Laura Elwyn named Acting Director of Art Center

Published 5:15 pm Monday, July 1, 2024

Art Center of the Bluegrass Associate Director Laura Elwyn has moved into the role of Acting Director, as its board of directors launches a nationwide search to fill the executive director position at the center.

Art Center Director Niki Kinkade stepped down from the position earlier this month to take a leadership role at The Bascom: A Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, North Carolina.

“It has been an honor to work with Niki for the past eight years,” said board president Brian Hutzley. “Her vision and drive have been an unstoppable force.”

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Elwyn has been at the Art Center since January 2023 and has been instrumental in the many changes of the past year and a half. “From launching our ArtSee capital campaign in February 2023 to the grand opening of the GLASS National Art Museum in the fall and Murrini Cafe in December, this has been a season of change,” Elwyn said.

Coming to the Art Center was an opportunity to return home to Danville for Elwyn, previously Corporate Guest Experience Manager with 21c Museum Hotels at their Louisville headquarters. “It was there I first experienced the joy of connecting people with art,” Elwyn said. “The Art Center of the Bluegrass has allowed me to expand on that meaningful mission.”

Kinkade oversaw rebranding the center from the Community Art Center to the Art Center of the Bluegrass, was instrumental in the purchase and renovation of the historic Oddfellows Hall building at 409 West Main Street, and played a major role in the founding of the GLASS National Art Museum, home to the gallery collection of Stephen Rolfe Powell.

The Art Center of the Bluegrass will continue to enhance the region’s creative arts ecosystem with agility, forging new partnerships, and expanding programming. The center is raising funds for Phase 2 of the ArtSee capital campaign to renovate the third-floor ballroom at 409 West Main Street and create culinary and hot glass classrooms.

“Laura was hired at a pivotal time and has been present throughout the expansion,” said incoming vice president of the board Amy Isola. “She has been involved in the operations of the center and brings enthusiasm and experience to the organization in her new role.”

The Art Center’s board of directors will have a new president on July 1, with Mary Conley stepping into that role. Conely and Isola have been Art Center board members since 2021.

“I am humbled the board of directors has entrusted me with upholding the Art Center’s mission of connecting people to art, culture, and creativity,” Elwyn said. “I am immensely proud of our team and the continuing contributions they make to propel this organization forward.”

Located at 401 and 409 West Main Street in Danville, Kentucky, the Art Center of the Bluegrass connects people to art, culture, and creativity. Bringing 30,000 people through the doors each year for the GLASS National Art Museum, art exhibits, classes, workshops, retail space, café, events, community gatherings, cultural conversations, and ceramics studio, the Art Center of the Bluegrass is reimagining what an art center can be.