Sunday, October 1, 2000

Art lover dedicates museum gift to her mother

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In the past three years, Sara Vance has come to love the Cincinnati Art Museum. Earlier this year she gave the museum two pigs from the Big Pig Gig. Now she's given it $1 million.

        “I started getting involved with the museum three years ago, and it's been going great guns ever since,” Ms. Vance said. “I practically live there.”

        She also picked up the tab for two of the museum's painted pigs: Pigall, sponsored by the Patricia A. Vance Foundation, and Pigtisse, sponsored by her company, SMV Media.

Largest gift


        Ms. Vance donated the $1 million, the largest gift of its kind in the history of the museum, to honor her mother Patricia A. Vance. “She died 11 years ago, when she was 60 and I was 27. I was very hard for me because she was my best friend.

        “I'm an only child. My legacy begins and ends with my mother and I wanted to do something in her honor. I started a foundation in her name at the beginning of this year.”

        The gift is called the Patricia A. Vance Foundation Endowment for Education and Community Outreach. It will support school and family programs, teacher training, community outreach and audience development.

        “This is a wonderful first step for us in the in the education area,” CAM director Timothy Rub said. “These are new funds that will help us do new things such as developing partnership initiatives with schools in the city and in the region.”

        The funds also will be used for audience development, he said. “We are asking ourselves how does the museum build a relationship with members of the community who want to use the museum as a resource but haven't been invited in?

        “It's something you can only do well if you have the resources to build that relationship over time. Too often in the past these encounters have been episodic.”

Adored her mother


        Ms. Vance, who lives in Indian Hill, is a media management specialist who began working as a media consultant for the Art Museum three years ago. She got hooked on art.

        “I believe in the arts and educating people about the arts. When I grew up I wasn't exposed to the arts, being in a small town,” she said. She grew up in Ripley, Ohio, where her mother owned an LP gas business and operated the Ripley Tobacco Warehouse.

        “I'm basically a younger version of my mother. I adored her. She had an entrepreneurial spirit and so much of my mother is in me. To this day I hear wonderful stories about things she had done and things she gave. My mother was wonderful with children. I wanted to set up something to help children.”

        On Tuesday, the CAM held a private ceremony naming Gallery 226, where impressionist paintings are shown, in honor of Patricia A. Vance. “The Pissarro in that room is one of my favorite paintings,” Ms. Vance said.


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