The Martin & Seamster Endowment, established in 1997 by the Martin and Seamster families, honors Sioux City art patrons Margaret Ann and Hubert H. Everist, and long-time Sioux City businessman, T.S. Martin. While commemorating their generous contributions and steadfast support of the Sioux City Art Center, the endowment fund enables the Art Center to develop new and exciting educational programs specifically for its younger audiences.

Since its birth, the Martin & Seamster Endowment has funded numerous art and education related events at the Art Center. In 1997, the Art Center organized a project with Sioux City native Ron Clements. Clements, an established animator, has written and directed many Disney animated features, including The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and most recently, Treasure Planet. Two years later, the endowment helped fund an exciting project with independent illustrator Gary Kelley. A Cedar Falls, Iowa resident, Kelley has received numerous awards and citations for his wonderful illustrations, including the prestigious Hamilton King Award and 18 medals from the Society of Illustrators. Kelley gained international recognition for his book illustrations in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which received a major award at the 1991 Book Festival in Bologna, Italy. The Art Center hosted Kelley’s premier exhibition of original pastel illustrations for his book Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina.

Projects made possible by the Martin & Seamster Endowment included The Animation Art of Ron Clements: Modern Disney Magic, a retrospective exhibition focusing on five Disney films produced by Clements. The exhibition opened on September 27, 2003 and was up through December 14, 2003.

In spring 2007, the Endowment supported two additional exhibitions: Shootout: A Community-Wide Photography Project and Celebration: Our Siouxland/Our Art Center. While the first show featured work by youth working with adult mentors from the Sioux City Camera Club, the second included close to 500 artworks produced by area elementary through high school students. In both projects the young artists’ works were professionally framed and given to the students.