Fairfield Arts Council bids farewell to executive director
Sullivan said that she has lived and raised children in Fairfield for the past 20 years and greatly enjoyed her time spent here as a resident, art teacher and business owner.
"Fairfield is a great place to live, to raise your kids," she said. "It's a great town, and it keeps getting better."
Despite her love of Fairfield, however, Sullivan will be relocating to begin a new career in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. She admitted that living on Martha's Vineyard has always been a dream of hers, and she hopes that moving will allow her to return to her roots as an artist.
"The town that I'll be moving to, Oak Bluffs, has an arts district and a great nonprofit art organization called Featherstone," said Sullivan. "I feel like everything that I've learned here about people, organizations, networking, and collaborating, I can take with me and I'm hoping I'll find a niche up there. But I really would like to get back to my own artwork."
Sullivan's involvement with the arts started early, when she attended Paier College of Art in Hamden. While in college, she established her basic roots as an artist, and her first professional years were spent in publishing, working in advertising and page layout for magazines and newspapers.
When she grew tired of working behind a desk all day, she returned to fine art. She managed the Ulla Surland Gallery Eleven on Unquowa Road as a gallery liaison for five years, and was eventually invited to work at the City Lights Gallery, in Bridgeport, as its executive director.
Following her time at the City Lights Gallery, Sullivan applied and was hired to the position of executive director of the Fairfield Arts Council. In that capacity she has overseen the financial aspects of the organization, as well as the creative. During her time at the council, Sullivan has reached out to different groups of citizens inside Fairfield as well as within surrounding towns such as Trumbull, Easton, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, and Monroe.
By becoming involved with the Fairfield Arts Council, she hoped to bring to light the idea that art is in everyone's life, and that there is always a way to enhance your life with it.
Speaking to Sullivan's role in the Fairfield Arts Council, Weis said, "Before Billie Jean came to the arts council, we were on the map. As Billie Jean leaves the arts council, we're on the map with a big exclamation point."
The Fairfield Arts Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of the arts in Fairfield. Although primarily perceived as a visual arts organization, it also sponsors poetry readings, film showings, outreach programs and even puppet shows for kids.
As Weis said, "At one time, the arts council looked at itself as an `umbrella organization,' but today we look at ourselves as more of a `hub,' and try to connect all the dots and the spokes in the community. Our mission statement is that we are all things that are arts in the community of Fairfield."