Raleigh Arts Names Kelly McChesney New Public Art Director

News posted Jan. 16, 2018 - 3:38 pm

Raleigh Arts is pleased to name Kelly McChesney as The City of Raleigh’s new public art director. The public art director oversees the City of Raleigh’s growing public art program and is responsible for leading the development of public art across the city. In addition to administering the City of Raleigh's Percent for Art program, the director manages the Public Art and Design Board and oversees the citizen-initiated project process as well as an expanding portfolio of temporary and experimental public art projects.

Sarah Powers, executive director of Raleigh Arts said, “We are excited to have Kelly coming on board. After an extensive national search, we felt Kelly’s vision of what public art could be in our community was the best fit for Raleigh Arts. We also believe she will be an asset in implementing the Raleigh Arts Plan, which sets the goal to extend access to the arts to all parts of the community. She is not only well-qualified, but is incredibly well-respected in the creative community as an advocate for artists and as someone who has worked tirelessly to increase access to contemporary, experimental and new media art in the Triangle.”

Prior to joining Raleigh Arts, McChesney was the executive director of Lump and a board member of The Forge Initiative. Kelly co-curated Artist Inventor in 2015 and consistently worked with video artists, new media, and MIT Artist Residents through her work with Lump and Flanders Gallery. She won an Indies Art Award in 2016 for her support of artists and work building both galleries.

McChesney has worked previously with Raleigh Arts in an advisory role on a City-wide strategic initiative to encourage collaboration between the art community and tech innovators. She was also a collaborator for international artist Olek’s Love Across the USA’s Nina Simone mural, a 40-foot crochet work currently located at the Raleigh Convention Center.
McChesney replaces Kim Curry-Evans, who joined Raleigh Arts as the public art director in 2010.

The Office of Raleigh Arts supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board, and supporting the Pullen and Sertoma arts centers. The Office of Raleigh Arts is a part of the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department.


  • Office of Raleigh Arts
  • Suite 408
  • 127 W Hargett St
  • Raleigh, NC 27601

For more information, contact

Subscribe to the City's News RSS Feed named Raleigh

Second Best American City to Find a Job

View our accolades >>