RYE, N.Y. Longtime Rye resident and new Rye Arts Center Director Helen Gates never thought that one day she would be executive director of an art center. Gates, who previously served as director of marketing for the Rye YMCA, is excited about what she can bring to the table.
"I don't have an arts background. I am one of eight children and am the least artistic and creative of all of them. I never thought I'd be in the arts, Gates said while sitting in the centers paint studio. "Working in the arts is very different and a lot of fun.
Gates cites her passion for nonprofits and community organizations as the reason she considered the position in the first place. According to a press release, the Rye Arts Center is the only multi-arts center in Westchester, featuring music, theater, dance, media and literary arts. The nonprofit organization serves over 17,000 residents across 30 municipalities.
"My goal is to both bring the arts to the community and bring the community to the arts," Gates said. "Rye has many beautiful natural resources, and just like those resources the arts center is a resource that the community has access to."
The center's exhibit entitled "Beyond Rodin: Contemporary Figurative Sculpture" is the first exhibit to bear Gates' mark. Thanks to the efforts of local figurative sculptor Bob Clyatt and city officials, the exhibit will portray Gates' vision by displaying sculptures at various spots within the city.
"Wrapped around that exhibit will be an opportunity for people to engage in dialogue with one another about the sculpture and about the arts," Gates said. "Instead of bringing people to the art, we are going to bring the art to them."
The exhibit, which opens May 6 and runs through June 16, features the work of 20 local and national sculptors. For more information regarding the Rye Arts Center visit their website.