You’ve been a vital proponent of the Orange County Museum of Art addition at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa for quite some time. Tell us how it all came to fruition and where you currently are in the building process?
The vision started with Henry Segerstrom and the Segerstrom family- true champions of the arts. The dozens of early supporters understand how art enhances culture and lives. The impact cannot be underestimatedthe efforts to expose people are continuous. We recently topped of the building with the final steel beam- the structural form is dynamic and exciting.
You’ve seen the architectural vision on paper and now in real life. What are some of your favorite characteristics of the new OCMA site? Two come immediately to mind- the building literally hugs the Richard Serra sculpture that has sat alone on the site anxiously awaiting the long journey to this point. The interaction is beautiful. Second, the terrace and gardens on the top of the building give back nearly 80% of the site for public enjoyment. This outdoor space which so perfectly defines California will be a destination.

This venture required a coordinated effort to reach out to several donors and raise a substantial amount of money to build Orange County’s largest and most impressive museum. How did you go about tackling that endeavor?
It all starts with the rather small but dedicated Museum family- one that we hope to expand- come join us! The Board has given significantly to the effort and we are calling on all of Orange County to help complete the cultural campus.
When the pandemic hit, it looked like the construction of the new site would have to halt. How were you able to continue gaining momentum through these unique times and see the project through?
The effort is day to day, and we are not out of the woods. There are hard hat tours every week to introduce potential donors to the vision, the project and the potential. The global pandemic has been particularly hard on arts organizations- we need help.
This project is ten years in the making. What has been your favorite stage of the journey?
The design phase was a long journey– it had multiple points of reinvention to balance changing needs, lifestyle, technology and capital efficiency. Ironically the stops and starts provided time to get it just right. I could not be prouder of the result.
You are a man with vision. What do you see the new OCMA achieving for generations to come?
Art allows us to look at life through a different lens- it challenges us to think beyond our own one-dimensional experience and hopefully embrace other perspectives. OCMA in collaboration with the other arts institutions on the Segerstrom campus will be able to enhance the visual art experience through music, dance, theatre and other live performances.
It’s rumored there are still “naming capabilities” for sections of the museum. Tell us how someone can become an influential part of a project that promises to influence and educate the citizens or Orange County for generations to come.
Yes! Both the institution and building are available. It’s the last opportunity within our County arts center to make a significant impact and build a multi-generational legacy.

When the new OCMA opens to the public in 2022, how will you celebrate?
Initially with a sigh of relief and a very large glass of champagne.
Secondarily when we witness the over 20,000 school children that we expect to visit annually who will for many be stepping into an art museum for the very first time.