Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts Announces New Executive Director

The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts is thrilled to announce that Mercedes Michalowski will replace current Executive Director Steve Brown on June 1 after two years of truly exceptional performance in her role as Associate Director.

The Art Center’s Board of Directors unanimously supports the search committee’s decision and looks forward to working with Mercedes to continue the momentum, excitement, and programs that the Art Center has developed in recent years. Current president Greta Bolger was joined by past presidents Richard Robb and Elaine Peterson in saying Mercedes is a “superb choice.” Outgoing Executive Director Steve Brown said, “With Mercedes stepping into the leadership role, the best is yet to come at Oliver Art Center!”

Michalowski was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1979, and grew up in Muskegon. She holds an MA in Museum Sciences from University of Oklahoma and has previous experience directing museums in the Midwest and Great Plains states. As Oliver Art Center’s main co-administrator, marketing coordinator, and liaison for gallery, gift shop, class and events operations, she has a broad and nuanced understanding of the Art Center’s role in the community. She shares the vision of the Board of Directors and membership that Oliver Art Center is a place that offers superlative exhibitions, programs and education opportunities to everyone in Benzie County. In fact, it was the initiative of her and her family to begin and fund Young Artist Scholarships for residents under 18 of Benzie County.

Mercedes brings consistent and consummate professionalism, high energy, and a sense of down-to-earth humor to her role at Oliver Art Center. In particular, she will be tasked with continuing to expand the Art Center’s audience and student attendance, as well as growing new outreach programs for underserved communities. The Art Center will also continue its leadership role in cross-organizational collaborations, which strengthens the region as a whole.

All members of the community are invited to join the Art Center in congratulate Mercedes for assuming her new role during the 5:00 – 7:00 pm opening reception of Pier Wright’s solo exhibition on June 26. This event kicks off Oliver Art Center’s Annual Open House, which features an expanded Family Art Day on Saturday, June 27, from 10:00 am -4:00 pm.

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Jordan Bates

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