museum, an art school, and an art-in-nature experience.
Judith Sims
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