MINT, the visual arts nonprofit that champions emerging artists, has named artist, curator and facilitator Julissa White Smith as executive director. She began work July 12 and joins executive artistic director Jessica Helfrecht in leading the 15-year-old organization. In addition, MINT named Atlanta-based visual artist and curator Jacob O’Kelly as gallery manager.
As executive director, Smith is responsible for maintaining operations, monitoring and increasing resources, and executing community outreach and communications. She’s charged with developing, nurturing and engaging MINT’s resource network and maintaining grant compliance.
Before coming to MINT, she spent three years as executive director of the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation. She has been a program director at WBCX-FM, worked in hospitality and tourism for the DeKalb Economic Development Authority, and as marketing manager for the community development firm APDS.
Smith has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Leadership DeKalb, the National Conference of Black Mayors, and the Georgia Humanities Council. She has a B.A. in integrated marketing communication and an M.A. in nonprofit management from Georgia State University.
O’Kelly adds MINT to his responsibilities as director of ShowerHaus Gallery. He has a B.F.A. in drawing, painting and printmaking from Georgia State University. His curatorial experience includes the notable High Rise Show in 2019, a collaborative exhibition features more than 200 artists on four floors of the 34 Peachtree building. He also curated Anthropocene last winter at Swan Coach House Gallery and Weightless at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
MINT opened four exhibitions over the weekend:
- Sweet Discord, the gallery’s eighth annual juried exhibition, featuring work from national, regional and local emerging artists. Through September 25.
- Solo exhibits by open call winners Sanaz Haghani and Leia Genis, a multimedia artist.
- Imagination’s Green Light. Haghani curates the show featuring work by Azam Majooni, Nadia Yekta, Leila Behesti and Zohred Galdizdeh, emerging artists of Iranian heritage.
MINT moved in fall 2019 to The MET in the Adair Park neighborhood near the West End MARTA station. It previously had a space in downtown Atlanta.