Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center's new executive director is a familiar face to the Maui arts community. On May 1, Caroline Killhour was elected by the Board of Directors as the new leader of the Hui, having previously served as managing director since 2007.
"I'm truly honored by this opportunity," said Killhour in a release. "Hui No'eau has a tremendously talented and devoted board of directors who are incredibly skilled and committed to the community. The staff is very professional, creative, hard-working, and creative."
Killhour brings to the post a firm business background, experienced educational leadership and a passion for the arts. She earned her bachelor's of fine arts degree from the Tyler School of Art, and an associate degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. As a post-graduate, she studied at the Maine College of Art and in the executive development program of the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. She spent more than 10 years as a senior leader at L.L. Bean, directing various areas of the billion-dollar clothing company's technical design, product research and developments.
After Killhour and her husband moved to Maui, she spent a year as executive director of the Art School at Kapalua directing a visiting artist program, galleries, studios, classes and all development and community engagement efforts. An active painter, printmaker and regular contributor to local exhibitions and galleries, Killhour is also an avid artist-practitioner.
"I love working with creative people," she says. "They all have very different points of reference; you have to listen to them, hear what's really important to them - and also show them how, for example, time spent developing their own engagement efforts can add value to the lives of others and to the overall Maui community."
Since Killhour's arrival at the Hui, the center has adopted a new strategic plan, added a new jewelry and ceramics studio, expanded its children's programs - including sending Hui teachers into Kihei public schools - and is developing a master plan for the 25-acre Upcountry property, one that will keep the nonprofit organization funded while increasing community involvement in the arts.
"Not only does Caroline have the education and experience in the fine arts, she has a strong business background and solid financial experience. With the current economic situation, it's even more important to have such a person as the face of the Hui in the community," says Board President John Hoxie, "Caroline has done such a good job of running the Hui; she has hired some effective new talent and secured a great team of community leaders."