GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) – Dr. Kathryn “Kate” Swanson has been named the new executive director for Gloucester County’s Arts on Main.

Swanson is expected to start in early June.

Most recently, Swanson was an assistant professor of history at Principia College in Illinois, though she has previously studied and worked on the Peninsula, earning her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and art history from William & Mary and working with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

“I am excited to work with the staff, artists, board members, and the Gloucester community in continuing to offer and develop engaging programs, classes, and gallery shows,” Swanson said in a statement. “Arts on Main is a vibrant organization and an important feature of the Gloucester community with opportunities to explore art from a variety of different perspectives.”

New Arts on Main Executive Director Kate Swanson (Courtesy: Arts on Main)

Swanson has also worked for Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and later served as the curator of collections at Plimoth Patuext (formerly Plimoth Plantation). She also received a doctorate in historical archaeology from Boston University.

As an educator, Swanson looks at art as an important way to demonstrate complex ideas, and is an avid art collector, having explored it through a variety of media.

“Whether you are teaching math through calculating the amount of yarn needed for a scarf or bringing history and culture to life through paintings and sculpture,” Swanson said, “art can offer a rich, dynamic way of connecting with lessons and life that nothing else can provide.