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Kirkland Art Center announces new executive director

Posted 5/16/23

The Kirkland Art Center has named the organization’s executive director, following a search by the center’s board. 

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Kirkland Art Center announces new executive director


CLINTON — The Kirkland Art Center has named Anita Welych as the organization’s executive director, following a search by the center’s board. Welych brings more than 30 years of experience in arts administration and arts education, having worked at Cazenovia College as the director of the Arts Management Program and as a professor of art.

She was a co-founder and director of the Syracuse alternative gallery Altered Space from 1990 to 1996 and she served on the board of ArtRage Gallery for several years; currently she serves on the Syracuse Public Art Commission.

Welych earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Cornell University and holds a master of fine arts degree from Syracuse University. She has worked in book arts, collage, printmaking, painting and installation, and she has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.

In April, Welych received a 2023 Special Recognition Award in Arts Administration from Le Moyne College for her service to the field. 

“We were very impressed by the experience and wisdom that Anita brings to her service in the arts and, combined with her passion and dedication, she is well positioned to take up this leadership role with the Kirkland Art Center during exciting times for the organization. We are thrilled to have her joining the KAC,” said Jon Hysell, board vice-president. 

“We feel very fortunate to have Anita joining us in leading the art center. The board is excited to work with her and we are delighted that she will bring focus to diversity and equity issues across our programming and community engagement,” said Damhnait McHugh, board president. 

Welych said “As an artist and educator, I am absolutely thrilled to join the Kirkland Art Center in its mission of community engagement through the arts. Research shows that the arts improve our lives and our goal is to provide these opportunities for everyone! It’s an honor to serve the community in this way. I look forward to meeting everyone and continuing the amazing work the art center has done over the years.” 

With her appointment, Welych will work with the new KAC Program Manager Alicia Luhrssen-Zombek and the KAC board of directors to meet the organization’s broad mission “to educate children and adults, to advocate for artists and the arts, and to engage the community in a range of cultural experiences and opportunities.”

She joins the art center in the midst of their capital campaign which has supported replacement of the art center’s roof and will continue alongside Downtown Revitalization Initiative efforts with a culinary arts facility, major upgrades to infrastructure, and increased access to the art and pottery studios.


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