Highlands, NC (March 27, 2021) – The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts is pleased to welcome Dr. Karin Peterson as its new Executive Director starting mid-April. Peterson comes to The Bascom with more than twenty years of service on the faculty of Sociology at the University of North Carolina Asheville and has recently served as Interim Provost at UNC School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, NC), and Interim Provost at UNC Asheville.

A sociologist of art, Peterson brings an interdisciplinary approach to visual culture and an appreciation for the resonating power of art for individuals and communities. Peterson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia (Charlottesville) and an advanced degree from L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).

"During her tenure at UNC Asheville, in addition to being a dedicated teacher-scholar, Dr. Peterson led a wide variety of academic initiatives. Most recently, as the University's acting director of Arts and Ideas, Karin brought campus community members together to produce a series called Art for our Times. In this series, faculty and students explored the themes of COVID, race and our democracy through the arts. As this and much of her work illustrate, Dr. Peterson has a deep appreciation for the role of the arts in the liberal arts curriculum and in our society, and has demonstrated throughout her career, a unique ability to translate that appreciation into practice. Her work has played a key role in supporting UNC Asheville's mission as a high-quality, student-centered institution," said Garikai Campbell, Provost, University of North Carolina Asheville. "I'm confident Dr. Peterson will bring the same creativity and passion to her work at The Bascom as she has given to UNC Asheville and the other institutions to which she has contributed."

When asked about her new role, Peterson said, “I am elated to serve an organization that has a strong vision for its future, a talented staff, and a dedicated Board of Directors. The Board and Staff have adopted an ambitious strategic plan whose realization will allow us to best serve the multiple communities in our region with innovative programming that impacts people of all ages, and that addresses the connections between the arts, education, and wellbeing. It is a privilege to join them at this pivotal moment.”

In announcing the new Executive Director for The Bascom, Board Chair Bill Reeves stated, “Attracting Karin Peterson as our new Executive Director is a transformative development in the history of The Bascom. On behalf of the Board, the staff, and our loyal supporters, we are delighted to welcome Karin to the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau and to The Bascom."

Reeves added, "With her impressive professional credentials, her proven management skills, and her exceptional personal qualities we are confident that Karin will provide aspirational leadership to take us to the next level of excellence in our evolution. I encourage each of you to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to meet our new leader in person in the coming months."

The Bascom is open year-round, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, and offers free admission to all exhibitions. The campus is located at 323 Franklin Road in Highlands, NC. More information about the Bascom’s exhibitions and educational programs can be found at www.thebascom.org.