Former UWS student donates $500,000
Superior native Emile Mathis is giving $500,000 toward the reconstruction of the University of Wisconsin-Superior student center as part of "Campaign Superior: Higher Expectations."...
Superior native Emile Mathis is giving $500,000 toward the reconstruction of the University of Wisconsin-Superior student center as part of "Campaign Superior: Higher Expectations."
An art expert and gallery owner who was introduced to art at UWS, Mathis is the owner of Mathis Gallery and Frame Shop in Racine. His gift is dedicated to construction of an art gallery and collection space in what will be the new Rothwell Student Center, UWS said in a news release.
Mathis said he's making the gift to honor the people who influenced his life.
"There have been several people in my life who have helped point me in the direction I ended up going," he said, crediting his parents, teachers, friends and those who patronize his business. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mathis graduated from UWS in 1968 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. After working for an England-based art dealer, he opened his own gallery in 1972 using his personal collection as inventory. Over the years, he has become an internationally recognized dealer in prints and an authority on the prints of artist Seymour Haden.
Each fall since 1998, Mathis has brought a major art exhibit to UWS's Kruk Gallery. He uses the exhibits to share his knowledge at public receptions, gallery talks and by working with student curators.
"It's a significant gift in that what it does is help us jumpstart the Rothwell construction project," said Chancellor Julius Erlenbach. "Given (Mathis') interest in the arts, it would make perfect sense to support an art gallery ..."
A gift like Mathis', "really does energize a campaign, and we fully expect that to happen with that project," Erlenbach said. One of the campaign's goals is to raise $4 million toward reconstruction of Rothwell Student Center.
The campaign, which began in July of 2004, has raised $11.4 million. Its goal is $17.5 million by 2009.