Double Spotlight for Gibbs Art Program

THEA FOUNDATION GIFT Gibbs Magnet Elementary School artists have been given a wonderful gift of art supplies! Herron Horton Architects founders, Jennifer Herron and Jeff Horton, made a generous donation to the Thea Foundation that was matched by the Foundation. Herron Horton Architects made the stipulation that the art support  go to Gibbs where both of their children attended school.

Supplies were selected by Susan Turner Purvis, art specialist, and ordered by the Foundation. On Valentine’s Day, the Thea Foundation, in the company of Jennifer Herron and Jeff Horton, presented the materials to the Gibbs student body. The gift was received symbolically by fifth grade Gibbs Mini-UN delegates led by Secretary General Nicholas Heye and Ambassadors Eliam Valle and Ava Horton, the Herron-Hortons’ daughter.

In presenting the gift, Paul Leopoulos, Executive Director of the Thea Foundation, told the Gibbs student body that the most important thing about art was not about becoming an artist but about “learning to think.” 

Mrs. Purvis expressed her gratitude to both the architects and the Foundation. “With this bequest, they have underscored their commitment to the arts for all children and have taught our children well about the importance of giving.”

The THEA Foundation also honored Ms. Susan Turner Purvis with a special certificate of recognition for her four decades of dedicated art instruction. Thirty-three of those amazing years have been spent as Gibbs International Magnet School’s founding art specialist!
(Left to right) Secretary General Nicholas Heye, Mr. Paul Leopoulos, and Ms. Susan Turner Purvis and Ms. Susan Turner Purvis with the newly donated art supplies

Recently the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi published another volume in its series of twenty-three books that will comprise The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. This edition, titled Art & Architecture, includes a biography of Henry Yuzuru Sugimoto, a Japanese American artist who was incarcerated for three years during WW II at Jerome and Rohwer Relocation Centers in the Arkansas Delta. Gibbs Art Specialist Susan Turner Purvis wrote the article which explains Sugimoto’s important paintings documenting the experience. One of the paintings, Arrival in Jerome, illustrates the article.  It is the only work on public view in Arkansas and can be seen in Mills Social Sciences Building at Hendrix College in Conway.