NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Valerie Garlick has been in her new job as executive director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan for exactly six weeks. Although Garlick's still acclimating to her new position, she said she's loving every minute of it.
"I'm an artist, too," said the University of Connecticut alum (she has both an MA and MFA from the school) who also describes herself as an art historian. "So meeting and working with our artist members is terrific. There's a lot of positive energy."
And while the Arts Center will open a bit later in September this year, she said she's busy working on scheduling, adding new exhibits, and involving the community as much as possible.
Expect a core scheme of six shows revolving around contemporary work by local and regional artists and artist members as well as opportunities for dialogues bridging different disciplines in workshops, concerts, and more.
Garlick said her biggest goal is to focus on the strengths and talents of the members, along with community programming.
To that end, the Katonah, N.Y.-based Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts will be back next April as will the Madera Winds Quintet in October this year, with tri-state area-based string trio ’Scape in early December.
She said part of what drew her to the job -- she previously worked at Real Art Ways in Hartford and has an extensive background as a curator, exhibition juror and educator both in Connecticut and New York City --- was the use of an alternative, historical space for the visual and performing arts and the resonant partnering with other area non-profits.
"It really feels like a family," she said. "Everyone is very welcoming and especially interested in what’s happening with the arts in New Canaan.
"I’m thrilled to be a part of the New Canaan Society for the Arts and to keep the doors of the Carriage Barn Arts Center open as home to everyone who appreciates the unique and creative culture here."
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