LUDINGTON — Just after a year on the job, Ludington Area Arts Council Executive Director Erica Karmeisool has announced she is resigning to focus on her personal art career. The art council board has convened a search committee that will begin recruiting candidates in earnest to ensure a smooth transition between Karmeisool and the new director. Karmeisool said she plans on staying on until early July.
“Erica has brought amazing structure to the center, invigorating the board and strengthening the foundation for the future,” said Tim McKay, board president. “Her boundless creativity and tenacity to tackle big issues will be dearly missed. We wish her well in her endeavors.”
Karmeisool, who began as LAAC’s executive director in July 2012, holds a bachelor’s degree of fine art in sculpture and graphic design – two fields she said she is excited to return to as a full-time artist.
“I have absolutely loved this past year working on the business side of the art world, and now I want to return to my roots and get back into the creation of art,” said Karmeisool.
McKay noted some of the accomplishments Karmeisool has made in the year she has been at LAAC, including establishing theme-based programming uniting visual arts, theater and literary arts around a common subject each season to highlight those relationships to the community. She also did a top-down analysis of the building, the former United Methodist Church at 107 S. Harrison St., to assess and recommend the best use of space that is inviting to visitors and artists. And in addition to automating and organizing data and streamlining communications with the center’s audiences, she leaves LAAC with a balanced fiscal year 2014 budget, a revised finance structure, and a positive balance sheet.
“While we are saddened to see her go, Erica places LAAC in a stronger position because of the groundwork she has laid that will give her successor a strong foundation to work from,” said McKay.
LAAC Manager Ann Genson, the advisory board, plus the many committees and volunteers all will help in the transition, along with Karmeisool herself who will orient the new director, McKay said.
Karmeisool plans to devote her time to both creating sculptural art, as well as managing her and husband Ryan Spencer Reed’s art production and distribution business in which her first project is designing a self-published art periodical. She also would like to re-ignite an artist-in-residency program in downtown Ludington, a concept the couple conceived two years ago.
“I’ve learned so much about the industry of art organizations, how they function and how important they are to a community – in some ways, the interaction with artists who are pursuing their craft has given me the encouragement and confidence in doing that for myself. I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish here through help of dedicated volunteers and staff, and I feel confident that what has been created will serve as a strong core for the next period of growth for LAAC.”
Candidates interested in applying for the executive director position should send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]