St. Marys native Kelly Carver recently left the West Coast and is back on the East Coast serving as the new gallery coordinator at Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA).
Carver returned to the area from Seattle, Wash. in February 2010 and began an association with ECCOTA that led to her current position.
"I moved back home in February of 2010, and then in June of 2010, I became a volunteer and then I sat on the board of directors of ECCOTA. So I sat on the board until August of 2011 and then the job of gallery coordinator became available and they offered me the position," Carver said.
Carver's duties include coordinating classes taught by area artists, marketing all of ECCOTA’s events, keeping the organization's website current, maintaining gallery space and coordinating with artists on displaying and selling their work in the gallery.
"We have photographs, we have a lot of acrylic, a lot of watercolors, lots of jewelry artists, pottery, and woodworkers. But we’re not selective – anything can be displayed here. We just have to find the right artist to bring their stuff in," Carver said, adding that glass and paper products are also displayed at the ECCOTA gallery.
New artists who wish to display their work at ECCOTA are selected through a jury process in January and August.
"Twice a year, ECCOTA opens their doors up to anyone would like to put things in our gallery. Those artists have to go through a jury session, and they are required to submit three pieces and some paperwork," Carver said. "We have a gallery committee and the people on the gallery committee participate in the jury selection."
Carver is the daughter of Toni Lecker of St. Marys and Gary Carver of Ridgway, and the granddaughter of the late Jim and Ethel Lecker of St. Marys and June and Chapin “Chick” Carver of Ridgway.
"I am happy to be here with my family. It's good to get back to your roots, I think," Carver said.
She said of her position as coordinator, "Everything's fun."
Carver said she is excited about several upcoming events at ECCOTA and about sharing her enthusiasm of the arts with Elk County residents.
"Come in and see what we have to offer,” she said.
Pick up a copy of the Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.