Deborah McLean has announced her retirement as executive director of the Taos Center for the Arts, according to the TCA's Board President Alford "Andy" Johnson.
McLean has "shined through her knowledge of the arts in all its forms, her ability to work with the community at large and her superior management skills," Johnson stated in a Wednesday (April 18) press release. McLean's retirement will be effective in August.
During McLean's six-year leadership and with her dedicated staff, the Taos Center for the Arts has flourished as a cultural organization for all of Taos, Johnson continued. He noted that membership has doubled to 800.
"The number and variety of events has grown significantly and annual event attendance grew to 27,000," he said. "Of major importance was the capital campaign spearheaded by McLean with the collaboration of board and staff that brought the big screen and all the modern digital movie equipment to Taos."
McLean said she and her husband, Bob Parker, have been contemplating this decision for a while. "Yes, no, want to, don't want to. But, really, it came down to being with family and friends," she said.
Of her time at the local arts organization, she said, "It's been fun. We have a good board, staff and great energy here. I feel like I'm leaving the house tidy and ready for someone new."
Asked if there was one thing in particular she could point to with exceptional pride, she replied there really wasn't. She preferred to share her accomplishments among her staff and board and to also share with them the joy it's been to "bring the TCA to the community."
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, McLean has lived in Taos for the past 17 years. Her arts management experience includes positions as interim president at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, interim director of the University of New Mexico's Harwood Museum of Art, and interim director for the Couse Foundation. She has more than 20 years experience as a planning consultant focusing primarily on organizational and municipal long-range plans.
She is also a jewelry and metal collage artist, has shown her jewelry in many local galleries and has had her metal collages accepted in a number of juried shows. McLean has studied fine arts, has a degree in planning and a master's degree in business administration.
"To say that we will be sorry to lose her is a vast understatement," Johnson adds in the release. "At the same time Deborah's retirement is well deserved as she leaves her lasting imprint on the TCA. She will be leaving the organization in far better shape than when she first took the reins six years ago. In retirement, Deborah plans to spend more time with her husband Bob Parker visiting family and friends both here and in Canada."
The Taos Center for the Arts is interested in speaking with those persons who are interested in learning about the position of executive director. They are encouraged to send a confidential resume to: A. B. Johnson, P.O. Box 588, Arroyo Hondo, N.M. 87513.