Philanthropy is just part of me; you do it because it’s the right thing to do.
This year is critically important for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, as it embarks upon a transformational expansion of its flagship La Jolla campus.
The multi-year project will quadruple current gallery space from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet, and will allow MCASD to continually show works from its outstanding permanent collection in addition to temporary exhibitions. Iris and Matthew Strauss are opening up their home and private art collection to benefit MCASD’s future exhibitions and education programs.
10 Things About Iris Strauss & Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
#1 I grew up in Chicago, IL and moved to San Diego when I was 16. I met my husband Matt (he is older than I am) during the summer and took him to my prom at Hoover High School.
#2 Matt was in the ROTC for the Marine Corps, and after we got married, he was relocated to Cherry Point, North Carolina. I got a job working for the commandant doing typing and shorthand. When I was 21, our son Steve was born.
#3 Our favorite restaurant in San Diego is Pamplemousse Grille; owner Jeffrey Strauss is like family.
#4 My favorite movie is Funny Girl – I love the music. When I was young, I sang with a band for a few years. I was good at weddings and bar mitzvahs.
#5 If I could have lunch with any one person, it would be Queen Elizabeth – I admire her so much; she’s been through it all.
#6 22 years ago, I started a ladies investment group called the Dow Divas. Most of these clubs never survive so I am really proud of our members; we support philanthropy individually and as a group. I work hard to keep everyone together.
#7 My other great love is UC San Diego’s Cancer Center & the UCSD Health Board. Matt and I just took on the position of development committee co-chairs. I’m also a matchmaker; I set up Dr. Garfin, the dean of UCSD’s School of Medicine, and his wife, Cheryl.
#8 25 years ago, Matt and I joined the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s contemporary collectors group – that’s how we met Joan & Irwin Jacobs. The trips are so wonderful, we traveled all over the world to see art. Our first big trip was to Germany for documenta, Hugh Davies was the director at the time.
#9 For this year’s MCASD Gala, we are turning our tennis court into a ball room with big video screens showing art, video art, and performance art. Some of the artists will be in attendance and we’ll have a big band for dancing.
#10 I am delighted to be doing what I am doing and to be of service
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Monte Carlo: An Art Affair
Saturday, September 8, 2018
6:30pm – 11:30pm
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