Contact Us & Staff Information

Contact Us & Staff Information 2021-09-07T19:21:18-07:00

To contact us by phone, dial (425) 822-7161 followed by the extension to reach the appropriate staff member. View our office hours.

Executive Director

Ashlie Beach
(425) 822-7161 x108

Ashlie Beach has been part of the Kirkland Arts Center team since 2017, most recently as Education Director. Over the course of her tenure, she led a wildly successful period of education programming, raising average enrollment from 400 students per quarter to 600. In 2019, Beach completed an Executive Program Certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy through the University of Pennsylvania. Beach’s lifelong commitment to visual arts is underpinned by her passionate belief in providing scholarships and equitable access to arts programming.
Previously, Beach worked in recruitment at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, maintaining relationships with McKinsey, Bain, Microsoft, and Amazon.  As a new parent, she volunteered extensively at Perinatal Support International of Washington, where she did development work and organized an international conference. Beach later served on the board of her children’s cooperative school as the Parenting Education Program liaison for seven area co-op preschools and Shoreline College.
Learn more about Ashlie’s background in the recent announcement of her leadership.

Director of Development (Interim)

Caitlin Pontrella
(425) 822-7161

Caitlin brings over a decade of executive experience and a passion for furthering equity in the arts, recreation, and our public spaces and parks. Since 2009, they have worked within government, non-profit organizations, and social enterprises to deliver creative educational programming and experiences that encourage self expression, citizenship, environmental stewardship, and physical/mental health. They earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and created 40+ public art installations in NYC and NJ.

Director of Education

Shayla M. Alarie
(425) 822-7161 x 101

Shayla M. Alarie comes to KAC with sixteen years of art gallery and teaching experience. She was a director at Davidson Galleries, co-facilitator of art group and activities at Lambert House, and most recently has been teaching art history at Seattle University. This move to KAC combines her love of and expertise in art education, exhibition, and connection to the community. She hopes to bring to the role her interest in studying pedagogy to help bolster and advance KAC’s mission of engagement, equity, and inclusivity.

Director of Marketing & Communications

Lauren Lyddon

(425)822-7161 x109

Lauren Lyddon brings to KAC extensive experience in business, marketing, and communications. Previously, she has worked as an in-house marketing and communications professional for private sector firms and as a consultant in branding and communications strategy. She earned her MBA from University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and enjoys the creatively-focused environment of Kirkland Arts Center. Formerly of Colorado and Arizona, she loves exploring the Pacific Northwest, traveling, and spending time with her husband and friends making the most of all the Seattle area has to offer

Gallery Curator & Exhibition Designer

J. Gordon
(425) 822-7161 x102

He has been coordinating exhibitions and art events for over 15 years, and before leaving the Mid-Atlantic in 2014 held the position of Curatorial Associate at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Gordon currently teaches Drawing courses at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology and is represented by Gallery 110 in Pioneer Square.  He earned his Masters from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, and his Bachelors at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.

Operations Manager

Miha Sarani
(425) 822-7161 x105

Miha Sarani is a visual artist, an art historian, and an art educator. Born and raised in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he moved permanently to the United States in 2007, becoming a citizen in 2021. He earned a BFA (painting + drawing, ’15), and an MA (art history, ’19) from the University of Washington.

Miha’s work has been shown at art museums and galleries, featured in art journals, publications, promotional material, and on music album covers. His large Koncentrik Painting series is owned by the University of Washington and on permanent display at the Mary Gates Hall. He lectures on art history for Seattle Central College CE, and OSHER program at the University of Washington, as well as practical art making at the Kirkland Arts Center.

Also passionate about music, Miha released his first music album Emona Au Revoir in 2016. It was included in Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack program the following year. He is a member of the Shift Gallery in Seattle, where he works and lives with his wife Tomitha, and their dogs Blue and Sister Ray.

Ceramics Technician Emeritus

Pat Colyar

Pat Colyar is the Senior Ceramics Technician at the Kirkland Arts Center and she has taught ceramics since 1988. She enjoys helping people learn about the joys of clay work while discovering their own abilities. She specializes in making functional ceramic ware and two-dimensional wall pieces and sells her work through various local galleries.

Senior Ceramics Technician

Robert Wetherington

Robert received his BFA in Ceramics and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2007 and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009.
Wetherington has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and Korea. His work is included in numerous public and private collections. He has received several awards and is a Fulbright Scholar.
He has taught at the Flint Institute of Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and now teaches at Bellevue College, and Kirkland Arts Center. He lives and works in Redmond, WA where he has his studio.

Education Assistant

Glenda J. Cooper

Glenda Cooper has been an integral volunteer member of the KAC staff for the last twenty years, and holds amazing institutional memory. She deftly helps students register for class, and assists staff and teaching artists prepare for, and then execute classes. In addition, she is a talented painter and mixed media artist, who has a passion for plants and archery. Glenda has taken a number of painting, art history, and abstract art classes at KAC, and is a great resource for class recommendations, or sourcing art supplies. Originally from Virginia, she lives with her husband and dog in Woodinville.