The Board of Directors at Garrison Art Center announces the retirement of Executive Director Carinda Swann at 2016 year-end. Carinda has been involved at the Art Center for 22 years. She has served as director since 2008 and prior to that served as teacher, volunteer, gallery committee member and board member.
During her tenure as director Carinda has expanded and broadened the education programming. She improved existing popular classes, added numerous classes in a variety of disciplines and expanded the very popular pottery program. She established the Cabin Fever Workshops, a teacher’s retreat where public school teachers can deepen their skills and added Summer ARTtots to the widely touted summer programs for kindergarten through high school. Coming up in July is her newest summer program, Summer Camp for Grown-Ups.
Under her guidance the exhibition program has been significantly strengthened. She broadened the range of exhibitions and elevated the quality of work shown. As director a focus became offering the kind of exhibitions that patrons and residents would see in NYC galleries. With previous board president Bill Burback and with help from Garrison residents Lee Balter and the late Gordon Stewart, she established the Leadership Circle made up of members whose generosity helps fund exhibitions and related education programs. Under her charge The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center has shown the works of hundreds of artists including the acclaimed Ivan Chermayeff, Judy Pfaff, Melissa Meyer and more. The Power of Two was a very successful exhibition focused on never shown fine art works by Mary Einstein Wright and Russel Wright and was the Art Center’s first museum-quality show. It was paired with The Vision of One, a show summarizing the extraordinary accomplishments of late Garrison resident Aileen Osborne Webb, founder of the American Craft Museum now the Museum of Art and Design in NYC. Coming in the fall of 2016, Carinda has arranged exhibitions by world renowned artists Sean Scully and Don Nice.
During these 8 years Carinda has worked to create, design and offer unique community events that include the delightful Float Your Boat, a one day event during which hundreds created sculpture/boats from recycled materials culminating in a flotilla show on the Hudson River and the wildly successful Steamroller Printmaking where many local artists, students and families participated and watched the 22,000 pound steamroller made giant prints. The Made in Philipstown Banquet, hosted by 20 non-profit organizations, was a magical event where nearly 400 happy residents made plates throughout the summer at the Art Center and on Labor Day weekend sat at one long table where they shared a locally grown and prepared meal.
Carinda has worked to create collaborative programs with other community organizations including Boscobel, Manitoga: Russel Wright Design Center, Constitution Marsh, the Desmond Fish Library and works cooperatively with the boards of Garrison Landing Association and Garrison Station Plaza who so generously share their beautiful grounds that serve as the Art Center’s backyard.
“Carinda will be missed by all those who have walked through the door during her leadership,” says Board President Maryann Syrek. “Enthusiasm, professionalism, passion and talent, plus an unconditional sacrifice of personal time in pursuit of serving an appreciative commuity you love is a rare combinaton embodied by this director and the board will miss her, but wholeheartedly encourage her to segue into the next exciting adventures of life yet ahead.”
Carinda would like to thank the hundreds who have offered their expertise and hard work in creating the varied opportunities offered by Garrison Art Center. “The people I have had the great fortune to work with and who make the heart of the Art Center tick are nothing short of astonishing, both in their abilities and in their commitment to the Art Center and all it stands for. I have witnessed such devoted dedication from staff, board members, teachers and volunteers that it is truly humbling.”