A new Visual Arts Coordinator is on the job in Salina. According to Salina Arts and Humanities Executive Director Brad Anderson, Jason Woolery has been selected for the position.
A native of Dyersburg, TN, Woolery holds a BFA in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Ceramic Studio Art from the University of Tennessee, Martin. He holds an MFA in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
During his academic career, Woolery established a community-based arts program in Paris, TN, running it for 1.5 years while completing his undergraduate degree. He also worked in production and gallery sales at Six Toe Studio in Martin, TN.
While at SIU Carbondale, Woolery coordinated the two-day annual Arts Education Festival, drawing more than 1,400 elementary-school students from Southern Illinois. During his graduate school years, Woolery also worked as a ceramic-studio and graphic-design lab technician. In the museum world, he has assisted with grant writing, donor relations, web site design and exhibit installation.
Between degrees, Woolery served as a studio and staff assistant and did community outreach for the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. Arrowmont specializes in folk craft and mountain arts, representing many skilled Southern artisans.
Among Woolery’s favorites about working in the arts is the connection between instructor and student. “I fell in love with opening someone’s eyes to a new experience, and watching them slowly catch on, as it became a passion. This happens often within the arts and that’s what draws me – being a part of that and helping others have new experiences.”
Before coming to Salina, Woolery served as the store manager and buyer at Sunflower Outdoor & Bike in Lawrence, also teaching at the Lawrence Arts Center for four years.
His hobbies include trail running, paddling and rock climbing. Growing up, he enjoyed time at his grandparents’ campground on the Missouri River and helped with the family rental and construction business in Tennessee.
In 2019, Woolery and his partner Danielle completed a three-month road trip, visiting 12 national parks in 14 states. Woolery’s love and appreciation of the outdoors is expressed in his ceramic and other arts work. “The influence I brought to my grad-school work was from the natural textures around me, and how light creates shadow and lines.”
At Salina Arts & Humanities, Woolery will oversee the juried art show, outdoor Artist Installations, demonstration artists and Art Patron Program of the Smoky Hill River Festival. He also is the liaison to the Community Art & Design Program and its advisory committee, and will serve as a public-art and visual-arts resource to the regional community.