Lori has been involved with the Black Mountain Center for the Arts since its beginning; as a local teacher collaborating with the Center, as a community member whose daughter takes dance here, and as a Board member. In 2019 Lori became the Executive Director of BMCA, a position she views as her “dream job”!
Lori’s professional career began in education where she has taught elementary and visual art. Most recently she was the Executive Director of ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa, NC for thirteen years. Lori has been a Teaching Fellow with the NC A+ Schools Program since 1999, and in this role has traveled throughout the country presenting and instructing other educators on best practices in arts integrated learning. In addition to spending time with her family, Lori enjoys travel, gardening, dance, art history, and making pottery.
Who We Are
Marylee has been providing marketing and graphic design services for local businesses and organizations in WNC since 2014. She is very passionate about giving small businesses a platform and a voice. Marylee is originally from New Jersey, where she worked in the Children's Department of a library for seven years, assisting with puppet performances, craft programs, and school outreach.
Marylee lives in Old Fort with her husband, child, and dogs, where she enjoys cooking, hiking, and crafting.
Claire K. Landis
Claire is originally from Western Pennsylvania and grew up enjoying all of the art that Pittsburgh had to offer before moving to Philadelphia to study Entertainment and Arts Management as well as Dance at Drexel University. She is a new transplant to WNC and is very excited about exploring the area and being involved with the center!
In her free time, Claire likes to continue working on her mediums of dance and cello. She also loves to play Dungeons and Dragons, hike and go on Wikipedia deep-dives. Claire is always available for trivia or a good fun fact!
Clay Studio Manager
Charles Freeland has been our clay studio manager since 2011. Before coming to BMCA, Charles taught art, design, and ceramics courses at a number of colleges and universities. Charles has been coming to Black Mountain since 2001, spending summers in Montreat as an Artist in Residence at the Sally Jones Pottery Studio. Charles received his BA from Austin College and an MFA from the University of North Texas. Along with his managerial duties, Charles teaches classes and workshops.
Michelle was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fl and has lived many places but for the last 17 years she has called Western North Carolina her home. The last decade Michelle worked at ArtSpace Charter school in the front office and as a Teacher Asst.
Michelle's love of the natural world and a desire to incorporate more beauty in her space has inspired and motivated her to craft yard art and concrete creations for everyone to enjoy.
Michelle lives in Black Mtn with her husband, two daughters and two dogs.