Brandi Clark the new director at Cascadia Art Museum

EDMONDS — Brandi Clark has been named the executive director of Cascadia Art Museum, Snohomish County’s newest arts institution.

Clark, a Texas native and a Texas A&M University graduate, has spent most of her arts administration career working for nonprofits. Cascadia is her sixth such arts organization.

Cascadia Art Museum opened its doors in September, featuring Northwest regional art from the 1870s through the 1970s.

While the focus might seem narrow to some, much of the work exhibited at the museum is new to many people.

“We’re bringing to life artists who were forgotten or set aside, and that includes a lot of minorities and women,” Clark said. “A lot of the work is pretty edgy and people often are surprised by the diversity and by the contemporary feel. I like watching people who visit the museum for the first time. Often they are shocked.”

After working for the Houston Symphony, Clark was employed with the Fifth Avenue Theatre and the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, an art gallery in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and then at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

“I love the Puget Sound region, it feels like home to me, so it’s good to be back,” she said. “A year ago I was in Edmonds for a wedding and that morning I went running by Cascadia, which wasn’t open yet. I remember thinking to myself that I should apply for a job there.”

Museum board president and founder Lindsey Echelbarger of Woodway said he is pleased to have found someone of Clark’s caliber to lead the museum and build on its early success. Membership in the museum is nearing the 600 mark.

“Brandi was the clear choice because of her depth of knowledge and experience in the arts non-profit world,” Echelbarger said. “She brings us skills that are particularly important for this stage of Cascadia’s development.”

Clark praised Echelbarger and Cascadia curator David Martin for their passion for Northwest regional art.

“I can’t get over how amazing David is, how enthusiastic everyone is, and I feel very lucky to be a part of this institution,” she said. “Cascadia is such a wonderful resource for Edmonds, for Snohomish County and for the region. New art museums are rare and the opportunity to be a part of this one was too compelling to resist.”

The next Cascadia exhibition opens Sept. 9 and features the late Peggy Strong of Tacoma.

“She has a story that includes a car accident at a young age and the resulting paralysis, but it’s also about her unwillingness to let her disability slow her down,” Clark said. “Among other credits, she had a solo show in 1940 at the Seattle Art Museum.”

Clark is looking forward to meeting patrons and members of the museum at Cascadia’s first fundraising gala Aug. 27 at the Echelbarger home. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 12. Information is on the museum’s website at

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