Bryant Galloway Whelan will join the Eastern Shore Art Center as Executive Director, on September 18, 2017, succeeding Kate Fisher, who is retiring after a seven-year tenure. Whelan comes to ESAC with a rich history of professional success in the arts and in marketing and business development. She served for several years as Executive Director of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education, where she created programs that increased membership, secured new grant funding for the center, and developed new education programs, outreach opportunities and fundraising events. A life-long artist, Whelan has also taught classes in painting, printmaking, graphic design, and children’s art and is a member of a number of arts associations across the south. Whelan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Auburn University with a concentration in Visual Communications.
In addition to her background in art and arts administration, Whelan has served as Vice President of Business Development at Red Square Agency in Mobile, and Managing Director of The Focus Group in Gulfport MS. She also ran her own marketing and consulting firm for arts, tourism, environmental and outdoor recreation clients in four states and Brazil. Board President Gaye Lindsey said “her wide-ranging experience in business, marketing, and the arts makes Whelan the ideal candidate to lead the Eastern Shore Art Center as it embarks on a major exterior renovation, following significant interior upgrades performed over the summer.”
Whelan, who grew up in Mobile, is looking forward to settling in Fairhope and to connecting with the arts and business communities along the Eastern Shore. “I am thrilled to be joining the vibrant arts community on the Eastern Shore as the new executive director of ESAC. As an artist and a girl who grew up sailing on Mobile Bay out of Fairhope, the opportunity to do what I love and make an impact in this community is a dream come true.”
-Editorial written by Eusebia Fink