The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has announced a generous gift from Luzetta and Del Newkirk in support of the newly renovated museum café and gift shop. The Newkirks are Indiana University alums and lifetime members of the IU Alumni Association. They are also long-time members of the museum’s National Advisory Board. In honor of the Newkirks’ generosity, Indiana University is naming the space the “Luzetta and Del Newkirk Café and Gift Shop.”
Before his retirement, Del had a long career as a restaurant entrepreneur and businessman. A journalism major, Luzetta covered the arts for the Indiana Daily Student. She has also been a valuable member of the museum’s docent corps for more than 14 years. In addition to supporting local art in Bloomington and Nashville, Indiana, the Newkirks collect works made by Brown County artists.
In 2017, the museum began a $30 million renovation that created expanded spaces for engagement and learning as well as a new arboretum entrance that places the museum at the heart of a major student thoroughfare on the IU campus. The Luzetta and Del Newkirk Café and Gift Shop will serve as a central hub for students, the university, and the Bloomington community to relax in a beautiful setting, enjoy coffee and food, explore unique products, and engage with art. The Newkirks’ generous gift will enable the museum to activate this new entrance and space, offering a warm and welcoming introduction to the treasures displayed throughout the building.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art’s commitment to education also provides an opportunity to include students in the conceptualization of this important public-facing space. A reinvigorated graduate assistant program will facilitate hands-on experience in sales, operations, product development, visual merchandising, and hospitality.
Of the Newkirks’ gift, David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, said, “This major renovation has transformed our museum, allowing for more transparency and more engagement with significant art, and offering spaces where all are welcome to enjoy, contemplate, and engage. I’m grateful to Del and Letty for their leadership, service, and generosity to the museum and their support of this beautiful and dynamic space. I look forward to sharing it with campus and the broader community.”
The Luzetta and Del Newkirk Café and Gift Shop is scheduled to reopen this November.