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Concord Art Association appoints Kate James

From left: board member Nancy Huggins, Kate James, and Lili Ott.

Concord Art Association

From left: board member Nancy Huggins, Kate James, and Lili Ott.

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She’s been home raising her two sons, along with serving as what she calls a “professional volunteer,” but Kate James decided recently she wanted to get back to work. Then she saw that the Concord Art Association, a nonprofit with gallery space, a small collection, and adult education classes, was looking for a new director. “When I read the description I thought, my goodness, I qualify in absolutely every category for this job,” James said Friday. The board agreed. James, 53, was announced Friday as the association’s new director, replacing the retiring Lili Ott. James, who also lives in Concord, earned an art history degree at Barnard College and ran art galleries before going into social work. She is also an amateur oil painter. “It has an incredible history,” James said. “The woman who founded [the association], Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, was a real maverick. I’d like to stick with that program but it could use some change. I want to liven it up, get some new blood in, and figure out some new ways to curate shows.” James also plans to continue volunteering at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, where she serves on the board of directors. Two years ago, Tony James, her brother-in-law, gave the deCordova $1 million to create a fund to acquire or commission works for the sculpture park.

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