By Don Nelson
Salyna Gracie brings an all-encompassing love of the arts to her new role as executive director of Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp.
Gracie, who began her new job on Tuesday (Nov. 4), is also co-owner of The Studio, a few doors down Glover Street from Confluence, and is locally known for her visual arts, dance performance and instruction, and her specialty cakes.
Gracie is not in the cake business any more, preferring to focus her energies on her business, her visual artistry and, more recently, her poetry. She said her new role at Confluence is “a perfect place to harmonize all my interests.”
Gracie replaces Nicole Ringgold, who resigned recently after three years as executive director of the gallery and gift shop.
Ringgold will stick around for a while to help Gracie transition into the executive director’s job. Gracie said she also will get a lot of help from the gallery’s board of directors and its more than 70 volunteers.
Gracie has lived in the Methow Valley for more than 20 years and has been teaching dance for longer than that, she said. She began exploring the visual arts about five years ago. This year she had several solo shows and participated in other exhibits, she said — and also had her poetry published for the first time.
“It’s been an energizing year,” she said.
Confluence has been part of her life since she moved here, Gracie said, and she’s been gratified to see it grow and contribute to the valley’s vitality.
Gracie said she hopes to expand the gallery’s presence, especially online, and partner with other regional arts organizations to collaborate on exhibits and touring shows. She also wants to get teenagers more involved in classes Confluence offers. Right now, she said, youngsters and adults are well-served, but teens need more attention and encouragement to nurture their talents.
Generally, she said, “I want to provide more opportunities for learning how to appreciate art.”
Gracie and her family live in Winthrop.