CEDAR CITY — The Sorenson Legacy Foundation recently granted $1 million to the Southern Utah Museum of Art project, bringing Southern Utah University one step closer to construction for the proposed museum.

Fundraising for the museum has reached nearly $9 million in cash and pledges, nearing the university's $12.5 million goal. SUMA, currently in its final design phases, is planned to be free and open to the public and will be the only art museum of its caliber in southern Utah.

Comment on this story

"This accredited facility will allow us to borrow art from other museums around the world, host major traveling exhibits, as well as showcase art from our permanent collections," Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery director Reece Summers stated in an SUU release. "This gift truly helps fulfill our vision for SUMA to bring the art of the world to Cedar City."

In its current design, SUMA will have 28,000 square feet with space for exhibition, preservation, research and classrooms for hands-on educational activities. University officials hope to break ground in the near future.