DUNWOODY, Ga. — One week on the job, Alan Mothner says he is astounded by the depth and breadth of classes offered at Spruill Center for the Arts.
“I knew we did a lot of classes in a lot of different mediums, but we have literally hundreds of classes coming up this spring quarter,” said Mothner, the organization’s new CEO. “Everything from glass to jewelry to metal to mixed medium, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, woodworking, it’s crazy!
The Spruill board announced in February that Mother would be taking the reins from Bob Kinsey, who served as CEO for the past 16 years.
“I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to catch up on, but I’m really excited to be here,” Mothner said. “I’m eager to get acclimated and get going, eager to push the arts here in Dunwoody and beyond.”
Most recently, Mothner worked as a nonprofit consultant with Town Square Collaborative. Before that, he served as executive director of the Dunwoody Nature Center for seven years.
“I’ve got a pretty extensive background in working with nonprofits, both on the board side and the employment side,” he said. “My last position gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of different types and sizes and missions.”
Mothner also worked as a professional photographer for more than 15 years. He said serving as CEO of the Spruill Center is a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to do work that combines his interest and experience with art, nonprofit management and Dunwoody.
“It’s both exciting and a little bit intimidating at the same time,” Mothner said. “We’ve got pretty ambitious plans for growth. We’re working hand-in-hand with the city to try and accomplish those goals.”
Spruill’s immediate goal is to expand the gallery’s classroom space, with plans to build onto its current location. It’s a huge capital project, but one that’s desperately needed, Mothner said.
New classroom space will not only allow the center to offer new classes and expand its existing classes to new students, it will also enable Spruill to offer more community outreach, such as serving lower income patrons or students with disabilities.
“We truly feel that the arts are a difference maker in society,” Mothner said. “Those people at the margins have a harder time accessing the arts. We’d love to be able to provide those services to the community, but right now we literally don’t have the space for it.”
Long-term, Mothner said he wants to grow the arts throughout Dunwoody and make it something the city is known for.
“We’re at the very beginning stages of discussing art and, in particular, public art here in Dunwoody,” he said. “I see Spruill playing a major, major role in that throughout the community.”
Because of health concerns to the public, the organization’s annual fundraising event, Artistic Affair, originally slated for March 21 at the Atlanta Athletic Club, has been changed to an online Virtual Gala. Silent auction items will be available to bid on online beginning March 21 as originally scheduled.
Visit spruillarts.org for registration and information.