Art association

Laurie Pavlos to retire as Lyme Art Association director, Elsbeth Dowd named successor

Current Lyme Art Association director Laurie Pavlos (left) sits with new director Elsbeth Dowd, who will take over from Pavlos after her retirement on June 30.

OLD LYME: The Lyme Art Association is the oldest of what has become a vibrant collection of arts and cultural institutions in the heart of Old Lyme. It flourished in a way perhaps only matched by its early years when the renowned artists of Lyme Art Colony formed the Association in 1914.

It is from this solid base that the Association underwent a change of direction.

After 12 extremely successful years at the AAL, Laurie Pavlos plans to retire on June 30 from her position as Executive Director. She joined the staff in 2010 as commercial director and later became part of the management team, which led the association from 2014. This team also included gallery director Jocelyn Zallinger and the director of the development Gary Parrington.

Pavlos was appointed Executive Director in 2018 and since then has been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of LAA’s mission and values. She has guided the organization through significant growth, construction and both unexpected and difficult disruption of the pandemic.

Effective July 1, Elsbeth Dowd will succeed Pavlos as executive director.

For the past two years, Dowd has served as LAA’s Director of Development. Pavlos comments: “By joining the staff of the Association at the beginning of 2019, she [Dowd] wasted no time improving our communications, starting with social media.

Pavlos adds, “Elsbeth has worked with me to help our wider community become familiar with our organization and our mission. She continues to build relationships with community partners, sponsors, members and donors.

Prior to joining the Lyme Art Association, Dowd was executive director of the Oysterponds Historical Society in Orient, NY, and before that he was museum registrar at the Sam Noble Museum in Oklahoma. She received her BA in Art and Archeology from Princeton University and her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma.

A number of other appointments have also been announced at the LAA. Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts graduate Paul Michael took over the role of gallery director from Jocelyn Zallinger, who also retired. Jolie Collins is the Association’s new communications director, and Sarah Kentoffio and Franceska Nebel help out in the gallery and staff office, respectively.