By Janet and David, co-founders of Open Space
We are pleased to announce that Open Space for Arts & Community has a new executive director—Jiji Saunders.
“Open Space is one of the gems of Vashon Island,” Jiji says. “As an arts space it really reflects the wonderful qualities of Vashon – it is both accessible and eccentric. I am so excited to be part of the Open Space team that will be presenting more amazing opportunities for our community.”
Jiji brings with her significant experience that will help Open Space thrive. She is an artist, an entrepreneur, and a former executive director.
Already a part of the Vashon arts community, she founded Vashon Artists Linked in Social Engagement (VALISE), in 2009. During the last decade she has directed the gallery and artist collective through more than 50 shows. As an artist, Jiji’s mediums include encaustic painting, sculpture and installation.
Prior to coming to Vashon Island, Jiji worked as a conservation planner and natural resource economist. She was executive director of a conservation organization in Sun Valley, Idaho, and headed the conservation planning group for a consultancy in Denver. Her work there included strategic planning, facilitation and conflict resolution, and economic analysis.
She and her family have lived on Vashon since 2003. She loves the rural quality of the island as well as its creative, quirky spirit. “Open Space is one of the gems of Vashon Island,” says Jiji. “As an arts space it really reflects the wonderful qualities of Vashon—it is both accessible and eccentric. I am so excited to be part of the talented Open Space team that will be presenting more amazing opportunities for our community.”
We are so thrilled to welcome Jiji to Open Space. Her talents, skills, and dedication to the arts—and to Vashon!—are going to take us to new heights.
Jiji will start at Open Space in February. Her first event as Executive Director will be The Big O—a fundraising gala to support the community programs of Open Space. This will be a great opportunity to meet Jiji and hear more about her vision for Open Space.