AVA Gallery names new executive director

  • Shari Boraz has been hired as AVA Gallery and Art Center's new executive director. (Courtesy photograph)

Staff report
Published: 11/15/2021 9:30:53 PM
Modified: 11/16/2021 3:41:44 PM

LEBANON — AVA Gallery and Art Center has named Shari Boraz as its new executive director.

Boraz, a Hanover resident, is a seasoned nonprofit manager with fundraising experience, qualities Alan DiStasio, AVA’s board chairman, cited in a statement announcing her hiring.

“Shari brings a deep background in organizational management, communications and community engagement ranging from collaborating with local businesses, to fundraising and volunteer programming,” DiStasio said. “She combines an artist’s spirit with a practical eye for leading AVA’s advancement as a creative hub for art and artists in the Upper Valley.”

In a statement, Boraz called leading AVA her “dream job,” one in which she could deploy her management experience in the service of visual art.

In addition to serving in management jobs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College since 2005, Boraz is an accomplished artist. Her work in fabric has been exhibited widely in the Upper Valley and beyond, including at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Boraz is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She works mainly in hand embroidery, but also dyes fabric for her work.

At AVA, she will replace Hilde Ojibway, who has served as the nonprofit art center’s interim leader since June.

After the 2016 retirement of Bente Torjusen, who led AVA for 30 years, the organization has had two executive directors depart, and Ojibway’s stint this year was her second as interim leader. The first was in 2019, after the departure of Paul N. “Trip” Anderson III, who was hired to replace Torjusen. Heidi Reynolds served from Nov. 1, 2019 through June 2021.

Boraz starts work Nov. 29. AVA is planning a welcome reception for Boraz from 4 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 2.

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