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The Board of Trustees for the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts are pleased to announce their selection of Wendy Bury as Managing Director. Bury will begin transitioning to her new role on March 1, 2023, and will be fully integrated into the Academy’s administration by June.

In her new role as Managing Director, Bury will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Academy, as well as for strategic planning initiatives, community outreach, and institutional development, as the Academy approaches the 50th anniversary of its founding. She will work in partnership with Co-Artistic Directors Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, who will continue to lead the artistic direction of the Academy, and with the Board of Trustees.

Michael Thomas Duffy, Chair of Lyme Academy’s Board, expressed his enthusiasm for Bury’s appointment: “We conducted a thorough search and reviewed the credentials of dozens of outstanding candidates. I think one of Wendy’s references said it best when they told us that, ‘In Connecticut, there are few people who are as capable as Wendy. She can develop an innovative vision, a road map, engage partners, and put her shoulder to the wheel to make it happen.’”

Co-Artistic Director Sokol echoes Duffy’s sentiments: “I’m thrilled to welcome Wendy to the Lyme Academy. Her experience and proven leadership make her the perfect partner to carry its mission forward, and to ensure its sustainability.”

Bury arrives at a time of tremendous growth for the Lyme Academy, as it pursues its mission of providing a world-class education to representational artists. Sokol and Gurpide, both internationally-recognized artists and art educators, have attracted numerous full-time students from around the globe to the Academy’s Core Program since their arrival in January 2021. They have also created successful Continuing Education and Studio Immersion programs, added a sculpture program, led by premier American sculptor Chad Fisher, and have developed a robust schedule of lectures and workshops for students and the community.

Bury’s own professional accomplishments are many, and speak to a similar commitment to dynamic growth and advancement. As a life-long advocate for the arts, she has acted as a highly visible leader and consultant for small and large nonprofit arts and cultural businesses, multi-agency collaborative projects, and economic development agencies and chambers, as well as for nonprofit startups in the arts and cultural sector. In 2014, Bury was named founding Executive Director of the newly formed Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, now 600-partner organizations strong and serving all of Eastern Connecticut. Bury has also served as a liaison for municipalities and government agencies, an advisor on nonprofit economic impact studies and reports, and she has been appointed to the boards of numerous Connecticut-based organizations.

Of her new position at the Lyme Academy, Bury comments, “I have had the opportunity to get to know Lyme Academy over the past several years and understand well the challenges it has faced during a time of change. With the renewed commitment to its original mission, passionate Board of Directors, supportive community, and a phenomenal artistic team, I look forward to being a part of the leadership that will help the Academy reach its full potential and, as its mission states, ‘empower a new generation of artists and enrich the cultural life of the community.’”


After earning a B.A. from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, Bury received her M.A. in Art History from Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. Early internships with the New York Transit Museum and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Arts for Transit program inspired a life-long passion for public arts projects and services. Her career has subsequently featured several prominent leadership positions in Connecticut, including in policy, economic, corporate, and community development.

Since 2014, Bury has served as the founding Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, an independent nonprofit organization and part of a statewide network of Designated Regional Service Organizations to support the Connecticut Office of the Arts in the Department of Economic and Community Development. The Coalition’s mission is to improve the economy, vitality, and quality of life in Eastern Connecticut by supporting its cultural and creative communities. Currently, it provides programs and services to, and advocates for, more than 600 partners, including museums, performing arts organizations, artists, historical societies, economic development agencies, tribal and military entities, municipalities, and creative businesses.

Prior to this role, Bury was the founding Executive Director of La Grua Center, a nationally-recognized arts and cultural center in Stonington, Connecticut. Bury currently serves as Corporator of Chelsea Groton Bank, a Trustee of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, and a board member of both Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (seCTer) and Chelsea Groton Foundation. Between 2015 and 2021, Bury served on the Board of Directors of the CT Arts Alliance and was Co-Chair of its Policy & Issues Committee. Bury also served as a Co-Chair of Governor Lamont’s and Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz’s Transition Arts, Culture, and Tourism Policy Committee upon their election in November 2018.

Bury has lived in Stonington, Connecticut for 28 years and has three children.

About the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts: The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community.