Judi Yates, 2020 Inductee
Judi Yates has been a leader in the community for years. She was owner, with her husband, Jim, of the Yates Gallery, which was located on the Avenue of the Fountains.
After she and Jim operated the store for years, it became a co-op art gallery under Yates and other Fountain Hills Art League members. The Fountain Hills Artists’ Gallery operates to this day on the Avenue of the Fountains with 40+ artists.
Judi has promoted the growth of the town since coming here more than 25 years ago. She has served on the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce board for two terms and was president for a year.
She founded the Downtown Improvement Committee and followed through with several activities with artist Paul Kolwaite and town employee Tom Ward.
Judi was active on the Downtown Consensus Team that developed the original plans for The Avenue of the Fountains. She was a member of the Public Arts Committee, which brought to Fountain Hills many of the art pieces gracing the Community Center Plaza.
Judi has donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of jewelry to various charity events in town which benefit members of the community. She was the chamber’s 2005 Businessperson of the Year.
She was a member of the Swaback Planning Committee. She was instrumental in bringing “flags” to the Downtown Avenue of the Fountains. Judi served on the Interior Design committee for Town Hall. She has also served on the committee for Signs in Fountain Hills.
One of her greatest feats was starting Art on the Avenue and Farmers Market 10 years ago. The event has brought foot traffic into the downtown area. Merchants in the area note that these Thursdays represent one of their best days of the week.
Yates established Art on the Avenue to provide artists an opportunity to share and promote their one-of-a-kind pieces in an outdoor gallery.
She remarked that she “enjoys hearing from visitors on how they love bringing their guests to the event and spending their day in our beautiful town. It is a perfect opportunity to show off our Fountain, our park amenities, retail stores and our restaurants. It has become a destination spot for many people throughout the valley.”
Each year, she has added new artists to the venue. Many artists have been with her from the beginning. As a local business person, she has helped herself, but above all, she has done everything she could to make the Avenue come alive. She has helped not only the local artists but has given the residents of Fountain Hills a farmers market and Art on the Avenue everyone can be proud of.