Angevine resigns job as director of School 33

`Sad about leaving' city arts center

May 31, 2004|By Glenn McNatt | Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC

After nine months on the job contending with budget problems, a fractious board and a deteriorating physical plant, School 33 Arts Center director Jan Angevine is resigning to take a position as business manager for an architectural firm.

Angevine, 59, handed in her resignation last week to the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, which oversees School 33, said BOPA director Bill Gilmore. Gilmore immediately named Jody Albright, former head of the now-defunct Mayor's Advisory Commission on Art and Culture, as interim director of the school, which is on Light Street in Federal Hill.

"Angevine was a real strength to the staff," Gilmore said. "She held everything together and kept things going."

Angevine said Friday that she had received "an offer I can't refuse" from the architecture firm Brennan & Company in Catonsville, which specializes in school design and residential work.

"I'm very sad about leaving, but I need to pursue this other offer," she said. "The practical problems of living day to day in the deteriorating building were most difficult. One of the artist's media is melting because its so hot up there. Just trying to get short-term funding for practical fixes was by far the most daunting problem."

A former office manager for several prominent Maryland office-holders, Angevine was appointed School 33's director last August over the objections of the center's advisory board, which charged she had no arts experience. The dispute came to a head last fall, when the board refused to turn over some $200,000 it had raised for the school; BOPA sued to recover the money and the matter was settled out of court in February.

Among her accomplishments as director, Angevine cited increasing the art center's visibility, expanding its after-school programs and getting a $400,000 bond issue for capital improvements on the ballot in November. She also started a partnership with the Cloisters mansion in Baltimore County to teach painting and drawing to adults.

"I've made School 33 known to a broader range of people in the community," she said. "It's expanded from a purely artists' community to a wider community of people."

Albright, who currently works for BOPA helping to plan a renovation of the old Bromo Seltzer tower, will take on the School 33 directorship in addition to her current duties.

"It's a big job, but I'm going to give it my best," Albright said.

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