The Friends of the Art Museum of West Virginia University are some of the museum’s leading champions. Whether they joined the Friends with an extensive knowledge of art or as an educational opportunity, members are dedicated patrons of our beloved museum.
The Friends of the Art Museum is a membership group for people who enjoy social, educational, and cultural activities that further their understanding of and appreciation for visual art. Events include members-only programs with artists, curators and collectors, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of art collections, gatherings in the homes of private collectors and artist’s studios, and invitations to exclusive dinners designed just for members.
“Membership in the Friends lets you know of exciting, mission-driven events and programs planned just for members,” said Todd J. Tubutis, director of the Art Museum of WVU. “For example, Friends members recently enjoyed a day-trip to Pittsburgh on March 23 with tours of the Carnegie International exhibition and Street Photography to Surrealism: The Golden Age of Photography in France, 1900-1945 at The Frick Pittsburgh.
"Friends can mark their calendars for the annual Friends Fall Dinner set for Saturday, September 28 at the West Virginia Botanic Garden catered by Fish Hawk Acres, and there are more events in the works. Stay tuned!”
Membership fees for Friends helps the museum grow and establish itself in the community.
“Funds generated through memberships have helped provide new exhibition banners on the museum’s facade as well as new wayfinding signs along the Nath Sculpture Garden that improve the visitor experience,” Tubutis said. “Additionally, three of four traveling exhibitions appearing at the Art Museum this year have been made possible in part through Friends support—including Cut Up/Cut Out which will have an opening reception on Friday, October 18 that you won’t want to miss.”
Jeff and Libby Neely are current friends of the Art Museum of WVU. Although the Neelys don’t have a background in art, they joined at the encouragement of good friends who had become involved with the Art Museum.
“Our membership has more than met our expectations,” The Neelys said. “We have met many new friends and have grown in our appreciation and understanding of many different art forms including paintings, watercolors, photographs, crafts, fabrics, sculpture, and even art restoration. We have been impressed with the quality and quantity of the art in the museum.
“But the thing we have enjoyed the most has been the art trips to various famous museums and shows as well as some beautiful private collections. We have travelled with a great group of people, and been blessed by excellent teaching on the expansive varieties of art and their histories given by faculty in the College of Creative Arts at WVU. We are looking forward to the many activities and trips coming up.”
To join the Friends of the Art Museum of WVU, visit https://artmuseum.wvu.edu/join-give/friends-of-the-art-museum.