The TMA Lifetime Achievement Award is a component of TMA’s Leadership Circle, the museum’s foremost philanthropic membership group. The TMA Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented in 2017, celebrates the career of an artist, patron, or community member, who, among other distinctions, has demonstrated a particular commitment to the advancement of the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block and Southern Arizona Arts community.
The TMA Lifetime Achievement Awardees exemplify a long and impactful career in artistic excellence, exemplary philanthropic leadership, dedication to arts education, and support for and promotion of the Tucson Museum of Art. A panel composed of the Leadership Circle Committee present nominations and selects awardees. The distinguished honor is awarded every year at the Museum’s Annual Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner, and recipients are presented with a plaque and lifetime membership to the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block.
Drs. Kathleen and Mark Sublette have a long history of civic philanthropy in Tucson and museums throughout the country. Since 1992, their gallery, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, has established itself as one of the preeminent art galleries in the American West that specializes in historic and contemporary Western and Indigenous art, textiles, and jewelry. The gallery is also home to the Maynard Dixon Museum which houses more than 150 original works of art by the famed American artist Maynard Dixon.
The Sublette’s and their Foundation have gifted the Tucson Museum of Art with important historic Native American pottery and textiles, work by Tucson artist Maynard Dixon, and have supported exhibitions featuring art of the American West. They have enjoyed advancing the careers of many artists, including Glenn Dean, Shonto Begay, Deborah CopenhaverFellows, Fred Fellows, Gregory Kondos, Ed Mell, Billy Schenck, and Dennis Ziemienski, among many others.
At TMA, Mark and Kathleen are active members of the Western Art Patrons, Contemporary Art Society, and the Leadership Circle. In December 2020, the Sublette Family Foundation gifted 59 pieces of Southwest Indigenous pottery to TMA’s permanent collection. As model civic philanthropists, Mark and Kathleen generously give their time and open their gallery for museum functions and support organizations through the underwriting of exhibitions and events.
James and Louise Glasser have a long history of civic philanthropy in Tucson where they have been actively involved in Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, University of Arizona, Sonoran Institute, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. They genuinely care about Tucson’s non-profit organizations and celebrate the successes of all.
True philanthropists, Jim and Louise give their time and treasure with full and selfless hearts, inspiring those around them to embrace charitable giving. Their lead gift to renovate TMA galleries led the way for others and resulted in $1.6 million in naming gifts. When it was decided that the gala was too large an event for TMA staff to run, Jim and Louise stepped up to chair the gala. They took pride and pleasure in every detail and ensured its success and continued chairing the gala for four years.
As volunteers, members and benefactors Jim and Louise generously support and actively work to ensure that TMA is here to serve our region now and for generations to come.
Andy Anderson has provided decades of board participation and extensive pro bono expertise to the museum, helping to improve TMA facilities and promote success. In addition to serving on the board, being a former TMA board president and current trustee emeritus, Anderson has been integral to TMA’s design, renovation and master planning for nearly 50 years. He helped to design the downtown Museum while with William Wilde and Associates in 1970. He later created a master plan and designed renovations in 1983 and 2017. Anderson recently designed the Museum’s Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art and the newly renovated Alice Chaiten Baker Center for Art Education.
Thomas A. Philabaum
2018 TMA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Thomas A. Philabaum earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Arizona in 1983. He began his art career doing paintings and drawings then working with clay. In the mid-1970s, he introduced glass to his repertoire and began having his glass works exhibited throughout the U.S. After earning his degree from the UA, he remained in Tucson and set up his studio and gallery. Philabaum’s involvement in arts organizations and causes is as extensive as his art career. From 1993 to 1996, he served on the Board of Directors of the Glass Art Society which held conferences throughout the U.S., including Tucson. In 1997, he was elected to the board of trustees of the American Crafts Council. Arizona Gov. Jane Hull presented Philabaum with the Arizona Governor’s Art Award for Artist of the Year in 1998.
In May 2000, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona awarded him the prestigious $25,000 Arizona Arts Award in recognition of his significant contribution to the growth and development of the arts in Arizona. In 2000, he began teaching nationally accredited classes at his studio, giving rise to the Sonoran Art Foundation, which he co-founded. It is now known as the Sonoran Glass School and has its own location in Tucson.
About Leadership Circle
TMA’s Leadership Circle is the museum’s foremost philanthropic membership group. Leadership Circle members (Ambassador and Director level members) make an incredible difference in supporting and sustaining Tucson Museum of Art’s permanent collection, exhibitions, and programs. In appreciation for this support, Leadership Circle members enjoy exclusive programming, invitations to meet prominent guests, select travel opportunities with museum staff, and private access to TMA.
For more information or to JOIN Leadership Circle, contact Andrea Dillenburg, Chief Development Officer, at Adillenburg@tucsonmuseumofart.org (520) 616-2694.