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About Us

In Memoriam

May Straughan

Pro-Art’s oldest surviving member of the Board of Trustees, May Straughan, passed away on Dec. 6, 2019.


Executive Director Jan Zentmeyer said that she had recently located the handwritten minutes of the first annual meeting of Pro-Art  which was held on September 14, 1976 at Wise Primary School.  May was voted Recording Secretary at that meeting.  May was an active Trustee for decades and attended performances until just a few years ago. 


Pro-Art is certainly fortunate to have had this strong lady on our board for so many years and will honor May at the September 13, 2020 concert at Mountain Empire Community College.


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Anne Sturgill

Anne Sturgill passed away on Tuesday August 25, 2020 in San Francisco.  She had gone there several months ago to stay with her son and his family while undergoing treatment for cancer.


Her family posted on Facebook, “Friends of Anne Sturgill, we're heartbroken to share the news that she won her battle with terminal cancer this morning.  She achieved her goal of a "graceful exit."  She was at home, surrounded by family.  Humor and practicality never left her.  And her concern for other people was present to the end.  Services will be arranged and announced at a later date.”


Anne had been a member of the Pro-Art Board since February 2006 and served as President and Secretary.  She attended most Pro-Art shows and was an invaluable member of the Strategic Planning Team in 2015-2017.  Please remember her family, including her husband Don with whom she just celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary, in your thoughts and prayers.


We at Pro-Art will miss her deeply.



Rex Baird

James Rex Baird (Rex) passed away peacefully on December 13, 2020 at his home in Hillsborough, NC, at the age of 88 years.   Rex and his wife Sally were founding members Pro-Art and served on the executive board for many years. 


According to former Executive Director Bonnie Elosser, “Rex and Sally Baird were among the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of Pro-Art. Their deep appreciation of the arts and their loyal support over many years helped shape the organization and make it what it is today. Even after they retired and left the area they remained loyal, enthusiastic supporters.”


Pro-Art is deeply grateful to Rex and his wife Sally for their devotion to the institution and their many years of service. 




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