Elverhøj Museum of Art and History in Solvang recently announced that Santa Ynez Valley local, Jody Williams, will fill the newly created assistant director position at the museum.
Jody grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley where she attended Solvang School and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School. She earned her BA in the History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz, graduating with double honors and Phi Beta Kappa. During her undergraduate studies, Jody spent a year abroad attending the University of Bologna where she studied art history and Italian politics. Upon graduation, she moved back to the valley and interned at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Williams has spent the last 13 years in the wine industry, including a decade at The Wandering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang, which she co-owns with her husband and in-laws.
“After graduation my plan was to start working in a museum and one day become a curator of art,” said Williams. “But I also wanted to move home to the Santa Ynez Valley rather than a big city. I am thrilled to now be able to do both, and am having a great time learning more about the area’s Danish heritage while also getting to work with contemporary artists.”
Elverhoj Executive Director, Esther Jacobsen Bates, said that Williams' passion, enthusiasm and knowledge will help the Elverhøj continue its pursuit in sharing Solvang's rich history, Danish culture and community arts.
"This is a busy time of year and we are thrilled to welcome her to our team. We can already tell she is going to be a huge asset as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary and work toward expanding our programs and community outreach,” said Bates.
Williams resides in Solvang with her husband, Charles, five-year-old daughter Audrey and their black Labrador, Lucy. When not working, you can find her on a run with her dog, at a park with her daughter or enjoying the area’s many fabulous wineries and restaurants with her husband and friends.