Speed Art Museum officials and Thornton Inc. executives are announcing today that the Louisville-based convenience mart/gas station chain is donating $1 million to the Speed’s Changing Speed Capital Campaign.
The donation will help fund the planned gallery expansion, which includes a new building by Los Angeles-based wHY Architecture.
The expansion will serve the community through new programming and increased space for educational initiatives, public events and additional gallery space to present the Speed’s large art collection, according to a Speed news release.
Through the years, the Thornton family has been avid supporters of the visual and performing arts with this donation being made in honor of Bonnie Thornton, according to the release. Bonnie Thornton’s husband James founded Thorntons in 1971.
Bonnie Thornton previously served on the Speed Museum Board of Directors and remains involved with the museum, according to the release.
“Since our inception almost 40 years ago we have made a dedicated commitment to recognize and assist the multitude of diverse nonprofit organizations in the Louisville area,” stated Thorntons Inc. Chief Executive Officer Matt Thornton, “and we continuously explore ways to give back to the communities that we serve. It is a great pleasure and an honor to donate this gift to The Speed Art Museum, one that will advance the arts through expanded educational programs and events for our community.”
Charles Venable, Director/CEO of The Speed Art Museum stated: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Bonnie. She has a deep love for the visual and performing arts and has been involved with each for many years. Her support of the Speed and its innovative vision for the future is inspiring. This gift from Thornton Oil is extremely appreciated, and we are delighted that it is being made in Mrs. Thornton’s honor.”
“Thorntons is a very important corporate citizen for the markets in which it operates,” stated Todd Lowe, chairman of Speed Board of Trustees. “Their generosity in supporting community organizations is critical to the success of many nonprofits. The Speed Art Museum is fortunate and thrilled to be the recipient of such a generous gift toward our expansion vision.”
About the Speed Art Museum: The Speed Art Museum is located on Third Street on a site designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The property is on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus. Admission to the permanent collection is free to the public, continuing the vision of the museum’s founder Mrs. Hattie Bishop Speed who believed that everyone should have the opportunity to enhance their life by experiencing great art.
Museum hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (open late); Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Galleries are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
About Thorntons Inc.:
Founded by Kentucky native James H. Thornton in 1971, Thorntons Inc. is one of the largest independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the United States, currently operating throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. Thorntons is one of largest privately held corporations in Kentucky.
Thorntons operates 165 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in five states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. Thorntons distributes its petroleum products through its wholly owned Thornton Transportation Company and operates a river bulk storage terminal in Louisville. For more information visit www.thorntonsinc.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thorntonsinc and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thorntonsinc.