Board of Directors announces a change in Leadership

Colby K Smith

The Board of Directors at Studios Inc welcomes Courtney Wasson as the organization’s new Executive Director upon retirement of Colby K Smith. Smith has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. The organization is indebted to his vision and commitment for propelling Studios Inc to its present position.

Smith states, “I know now is the right time for a change. We have grown this organization into one of the most unique of its kind in the nation while providing substantial impact across all our programs. I am truly proud of our achievements. While my daily involvement with Studios Inc will change, my ongoing support will not, this I say with great certainty. It truly has been honor to serve this organization.”

Brad Nicholson, chairman of the Board, shares “Having met Colby when he came to Kansas City, I think it’s important to remind everyone that Studios Inc as we know it would never have happened without his vision and willingness to dedicate himself to its success. Each artist who has had the unique opportunity to be part of the program has Colby to thank for his vision.”

Wasson joins Studios Inc with 10 years of gallery experience, marketing, and business management. Wasson is to succeed Colby K Smith, who has been the Executive Director since 2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City.

Wasson received a BFA with honors from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2005. She majored in art history and printmaking. After graduation she has continuously worked to support artists through exhibitions, studio critiques, and marketing. Wasson began working for Weinberger Fine Art at the beginning of 2016, working as the Curator, Marketing and Gallery Director. Since 2010, Wasson has worked with the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and is now the acting Executive Vice President for the Leedy Foundation. In 2016, Wasson began working with Linda Lighton as the Program Coordinator of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program.

Wasson is a dedicated artist advocate whose mission is to service the promotion of artistic dialogue and connect artists to opportunities. She will be responsible for the general management and advancement of Studios Inc, building on the foundation established by Smith and the Board of Directors.

Wasson states, “My goal is to have a positive impact on the arts community and to further support artists within the Kansas City region through the programs available at Studios Inc. I love how Studios Inc engages and creates a community centered around the relationship between artists and patrons.”

Launched to serve mid-career artists, Studios Inc is Kansas City’s only nonprofit arts organization offering pivotal three-year residencies to mid-career artists who are poised to significantly expand their careers. Studios Inc offers a unique immersion experience for resident artists, who use their studio and exhibition space to produce and exhibit work, network and learn from one another, and attract and cultivate relationships with art patrons, collectors, and arts professionals.