Dee Perez has been named executive director of the Ashland Art Center. Perez had been serving as interim executive director since October 2016 when center founder Denise Baxter stepped down as executive director.

“Dee has been doing a great job of taking the reins and steering a positive course for the Art Center," said board President Kathy Carter. "Her background as a development director and experience with nonprofit organizations combined with rising to every challenge we tasked her with during her time as the interim executive director makes her the perfect choice for the position.”

Perez will be responsible for all day-to-day management of the Art Center, including managing staff, rental of artist spaces, income sources, members support, educational programs, coordinating building maintenance and managing fundraising and development projects.

Perez was hired as the Art Center’s development director in October 2015. Before that, Perez owned her own fundraising business and wrote grant applications for regional nonprofits. She had a long career in higher education, most recently at Southern Oregon University, where she created and directed educational reform initiatives, services for at-risk students, academic support programs and directed a number of federally funded grant programs.

The Ashland Art Center at 357 E. Main St. houses more than a dozen working artists studios, retail art gallery spaces, classrooms, printmaking and ceramics studio, a

satellite location of Central Art Supply and the new Platt Anderson Cellars wine-tasting room. It offers classes and workshops in drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics and more as well as uninstructed life drawing, ceramic and print studio time. The center has hundreds of artist members throughout Jackson County and offers art instruction for students from preschool through senior citizens.

It was launched in 2006 and opened its doors in its current location in 2008.