It’s time to welcome your new Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program, Cheryl Mirer! We hope you’ll drop in the office or send her a welcome message soon, but here’s a little introduction to the new member of the HUB-BUB crew. We’re so excited to have her!
What are the Cheryl-essentials? Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see, I have been a waitress, art teacher in the Peace Corps, furniture refinisher, kitchen designer, library director, naturopath office manager, Whole Foods team member, art studio manager and alumni affairs associate at a small college in western Massachusetts.
I love creating art, reading, listening to books on cd while I cook, a good cocktail, lattes, yoga, walking, hiking, decorating and meeting new people. I am addicted to frozen yogurt, bookstores, art supply and paper stores and dogs (especially my own).
I grew up in Connecticut but have lived in Massachusetts most of my life with the exception of a little stint in southern Colorado, a bit of fun in very northern California, a brief stay in the Adirondack region of New York and a year and a half in the Peace Corps in Ghana.
I earned my Bachelor’s in Fine Art and Art History at UMASS, Amherst and ten years later received my Master’s in Arts Administration from Boston University.
What excites you about Spartanburg and Hub-Bub?
In my early twenties I took a cross-country trip and through my experience devised an idea that someday I would start an artist/outdoor education community for teens that would encourage self-esteem and turn troubled kids in an inspired direction. I didn’t realize at that time that such places already existed.
Through my involvement in the arts since college and during grad school and understanding my organizational/administrative skills, I have become increasingly focused on artist in residence programs and am inspired by how the arts affect people and the communities they live in. I have been a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities for several years and have conducted personal research on various art organizations of interest.
I’m sure that my eyes literally bulged out of my head when I saw the HUB-BUB job posting – from the AiR program to all of the special events to the Showroom – I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to live in Spartanburg and work in this community.
We hear you have a sweet pup, Atticus. What’s his story?
I do! I brought Atticus home when he was seven weeks old. He’s such a mellow, sweet soul and is very adaptable. Most of his life we’ve lived in the woods but he did well in Boston and is already enjoying the smells and sounds of Spartanburg. When Eric and I were married in May 2010, Atticus was our eucalyptus wreath wearing ring bearer.
Eric and I met when I was in grad school and he’s very excited about moving to Spartanburg. As I write this, he is unpacking boxes and setting up the kitchen, what a guy. He also makes killer cookie stuffed chocolate chip cookies.
What’s your guilty pleasure on the weekend?
I love staying in my pj’s and watching movies.
Describe your relationship with art.
The arts have always been a part of my life. My father’s parents were artists and my mother’s parents were huge supporters of the arts. My mom is an amazing decorator and has a history as a stained glass artist. My dad loves photography and plays the trumpet. I spent a lot of time in New York City as a kid and was constantly being taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Modern Museum of Art or a Broadway show. I was encouraged to take art classes, piano lessons, join art club, learn how to draw new things and was sent on scholarship to the Center for Creative Youth for the summer when I was in high school. That’s when I discovered printmaking. The smell of a printmaking studio makes me so happy even though now most printing I do uses non-toxic materials.
I went on to art school but not being a city girl, had no desire to move to New York and be a starving artist. It took me some time to figure out how to stay close to the arts in my career but I think I’ve finally done it! I am dedicated to making art for myself now and hope to have a show in Spartanburg at some point. Art is very private for me and at the same time I believe that the arts are for everyone, that when creativity abounds, it inspires us to flourish.
When we take you to karaoke for the first time, what will be your anthem?
Probably something from the 80’s or anything by the Indigo Girls.
I also take requests.