About five years ago, Oolite Arts’ board chairwoman Kim Kovel visited the Cranbrook art center in Michigan. While touring the art museum’s collection of works created by students – many of whom became renowned as alumni – Kovel had a revelation that percolated over several years.
“She came to me six or eight months ago and said, ‘How would you feel about having an Oolite art collection?’” said Dennis Scholl, Oolite’s CEO and president, in a recent interview.
The idea: To acquire and display the works of Oolite’s artists-in-residence and alumni.
Scholl loved it and suggested that after a few years of exhibition in Oolite’s new facility – currently in the planning stages – the works be gifted to museums, chosen to best support each artist’s developing career. Scholl and wife Debra, renowned collectors who also initiate traveling exhibitions and make major gifts, have strong connections to many museums.