The Charlevoix Circle of Arts board of directors has chosen Gail DeMeyere as its first full-time executive director.
Since 2004, DeMeyere has been the Visual Arts Director/Curator at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.
“We are extremely pleased that Gail has agreed to come to the circle as our professional Executive Director,” said Charlevoix Circle of Arts President Bob Klein. “She brings to us a wide knowledge of the arts community in Michigan and has broad experience with our local artists’ community.”
According to Klein, the circle of arts was founded in 2007 and has relied almost exclusively on unpaid volunteers.
“We are very proud of the service to the Charlevoix community that the circle has provided to date. However, we feel we can do much more,” he said. “As part of our strategic planning the board of directors determined that the circle should now move from an all-volunteer operation by adding a paid staff to support the circle’s activities including a full time executive director.”
Klein added, “We are confident that Gail is the right person to lead this transition.”
While at Crooked Tree Arts Center, Klein said DeMeyere had the overall responsibility for innovative exhibits such as the well loved, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a fine art tribute to the poem by Robert Frost, the “Detroit @ CTAC” exhibition that brought the current art scene from the motor city north and “as small as a world and as large as alone” an intimate view of the exquisite natural beauty of northern Michigan, among many other experiences in her twelve years on staff.
“While it has been my privilege to work at Crooked Tree Arts Center for over a decade, I feel that the time has come for me to move forward with new challenges, and work within a smaller organization that has the desire and spirit needed to become all that it envisions itself to be,” said DeMeyere. “Moving to the circle will involve personal risks as well as opportunities. But, I feel strongly that it is a time for me to use my knowledge, my experience and my commitment to the arts in a more comprehensive leadership role.”
She added, “I respect the dedication of all involved with the Charlevoix Circle of Arts to build the organization to this point and they have developed many successful shows and programs. Now I want to work as a team-player with all of the hard working Circle volunteers in serving the Charlevoix community.”
According to a Tuesday Nov. 17 press release, DeMeyere is no stranger to the work required in assuming the professional role needed to elevate an arts organization to the next level.
She holds a BA degree from the University of Michigan in the History of Arts with concentrations in ceramics and photography and a MS degree from North Carolina State University in Textile Technology, Marketing and Management.
Also, DeMeyere has worked in numerous galleries, mostly in Salt Lake City as well as in conjunction with the University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
In the mid-1980s, Gail worked as the art preparator for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and was in charge of maintaining their permanent collection.
Gail developed her own textile design business, and for the past twelve years has served as the Visual Arts Director as well as School of the Arts Director at CTAC.
During that period she has worked on several collaborations with North Central Michigan College, the Downtown Management Board in Petoskey as well as partnering with artists and arts organizations across the state of Michigan.
She currently assists on the grant review panel for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and is under contract for a book on the history of sweater design.
“The position presented to me by the Charlevoix Circle of Arts provides the opportunity to bring to the Charlevoix community the breadth of knowledge I have obtained from across the United States,” said DeMeyere. “Over the course of my career, I have been exposed to a vast number of culturally-related experiences and I hope to use these insights to develop and support artists and patrons of the arts in Charlevoix.”
Cindy Boss, the Charlevoix Circle of Arts vice-president and board member, said the mission of the Charlevoix Circle of Arts has been to enrich and inspire the Charlevoix community in the visual and performing arts.
“We have a commitment to education of youth and adults,” she said. “And, a commitment to support the rich community of artists.”
Boss added, “We are proud or our progress and I am confident that Gail will help us to be even more effective in accomplishing our mission.”