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Monmouth Art Center Selects New Leader

T.J. Carson

The Buchanan Center for the Artsis starting the new year with a new executive director.

Kristyne Gilbert Bradford was named to the position this week.  She replaced Susan Twomey, who served as executive director the past eight years.

Bradford completed her Master’s degree at Western Illinois University.  While at WIU, Bradford was a teaching assistant in the Department of English & Journalism.

Bradford said she took the job at the Buchanan Center to combine to parts of her background.

“What attracted me most to this position is because it’s a combination of, for me personally, art and writing.  My background is in technical writing.  I’ve taught art classes in the past.  As an artist, it’s a great way to still be able to network and be part of the community,” Bradford said.

Bradford taught art classes as a substitute teacher at area schools.  She also taught the subject during summer programs with the Boy Scouts and at the Galesburg Civic Art Center.

She said regional artists and volunteers have made for an "exciting" art community in the area.

Bradford said one of her goal is to grow art in western Illinois.

Credit T.J. Carson
As an artist, Bradford has created works with photography, mixed media, and recycled journals.

“Grow our membership.  Grow the attendance.  Bring in even more incredible artists, as Susan has done in the past.  She set the bar very high for this art center.  So we need to continue to offer those type of artists and exhibitions that she’s done in the past,” Bradford said.

Bradford would also like to work with other art communities and towns to create a regional art hub.

“We offer different artists.  We don’t bring the same artists to each of these areas.  Even though we have some similarities, we do have some differences.  We can use those to network and create more of a regional art area.  I don’t see us as competing, I want us to be able to work together,” Bradford said.

Bradford also does not want to limit the center’s vision to just what occurs in the city limits of Monmouth.