Mark and Kathleen Sublette Awarded TMA Ambassador Circle Lifetime Achievement Award
February 25, 2021
Tucson, AZ –Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) is pleased to honor Drs. Mark and Kathleen Sublette with the museum’s 2021 Ambassador Circle Lifetime Achievement Award.
Launched in 2017, the Ambassador Circle Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the career of an artist, patron or community member who has demonstrated a passion for and commitment to the advancement of the arts in southern Arizona and at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block. Previous recipients include James and Louise Glasser (2020), Andy Anderson (2019), Thomas Philabaum (2018) and Jim Waid (2017). Each year nominations for the award are reviewed, and the recipient is selected by a panel that includes members of TMA’s Leadership Circle—the museum’s foremost philanthropic membership group.
“Drs. Mark and Kathleen Sublette have transformed the appreciation, collecting and importance of arts and culture in Tucson and Southern Arizona,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Jon and Linda Ender Director and CEO. “Their commitment and support of artists, institutions and the preservation of Art of the American West are felt far and wide. We are eternally grateful for their ongoing commitment and leadership in advancing TMA’s role as an important regional museum.”
The Sublettes 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 Sublettes and their foundation have gifted the Tucson Museum of Art with important historic Indigenous 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 Copenhaver-Fellows, Fred Fellows, Gregory Kondos, Ed Mell, Billy Schenck and Dennis Ziemienski.
In addition to the gallery, Mark Sublette is an authority on Maynard Dixon’s artwork and an expert on Indigenous historical art. A popular speaker, Mark writes and produces “The Art Dealer Diaries,” a podcast that features artists, curators, museum directors and collectors. Additionally, he is the author of the Charles Bloom Murder Mystery series, Maynard Dixon’s American West, and is a contributor to Western Art Collector Magazine.
At TMA, Mark and Kathleen are active members of the Western Art Patrons, the Contemporary Art Society and the Ambassador Circle. In December 2020, the Sublette Family Foundation gifted 59 pieces of Southwest Indigenous pottery to TMA’s permanent collection. The works date from 1400 to 1700 and derive mostly from the Rio Grande region of the American Southwest. The collection enhances TMA’s commitment to collecting Indigenous arts, and selections from the collection will debut in the Indigenous Arts Gallery later this year. 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.
The Sublettes will receive the Ambassador Circle Lifetime Achievement Award at an event held in their honor in April. The annual Ambassador Circle Dinner is hosted by the TMA Leadership Circle Committee and includes the Ambassador Circle and major museum donors.
About TMA Ambassador Circle & Lifetime Achievement Award
The Ambassador Circle is a component of TMA’s Leadership Circle, the museum’s foremost philanthropic membership group and makes an incredible difference for supporting and sustaining Tucson Museum of Art’s permanent collection, exhibitions and programs.
The Ambassador Circle 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 Ambassador Circle 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 TMA.