The Swope Board of Managers, from left: Tom Francis, Kathy Brentlinger and Rick Shagley. Courtesy of Samantha McGranahan of The Roxy Studio. A larger version of the photo is available upon request.
At the April Joint Board Meeting of the Swope Art Museum’s Board of Managers and Board of Overseers, Rick Shagley, secretary of the Board of Managers, announced that M. Kathryn “Kathy” Brentlinger would assume the position on the Board of Managers left vacant with the passing of Marilyn Wheeler Pendergast in March of this year. Pursuant to the stipulations of the will of Sheldon Swope, Mrs. Brentlinger was appointed by the Honorable David Bolk, Judge of the Circuit Court of Vigo County based on the recommendations of a committee of Swope representatives including the members of the Board of Managers; the President of the Board of Overseers; the President of the Alliance of the Swope Art Museum; the Chair of the Art Hoppers; and other longtime representatives of the Museum.
The will of Sheldon Swope, written in 1902 and unchanged at the time of the death in 1929, established a three-person Board of Overseers to manage the museum created by the estate. Mr. Swope specified that one member of that Board had to be a woman, in a time when most women did not work outside of the home and before woman’s suffrage, and that appointees would serve for life. Since then, many people have served the community of through tenure on the Board of Managers, including its other current members Richard Shagley of Wright, Shagley and Lowery, P.C. and Thomas Francis of C.D.I. Inc.
In the 1960s, the Board of Overseers was created as an operational and administrative group that provides larger representation from the community. The Board of Overseers, whose members serve three-year terms (renewable once before a mandatory one-year hiatus), act as a link to various groups in the community. Its members include professionals in various fields, corporate and community leaders, and representatives of local public and private schools, colleges, and universities, bringing expertise in marketing, finance, community development, and fund raising.
Mrs. Brentlinger is a native of Terre Haute and owner of American Tile and Sales, a local business ran by her family since 1961. Ms. Brentlinger graduated from Boston University with a both a BFA and MFA in painting and has had a lifelong interest in the arts. Prior to her appointment to the Board of Managers, Mrs. Brentlinger served on the Board of Overseers for two three-year terms and is currently the chair of the Membership Committee as well as a member of the Collections Committee.
In the 1980s, Mrs. Brentlinger was the President of the Farrington Grove Neighborhood Association Board and assisted the neighborhood in qualifying for membership on the National Registry for Historic Preservation. She also served for twelve years on the Vigo County Historical Society Board of Directors, including two years as President of that board. In addition, Mrs. Brentlinger has also served on the boards of the Community Theatre of Terre Haute and that of Leadership Terre Haute. In addition to the time spent on community projects in Terre Haute, Mrs. Brentlinger enjoys gardening on her property in West Terre Haute, which is sprinkled with thousands of daffodils in the spring; her two dogs Reilly and Jim; attending Community Theatre; entertaining and cooking for friends; and spending time at art and antique auctions with her husband David Brentlinger.
The Swope Art Museum and its Boards are pleased and proud to welcome Mrs. Brentlinger to a leadership position with the Board of Managers. At the first full meeting of the Board of Managers, the members held elections and filled the offices of the Board as follows: Rick Shagley, President of the Board of Managers; Tom Francis, Treasurer of the Board of Managers; and Kathy Brentlinger, Secretary of the Board of Managers