LEWISTON — Josh Vink, executive director of L/A Arts, is stepping down.

Vink has been the executive director of the agency since 2013. Before that, he served as L/A Arts’ director of the Arts in Education program and as the interim executive director following the resignation of his predecessor, Odelle Bowman.

Vink is leaving the Twin Cities and returning to New York to become a lecturer at the State University of New York at Potsdam, according to L/A Arts board Chairwoman Judy Vardamis.

“It’s all positive,” Vardamis said.

L/A Arts has grown during Vink’s tenure, who has steered the 43-year-old agency on its mission of “integrating the arts and culture into the fabric of the community.”

The successful L/A Art Walks and the Ice Festival are signature events in the Twin Cities — but much of the group’s focus is now centered around its Arts in Education program. Serving the public schools in Lewiston and Auburn, the program exposes students to all forms of artistic expression.

Fundraising and corporate sponsorship has also grown.

L/A Arts’ most recent public success is the installation of the “Lewiston Rattle” sculpture on Lisbon St. between Ash and Pine streets. Vink spearheaded the local effort to raise funds to install the seven-piece sculpture by artist Charlie Hewitt atop 20-foot aluminum poles.

In a recent interview, Vink said reaction to the sculpture has been popular, saying “it’s become a fabric of the community.”

The sculpture will have to be moved because of a planned development on the property where it sits. Hewitt and members of the L/A Arts board of directors are working to find a new location.

Vink’s last day is July 29, Vardamis said.

The board is hoping to quickly find Vink’s replacement, but will consider naming an interim director if the process lingers.

“We’re looking at that,” Vardamis said. “We’re hoping the moment we start getting resumes in, we’ll start interviewing immediately.”

In addition to seeking new executive director, L/A Arts is also looking for help from the community. 

“We’re looking for art-inspired people who would like to serve on our board,” Vardamis said.

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