Spock Beams Up Gallery Finances With Donation

Contemporary artists will continue to live long and prosper at the Addison Gallery of American Art thanks to Leonard Nimoy, best known as Mr. Spock in the original sci-fi series, Star Trek. A recent grant from Mr. Nimoy’s Foundation will support the Addison’s active and renowned artists-in-residence program. The Nimoy Foundation, established in early 2003 by Mr. Nimoy and his wife Susan Bay Nimoy, both avid visual art collectors and supporters of the arts, was designed to acknowledge, encourage, and support the work of contemporary artists. The Nimoys felt that some artists, struggling to make a name for themselves, were beginning to fall through the cracks due to dwindling economic support for the arts. The Nimoy Foundation will offer funding to institutions like the Addison, which reach out to local artists through extended residency or with financial support. The grants will also help to connect contemporary artists with such institutions and helping to further the careers of these artists as well as and promoting communities through art. The Addison is one of 16 recipients of the Foundation’s initial group of grants made to support the nation’s leading museums and institutions. Other recipients include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the San Francisco Art Institute. The Addison Gallery of American Art, according to Interim Director Susan Faxon, “holds an active, successful and well-known artists-in-residence program,” and has plans to add three more renowned contemporary artists next year. The modest grant that the Addison received will be used to expand the work of living artists in the museum, and will supplement the Elson Endowment which supports the Addison’s Artist-in-Resident program. Five out of the 16 chosen institutions are in Nimoy’s home state of Massachusetts. Originally from Boston’s West End, Nimoy has become one of Hollywood’s most memorable sci-fi stars. He also has had a few critically acclaimed non- science fictions roles in movies like Deathwatch, however, he is best known and loved as the half-vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock. Nimoy portrayed the ever-conflicted Spock in the original “Star Trek” series on NBC with such heart that he soon became a viewer favorite as the program ascended to its staggering levels of cult-like popularity. After three years of work on Star Trek, Nimoy obtained his master’s degree in education, and continued his involvement with the arts as he toured to promote his personal tour de force, a self-written, acted and directed one man show, “Vincent” about the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The multitalented performer also hosted a television series on the subject of the world’s eerie unknowns called “In Search of…” But Nimoy was never entirely free of the Vulcan in him, as he went on to make 5 more Star Trek movies. Nimoy is also a talented director, and was the driving force behind box office hits like “Three Men and a Baby” starring Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, “The Good Mother” with Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson, “Funny About Love” with Gene Wilder and Christine Lahti, and “Holy Matrimony” staring Patricia Arquette. Nimoy continued to host, produce, and direct a number of documentaries, films, and Broadway plays before his retirement in 2002. Once a nameless kid from Boston in an audition line in LA, Leonard Nimoy found success in the world of the arts. Through the Nimoy Foundation, Leonard and Susan Nimoy hope to do the same for visual artists around the country, giving museums the funds with which to give artists opportunities to truly beam up to success.