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The Gift of Great Artists and Teachers

PGAV's Senior Attraction Designer Jim Wible and Designer Steve Zeilstra

The Gift of Great Artists and Teachers

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist . . . Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

               – John Steinbeck


One of the astonishing things about working at PGAV is that we are constantly in the presence of accomplished artists. It’s so easy to take this for granted. Our studio is a hotbed of artistic creativity, where amazing things are created every day.

This past year, I was reminded of this by the loss of two of our most successful artists. On May 13, Steve Zeilstra died. On August 23, we lost Jim Wible. I am still stunned.

Steve and Jim each produced astonishingly beautiful work. Over the past decades, their many projects became wonderful experiences for millions of attraction visitors around the world. As collaborators, they inspired us with their passion and insight.

More importantly, Steve and Jim were exceptional teachers. This, I believe, was their true gift. Through the years, I watched each of them develop a unique, encouraging approach to mentoring young talent. They nurtured a generation of creators who will be with us for many years. Since their passing, I’ve seen their creative spirit manifested in so many meaningful ways.

We remember them with love, and with a lasting legacy.

I am pleased to announce the establishment of the PGAV Destinations Scholarship in Memory of Steve Zeilstra and Jim Wible at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University. This endowed scholarship is funded with a $105,000 gift made on behalf of the PGAV Destinations Family.

Every year and in perpetuity, Steve and Jim’s example will support a young student/creator with this Scholarship. And at PGAV Destinations, we will remain committed to their beautiful legacy of artistic mentorship.

We are enriched by the work of artists. And we are truly blessed by the enrichment of teachers.

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