Community reception to honor HAC’s Molleson set for Sept. 28
The Harris Arts Center has thrived over the past decade, and it has emerged as one of the community’s cultural and creative pillars. One of the primary reasons it has continued to prosper during that time is the leadership, vision and geniality of Executive Director Toni Molleson.
However, Molleson has reached the point where she is ready to move on to the next chapter in her life, and has recently made the tough decision to step down as Executive Director and retire after eight successful years at the position.
Molleson has been an integral part of the Arts Center for many years, serving in a volunteer capacity right after it opened its doors in 2000. Her relationship with the Arts Center originated from an opportunity to display her own paintings and drawings, which prompted her to eventually join the Visual Arts Committee.
Her personal artwork has taken many forms over the years. Originally, Molleson’s passion was to draw and sketch, but she eventually started trying her hand at crafting assemblage sculptures and fell in love with the art form.
“I love to draw, but lately in my career I have made a few assemblage sculptures,” Molleson said. “It’s where you take found objects, and you try and make something cohesive and beautiful out of disparate parts. Mine usually are people, and a lot of times they are angels because I like to put wings on things.”
Molleson continued to help the Arts Center grow and expand while operating in a variety of volunteer roles over the course of nine years. When the former executive director decided to step down in 2008, Molleson was approached by her colleagues and fellow volunteers to fill in as interim director during the search for a permanent replacement because of her fervent passion for the arts and its ability to heal and inspire.
“I think the arts speak to everyone,” Molleson said. “In a time where our country is going through so many things, art is a universal language that brings people together.”
She took the opportunity and ran with it, and was quickly offered the executive director position due to her success as interim director. Molleson witnessed the Arts Center flourish during her eight-year tenure as executive director.
“I hope I made the Arts Center feel like a welcoming and
A special community reception for Toni Molleson, above, who is retiring as executive director of the Harris Arts Center, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4 - 7 p.m. at the HAC.