Tree of Life sculpture

The art of making a difference – beautifully

tingley-5.jpgIf artist Nancy Metz White’s bright and colorful Tree of Life makes you smile as you drive down Bluemound Road past Mitchell Boulevard Park, Mary Tingley’s dream has come true. The sculpture and other public art projects in Milwaukee parks, along the Hank Aaron State Trail and at the Waukesha Transit Center, were made possible by the fund Tingley created to stimulate involvement and appreciation of the visual arts – especially three-dimensional art – in the greater Milwaukee area.

Tingley was a professor emeritus in the metals department of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She began teaching in 1957 in the art department, later became chair of the metals department and taught at the university until 1988. Tingley passed away in 2000.

In addition to public art, a bequest added to her Acorn Fund has created a legacy of scholarships and artists-in-residence programs. The fund also has helped fund equipment and other renovations for local metalsmithing and jewelry making programs that are strengthening art education in area schools.

The more than $368,000 granted from the Mary A. Tingley Fund since its inception in 1996 is just the beginning. The Foundation’s strong investment returns have helped the value of Tingley’s fund – and her legacy – grow way beyond her initial gift.

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