Over the last three weeks, Kae Wright has been a busy woman. The wife, mother and grandmother has been standing in for the Arts Council of Lincoln County (ACLC) as its interim Director. Wright is filling up her to-do list, as she works on the organization’s website, plans for future events and tries to maintain a business-as-usual atmosphere around the office despite the recent changes.
This isn’t her first go-around with the ACLC, however. She was the Council’s Executive Art Director about 16 years ago, and joined the organization’s Board of Directors last year. She also coordinated the county’s Festival of Trees exhibit — an event that helped wake up the ACLC and got the county involved.
“I think it was the ‘shot in the arm’ that we needed,” Wright told the Times-News on Thursday. “We felt that this event served the entire community; we’re planning bigger and better things for the event this year.”
Wright is unsure how long she will be filling in, but did mention that ACLC will be advertising the position sometime soon. Whether she will want to apply to stay on board, she doesn’t know yet. For now, she is working on planning upcoming events and making sure they run smoothly and accordingly. She is also thinking about incorporating the group into other local events this year, too, she said.
“After former-Executive Director Shelly Johnston resigned to take another position with Hospice of Lincoln County, I was approached about the position,” Wright said. “I am delighted to be back in the office, if only for a little while.”
As for changing things up with the organization, Wright doesn’t see a need; she is content with the set up the ACLC has now, though she said there is always room for improvement on getting more volunteers, advertising and fundraisers.
Along with her new role, Wright is also a consultant and Artist Liaison for art exhibits that are featured at Carolina’s Medical Center-Lincoln and creates her own art, too. An advantage to her new role and one-less thing to worry about — her familiarity with the Arts Council and the area’s art scene.
Wright was born in Lincolnton and has lived in the area all of her life, she said. She raised her two daughters here, and although she has traveled to destinations like Russia and Germany, she is completely content spending time with her husband Michael and her dog Jackson at their nearby home when she isn’t with her grandchildren.
She studied art and advertising design for two years at Central Piedmont College in Charlotte, and has worked with various artists across the state over the years. Post-college, the local artist worked as a fashion illustrator for a department store chain, while teaching private art lessons to children. Wright’s award count is more than 40 in the various state-wide competitions of which she has been a part, including a Pat Dews Award from a Georgia watercolor show.
Now, Wright continues to work with the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society, while hoping to keep the appreciation for the arts alive in the county.
“The arts teach us how to think beyond our boundaries,” Wright said. “From the cereal box you used for breakfast this morning to the billboard on the side of the road on your way to work — some one’s creative imagination had to make all those things happen. We are all artists and have talents.”
Wright hopes to continue the Arts Council’s mission of promoting, nurturing and developing community arts.