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HRAC executive director shares her goals

By Larshell Green
On February 6, 2018

Executive Director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center Maureen Joyce sits at a table during the farmers market to promote HRAC’s “Hammond Rocks” initiative to promote kindness through 2018. Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

New Executive Director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center Maureen Joyce was officially hired on Sept. 20, 2017. Former Executive Director of HRAC Katherine Marquette officially exited her position on Sept. 15, 2017. Joyce spoke with The Lion’s Roar about her decision to improve, not alter the roles of executive director. Joyce’s goals center around growth and enhancement in her personal and professional journey.

The Lion’s Roar: How did you get the position at HRAC? 

Maureen Joyce: I spoke with Katherine Marquette during the opening on ‘Hot August Night,’ and she encouraged me to send my resume to the Hammond Regional Arts Center’s Board of Directors. 

TLR: Do you have a favorite artist?

M.J.: I have many favorite and inspiring artists, entirely too many to list here. I have studied mostly Renaissance and Baroque art. Johannes Vermeer inspired my largest body of artwork. Using a twin lens reflex camera, I created a collection of photographs that capture a solitary woman in a quiet moment in time with inaccessible thoughts with a dramatic single source of light and surrounded by soft details. I can see something new in a Vermeer painting almost every time that I look at one.

TLR: Where are you from and what was your childhood like?

M.J.: I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland. My father died when I was quite young. Except for my time studying and living in Italy and France, I have lived in Louisiana ever since. 

TLR: Did you attend a university? If so, what did you study and what was your time like there?

M.J.: Yes, I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degree from Louisiana State University. I truly appreciate my education and time there. I had amazing and inspiring professors and teachers and two opportunities to study abroad while I was there. 

TLR: What were your previous job positions?

M.J.: I taught art history at Louisiana State University and Baton Rouge Community College. I taught English at St. Joseph’s Academy. I worked as the marketing director at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. I was a gallery assistant at Albert Blue Gallery. I was the chef and owner of a farm-to-table, vegetarian restaurant. 

TLR: What are your goals as executive director at HRAC?

M.J.: My goals at the HRAC are to grow membership and foster more partnerships and relationships with the community. I want the entire community to see how the quality of life improves for everyone when the arts thrive and flourish. 

TLR: Do you plan to keep, alter or replace events at HRAC such as ‘Brews Arts Festival,’ gallery openings and the ‘Literary Festival?’

M.J.: I don’t plan on replacing any events or programs, but I will work hard to improve, refine and grow each event.

TLR: What elements of Katherine Marquette’s leadership style will you embody during your era, if any? If not, explain why.

M.J.: I truly appreciate Katherine Marquette’s leadership, dedication, loyalty and ability to create a firm foundation to grow the arts in Hammond. She dedicated her time and efforts to establish a standard of excellence in both the quantity and quality of work on exhibition here at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. I hope to maintain those standards and see the Hammond Regional Arts Center moving in a positive direction in the future due to her leadership. She was instrumental in attracting me to the position. I am truly grateful, and I look forward to the exciting growth of the arts in our community.  

TLR: What do you want people to know about you?

M.J.: I try to practice gratitude and mindfulness daily. I need to emphasize, “try.”

TLR: What do you hope to accomplish during your legacy at HRAC?

M.J.: I hope my legacy will be that I encouraged growth in the organization, nurtured creativity in the community, celebrated the talents of artists and improved the quality of life for those who stopped for a moment to contemplate beauty, craft, intention and the enduring power of the arts.

TLR: Where does your passion for art come from?

M.J.: My passion for the arts comes from my earliest blissful memories of drawing and painting as a child and then seeing the powerful impact the arts play in our history and culture. I heard from a teacher at a very early age, ‘Daily life can often attempt to crush our souls. Art reminds us that we have one.’

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