News & Events

Remembering Lillian Lovelace


Dear Idyllwild Arts Community,

Last week we learned of the passing of our dear friend and Lifetime Trustee, Lillian Pierson Lovelace. Lillian and her husband Jon (previously deceased) fell in love with the magic of Idyllwild – its place, its people, and its purpose – and remained stalwarts of Idyllwild Arts throughout their lives.

The Lovelace family entrusted three generations to Idyllwild Arts (formerly known as Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts or ISOMATA), and Jon and Lillian’s children and grandchildren speak fondly of summers spent in Hummingbird Hollow, Elves Shelf, Fitzgerald Junior Players Theatre (JPT), and other magical places in the Children’s Center on IA’s campus. Lillian herself also took classes in the Summer Program including painting, drawing, charcoal, and enamel-making, to name just a few.

Lillian remained an active member of the Board of Trustees until 2020, when she was honored as a Lifetime Trustee, a designation bestowed to her alone in the school’s history. IAF Board Chair Jeff Dvorak remembers: “During our many years together as members of the Board, I was fortunate to witness Lillian’s savvy and strategic business leadership in action. She possessed keen observation skills and was able to synthesize information, draw enlightening conclusions, and quickly identify and focus on the most efficient path to achieve meaningful solutions, inspiring her peers along the way. She was truly an extraordinary person.”

Lillian and Jon gave generously of themselves to the school, philanthropically supporting William M. Lowman Concert Hall (named in honor of Idyllwild Arts Foundation’s founding Head of School), Nelson Dining Hall, Krone Library & Museum, and Pierson Dormitory (named in honor of Lillian).

Jon and Lillian’s influence throughout Southern California represents excellence in the arts, and in 2014, Idyllwild Arts Academy began awarding the Jon and Lillian Lovelace Outstanding Artist Award to an exemplary young artist in each year’s graduating class. Lillian once said: “There’s something so rewarding about helping to contribute to learning of any kind, but it’s especially fun if it’s something you’re interested in and see someone learn and grow as they become adults. All the arts are so important for bringing our country and people together in a very healthy and fun way.”

Founding Head of School William (Bill) Lowman recalled how “devoted and generous” Lillian Lovelace was. “Her deep and abiding belief in the value of the arts in American society and the key role that Idyllwild Arts would play sustained the mission of Idyllwild Arts. I’m personally grateful, professionally grateful, and so thankful that they were in the orbit of ISOMATA supporters and stepped up to help Idyllwild Arts achieve its potential in the world of arts education.”

The magnitude of Lillian Lovelace’s participation, contributions, and leadership will forever leave an indelible mark on Idyllwild Arts Foundation. We will remember Lillian Pierson Lovelace during our annual Founders Day celebration in Idyllwild, California on June 22, 2024. Her life and love of Idyllwild Arts was and always will be important to the very fabric of our existence.

With loving fondness,

Pamela Jordan

President, Idyllwild Arts Foundation