Change is Afoot at Kala – Announcing the appointment of new Co-Directors

Archana Horsting, Executive Director and Yuzo Nakano. Artistic Director, Emeritus, founded Kala Art Institute 46 years ago. Due to their hard work, vision, inspiration, and dedication and an exceptional staff Kala has grown from a garage studio with one etching press to the thriving international artist residency and community art-making hub in the historic Heinz building in Berkeley, CA where we are today. Kala is adapting during this time of Covid to support artists in new ways, partner with local schools and connect with youth, and continue to cultivate creativity.

At this time the board is pleased and excited to announce that the planned and working transition of leadership that has been taking place in the last two years formally takes place on October 1st. Ellen Lake is now Kala’s Executive Director and Mayumi Hamanaka, Kala’s Artistic Director, and Archana Horsting is Kala’s Founding Director. There will be programs later in the coming year celebrating this transition and Kala Founders: Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano.

Mayumi and Ellen have been at Kala for a combined total of 25 years and are passionate about the arts, civic engagement, growing and sustaining a thriving and equitable artist-centered Kala.

Mayumi, originally from Japan, is a visual artist, curator and educator with an MFA from California College of the Arts and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At Kala since 2007, she has been the Gallery Director since 2013 – working with artists on themes of belonging and questions of identity and personal politics, stories of immigration and more. She’s excited to deepen our work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, and build new community partnerships with our neighbors in Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville.

Ellen, an East Coast transplant and dedicated artist and arts administrator has called Kala home since 2008. With an MFA from Mills College and BA from Amherst College, her artwork experiments with technology, explores archives and collections, and ranges from public art to site-specific installation. As an administrator and leader (she’s been co-directing Kala since 2018) she has extensive nonprofit experience specializing in grant writing, development, strategic development, financial planning, and building creative teams.

Starting October 1, Archana is planning to spend more time in her studio while working at Kala two days a week to mentor staff, be a resource for artists, and help with this transition. We’re looking forward to celebrating Archana’s leadership at Kala and her artwork with an exhibition at the Kala gallery in 2021. We will also be celebrating Yuzo Nakano with an exhibition of his work to follow.