Changes at the Gallery: A Letter from the Executive Director

Here at Smith Center we are proud of the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery. Due to funding, we have recently had to make some changes to the gallery including transitioning the Gallery Director position. After three years as Gallery Director, Spencer Dormitzer has moved on to a new role in the art community. We will miss his creative talent and ability to pull together deeply impactful shows.

We plan to continue producing exhibitions that are of the high quality and deep healing that Smith Center has become known for throughout the community and beyond.

We are making strategic changes to the gallery and will bring it into even closer alignment with all of Smith Center’s programs. unnamed.pngLong-time board member of the Smith Center Myrtis Bedolla will act as a consultant, to help oversee the direction of future exhibitions and programs. Ms. Bedolla has over 30 years of experience as an advisor to individual collectors and public and private institutions in the acquisition and sale of fine art; and provides professional curatorial services, lectures and educational programming to corporate, civic and arts organizations. We will also welcome a new gallery coordinator in July, Lindsey Yancich.

Additionally, we have a new partnership with Life with Cancer to co-develop a robust Integrated Art and Healing program at the new Inova Schar Cancer Institute on the grounds of the old Exon Mobil World Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.  In addition to helping create a permanent art collection for their new space and a Smith Center Artist in Residence program, we are opening a second Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery onsite there next year with the opening of the new hospital.

So, while things are changing, we are continuing to grow and will continue our dedication to the deep healing that can be found through the arts. With this new direction, we are hoping to deepen our alignment with the art community, people who utilize our programs, and ensure that our exhibits and programs are thought provoking and restorative. I hope you will join me in my excitement for this next chapter.

Our current exhibition The Healing Studio Series features the work of Judith Capen and the late Alex Todorovich. It tells the story of life, death, pain and healing through the eyes of two courageous women and their creative force. Please stop in and view this powerful exhibition. And while visiting, please say hello. I always love to hear from you.


Jennifer Bires
Executive Director