Teresa Osborn, the personable executive director of the Hudgens Center for the Arts, is leaving the Duluth nonprofit after eight years to serve in the same role at the Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts in picturesque Highlands, N.C.
In an email to colleagues and friends last week, Osborn said, "It isn't easy to leave the Hudgens or this community." But she said having always loved Western North Carolina and dreamed of retiring there, her ears perked up when she was approached by a recruiter in May.
During her tenure, the Hudgens, which was founded in 1981 and moved to the Gwinnett Center in 1993, launched and has handed out three $50,000 Hudgens Prizes to Georgia artists, one of the largest cash awards in the country to an individual artist; has hosted a number of strong-drawing exhibitions; and has offered a wide slate of arts classes to increasingly diverse Gwinnett County residents.
On a broader scale, it has become a cultural beacon in Atlanta's northern suburbs.
"I am so proud to have led the organization and to have been part of its extraordinary transformation and achievements," Osborn wrote. "By focusing on our mission, we have impacted the community at every level and we are poised for even greater things. We have a committed staff and board who are united behind a strategic plan that will ensure a bright future and continued growth."
Another major exhibit opens at the Hudgens on Oct. 13, "Works by Warhol: From the Cochran Collection," featuring 36 silkscreen prints dating from 1974 through the New York artist's final series done in 1986, not long before his death.
"There was no way I would leave before Warhol comes to the Hudgens," Osborn wrote. Thus her last day in Duluth will be Oct. 16. She will move to Highlands the next day and begin work at the Bascom on Oct. 19.
Established in 1985, the Bascom moved into a newly constructed, six-building campus on a six-acre former horse farm in 2009. The rustic-looking yet sophisticated village of buildings was designed by Dewolf Architecture of Highlands and Lord Aeck and Sargent Architecture of Atlanta.
Many Atlantans have second homes or vacation yearly in Highlands, a climbing ride just over the state line from Dillard in Northeast Georgia. Another prominent Highlands-Atlanta connection: Pianist William Ransom, artistic director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, orchestrates the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival every summer.
The Hudgens is at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building 300, Duluth. 770-623-6002, www.thehudgens.org.