Michelle Register believes her love of the arts started the moment she could hold a crayon.
Throughout her life, she has been known as a dancer, painter, potter, jeweler, sculptor, illustrator and now the new executive director of Glynn Visual Arts (GVA).
Register took on the new position at the local art nonprofit on June 20. She said she is thrilled to take on the role as the executive director at GVA and has many plans for the organization’s future.
“I decided to step into the role because I feel like I could bring something to the table for Glynn Visual Arts, and I wanted to help it grow in the community,” she said.
She took the reins from Terri Evans, who served as the executive director for two and a half years. Evans is still involved, however she is transitioning to a part-time, marketing-based position.
“Michelle and I are working very well together and have a lot of mutual respect, as did (previous director) Susan (Ryles) and I. I think Michelle will be awesome in the role,” Evans said.
Founded in 1953, Glynn Visual Arts serves the local community with a mission to “enrich the community by stimulating interest and participation in the visual arts.” The organization provides a center for art education and creation as well as an exhibit to showcase new artwork.
Register said she has always enjoyed the sense of family at Glynn Visual Arts. After moving to the Golden Isles, she decided to join the organization in 2016 after looking for her artistic kin.
“Artists tend to congregate and what a better place than GVA to meet other like-minded, right-brained, creative neighbors,” Register said.
Located on St. Simons Island, Glynn Visual Arts offers regular programs including exhibits, art festivals, classes, summer camps, art fairs and more for the local community to enjoy. Register said she is committed to bringing in more classes and workshops for all ages and families.
“They are in the very early stages of development. However, I can say we are bringing in some amazing artists for extended workshops this winter and are developing additional classes for our permanent offerings,” Register said.
Register hopes to create widespread recognition for the exceptional exhibitions at Glynn Visual Arts, the organization’s rich and deep education program, and the community space GVA offers.
“Our facility is also available for private events. We would love to share our beautiful space with the entire community of Glynn County,” Register said.
While being the executive director at Glynn Visual Arts, Register said she also envisions developing new partnerships with a variety of nonprofits and reaching out to the local community more.
“We rely on the passion and generosity of our community,” Register explained. “We are working hard to acquire more grants to help supplement our expenses.”
Glynn Visual Arts includes almost 400 members and is solely supported by memberships, donations, sponsorships, grants and programs.
The members and volunteers at Glynn Visual Arts are the backbones of the organization, Register said. She hopes Glynn Visual Arts will grow so that they can add more staff to support the organization’s initiatives for 2022 and 2023.
“Our community is very friendly, we welcome everyone and are very interested in learning from others. Not only are the professional artists some of the best, but the exhibitions GVA brings to the area are truly stunning.” Register said. “For example, the current “Common Roots: Many Branches” is an extraordinary display representing a multitude of artists with varying styles. Our next exhibition will be sculpture and let me tell you, it is going to be gorgeous.”
Glynn Visual Arts is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All exhibits are open to the public for free. Register said it has been a thrill so far working at the new executive director at Glynn Visual Arts the past few weeks.
“I love the Golden Isles and am excited to be embraced by our community,” she said.