Connections, Inspire, Spark

April 27, 2020

The late Sandy Greenhut (1936–2020), center, served as a docent at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Scottsdale Arts mourns the loss of Sandy Greenhut

Scottsdale Arts is saddened to lose one of our beloved docents, Sandy Greenhut (1936–2020). She had volunteered at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) for six years.

“The Learning & Innovation team was deeply saddened by the news of Sandy’s passing,” said Laura Hales, who leads SMoCA’s docent program through Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. “Sandy was a docent at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art since 2014. She had such exuberant energy and steadfast commitment to the arts in the Valley. Sandy was a good friend to so many of us, both docents and staff. Her lovely spirit and countless smiles touched us all. Scottsdale Arts is indeed fortunate to have had Sandy in our docent community for the last six years. She will be missed terribly.”

Sandy was the loving mother of three and grandmother of three more. She was described in an obituary as one who “worked day and night to right wrongs and make life better for her communities.” SMoCA was a grateful beneficiary of Sandy’s commitment to make life better.

“We are so saddened to hear of Sandy’s passing,” said Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA director and chief curator. “Sandy has been a passionate advocate for the arts for many years and a close friend of ours at SMoCA. In addition to her time volunteering as a docent, she attended many events in support of our efforts. I will miss her political updates and remember fondly her generosity, her friendly disposition, and her fiery spirit. Our hearts and thoughts go out to her family, and the community, who have all suffered a great loss.”

Deborah Robin, president of the SMoCA Docents, also spoke of Sandy in behalf of the SMoCA docents:

“Sandy was well-known and admired as a champion of the arts, actively involved in our organization as well as so many others. A dedicated docent, Sandy attended meetings regularly and was a passionate tour guide. 

The late Sandy Greenhut, center, participates in a docent walk-through of Divergent Materiality: Contemporary Glass Art at SMoCA.

“I took the attached photo (above) during last summer’s docent walk-through of the glass exhibition just prior to its opening. You can see how happy Sandy is to be surrounded by art and her fellow docents.

“At our most recent walk-through of the current exhibition, we were shown a huge wooden object and told it was an interactive sculpture. The curator asked for a volunteer to lay down on top of the piece, put their arms into the large holes, and listen to the sound inside. The artist wanted participants to experience the feeling of hugging an elephant and hearing its heartbeat. While the rest of us stood there intimidated to move, Sandy jumped right up on the piece while we applauded her. That’s how I will remember Sandy . . . brave, bold, the first to volunteer.  She will be greatly missed.”

Sandy’s legacy of supporting SMoCA continues today. Remembrances in her name have been made to “her home-away-from-home,” Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, by many members of our beloved community.

“We all really loved Sandy here at Scottsdale Arts,” wrote Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts. “She was a spitfire and a good, strong, liberal soul. We will miss her terribly in her honesty and directness, and for not suffering fools lightly. Sandy never let us forget something we had already committed to. She was a giant personality in a tiny frame. Our community lost a powerful advocate, and we lost a true friend.”

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