University of Arkansas Receives Carroll Cloar Painting
Stella Boyle Smith Trust long-time supporter of the artsFriday, November 04, 2011
The Stella Boyle Smith Trust has given the University of Arkansas a painting by the late Arkansas artist Carroll Cloar titled Waiting for Queen Elberta at the Peach Festival. It is a 23-inch by 34-inch acrylic on panel painted in June of 1989. The display location of the piece, which is now a part of the university’s permanent collection, will be determined in the near future.
“Once again the Stella Boyle Smith Trust has expressed its generous support of the fine arts here at the U of A,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “The addition of this beautiful piece of art — created by one of our state’s most celebrated artists — further enhances the university as a center and showcase of creativity and public art. We are extremely grateful to the trustees of the Stella Boyle Smith Trust for this latest gift.”
The trustees of the Stella Boyle Smith Trust are Maxine B. Hamilton, Catherine Hamilton Mayton and Michael R. Mayton, all of Little Rock. Mike Mayton is a 1973 graduate of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and a 1976 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is a partner in the law firm of Mayton, Newkirk and Jones in Little Rock. Mrs. Hamilton’s late spouse, W.P. Hamilton was a trustee at the time of his death. He was also a graduate of the university’s School of Law.
Carroll Cloar’s paintings were largely based on photographs and memories from his childhood on his parents’ cotton farm in east Arkansas. One of his paintings was chosen to be among six paintings by American artists commemorating President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.
“I am pleased to welcome another beautiful piece of art to our permanent collection,” said Jeannie Hulen, chair of the art department in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. “The Stella Boyle Smith Trust has supported our students for many years through different avenues, and this gift is another example of the trustees’ commitment to carrying on Mrs. Smith’s love of education and art.”
Smith was a Little Rock philanthropist and founder of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Smith donated more than $2.5 million in her lifetime to organizations in the music and medical fields. Throughout Arkansas she was recognized as a woman of leadership who gave her time and money to help others. The trust has donated more than $5 million since her death.
At the University of Arkansas, the trust established the Stella Boyle Smith Music Fund in 2000 with a gift of $500,000, and the concert hall in the Fine Arts Building was named the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall. A gift of $200,000 in 2005 endowed the Stella Boyle Smith Honors College Academy Scholarships in Piano. A piano support fund was also established so students could travel and perform. A portion of the gift received matching funds through the Matching Gift Program during the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century. Most recently, the trustees contributed generously to the university’s All-Steinway School initiative with the purchase of a Steinway Grand D piano, situated in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.
Smith was born in Farmington, Mo., into a large, musically inclined family, which moved to Arkansas when she was two. She began singing at the age of three and graduated from high school at 14. In 1922, she moved to Little Rock with her first husband, Dandridge Perry Compton, who died in 1935. Her second husband, George Smith, held various business interests and extensive farms in Woodruff and Arkansas counties, which allowed them to engage in philanthropy. He died in 1946.
In 1923, Smith’s love for music inspired her to start The Musical Group in the living room of her home at 102 Ridgeway Drive in Little Rock. The group became the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in 1966. Her initial objective was to establish the symphony as an educational tool for children, and, in 1968, she helped establish the Youth Orchestra. In 1972, the symphony board of directors named her an honorary life member. Smith established a trust fund for the symphony’s permanent endowment in 1985. A loyal friend of music and the symphony, she attended nearly every performance and most rehearsals.
Smith was also a pianist. In 1988, she gave the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a Steinway concert grand piano as well as an endowed trust of $500,000. UALR renamed its concert hall the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall as a tribute to her. That year UALR also gave her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Interest from the trust provides scholarships each year for music students studying string instruments, piano or voice. Smith enabled many students around the state to attend college through the more than 200 scholarships that she financed. Upon her death, she left her personal Steinway concert grand piano to UALR.
Other organizations that have benefited from her generosity include Access Schools, Pathfinders, Boys and Girls Club, Easter Seals, Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Baptist Health, Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas, Museum of Discovery, Historical Arkansas Museum, Pulaski Technical College, Episcopal Collegiate School, Arkansas Children's Hospital, The Rep, UAMS, House of Prayer, Twentieth Century Club and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Danielle Strickland, director of development communications
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