Gayle Woody has been named President of the Jackson County Arts Council. Woody, a retired art teacher from Smoky Mountain High School and a studio artist has a long history of involvement in the arts in Jackson County. She follows Claire Collins and Sylvia Smythe as the most recent presidents of the 40 year old Jackson County Arts Council.
“I am following in some large footsteps, folks who have paved the way for a vibrant and varied arts community in Jackson County.” says Woody. “ Ray Menze was a co-worker of mine as an art teacher and carried the torch of the Arts Council for many years. We just celebrated Victoria Casey McDonald and her legacy Saturday, February 25th. She was also a past president. Sylvia Smythe and Claire Collins worked hard to make the Arts Council relevant in our changing community with the necessity of a digital presence as well as networking with new and existing art entities.”
“We have a part time paid office manager for the first time.” explained Woody. “This has been a wonderful addition to our all-volunteer Board of Directors. It allows us to keep a consistent presence in the local media and maximize our efforts to celebrate the art and artists of Jackson County. We appreciate all that Lena Woods is currently doing in that role.”
The Jackson County Arts Council Board of Directors has made it a recent goal to partner with existing programs that celebrate the arts. “We have a rich cultural heritage of talent in all art forms here in Jackson County. Literary artists, musical artists, visual artists, dramatic artists, and dance artists have an important place in our artistic landscape in Jackson County. The Arts Council is committed to join in supporting arts programming whenever possible.” says Woody.
The Arts Council is sponsoring monthly “Artist Talks” on the second Monday of each month in the Community Room of the Jackson County Library Complex. This is an opportunity for local artists to share their art form and engage with the community.