New Canaan's Silvermine Arts Center Executive Director Announces Retirement

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Leslee Asch, executive director of Silvermine Arts Center, will retire from her role at the New Canaan facility effective Tuesday, April 5.

Leslee Asch will retire from her role as executive director of the Silvermine Arts Center in April.

Leslee Asch will retire from her role as executive director of the Silvermine Arts Center in April.

Photo Credit: Contributed

Asch began at Silvermine April 5, 2010, and has presided during a time of transformation.

“The Silvermine Arts Center will soon begin planning for its 100th anniversary, which is now just six years away,” Asch said. “It seemed a natural time to begin a transition that would allow a new director to implement his or her vision as we head toward the celebration of that milestone.”

During her six years as executive director, Asch created a legacy of Silvermine programs that unified visual and performing arts. She supported cutting-edge artists with grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts and other organizations. She balanced the needs of the School of Art, a 5-acre campus, the Art Partners outreach education program, and Fairfield County’s best-known Gallery and Guild.

Asch re-established the position of outreach education director and oversaw in-depth art programs for under-resourced students throughout lower Fairfield County. She worked to create the Sculpture Walk, expanded and renovated the offices and back-campus studios, and enabled the addition of bronze casting, glass working and woodworking to the art curriculum.

In addition to these programming expansions, she made dozens of improvements and updates to the arts center’s systems, exhibit spaces and marketing capabilities. During her tenure, Silvermine won Moffly Media’s Best Art Classes Award four years in a row and Best Galleries five years in a row.

“As we honor Leslee, we have also begun a thoughtful search for a new executive director to take us to our centennial year,” said Rose-Marie Fox, chairwoman of the Silvermine Board of Trustees. 

Silvermine Arts Center is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Its 5-acre campus consists of a nationally renowned artist guild, an award-winning school of art offering classes for all ages, an arts and fine crafts shop, and a gallery offering more than 20 contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. 

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