By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Jennifer Teter is where she wants to be.
In fact, it's where she needs to be.
"I just always knew I wanted to be in art," she said.
Teter is the new executive director and curator of the Quincy Art Center, 1515 Jersey. She replaces Julie Nelson, who is retiring after 20 years. Her first official day will be Aug. 30.
Teter grew up around art, is a ceramicist by trade and enjoys all that her passion offers. Even though she rarely has enough time to explore her own art-related interests, her work at the Art Center provides a natural outlet.
"I live vicariously through those (artists) I am around," she said.
Teter has 4 1/2 years of experience at the Art Center, where she has coordinated several different positions. She has served as director of education, exhibitions coordinator and facilities manager.
"Jen has helped the art center grow and expand its mission, quite successfully," Art Center board member Christine Tracy said. "She is passionate about art and working with the community and will continue moving the Art Center forward."
Teter has helped expand the SmartKids Art Mentor Program from three to nine elementary schools in Quincy, and she's increased after-school programs and art camps. She has also developed adult art courses, which are now available year round.
Teter grew up in Macon, Mo., and spent many hours developing her passion with the help of her mother, Janice Teter, an art teacher for 33 years as well as an artist.
Those formative years helped develop Teter's appreciation of all forms of art.
"Since I was a little girl, I had a passion for art and community service because of the influence of my mom," she said. "When I was hired at the Art Center, it was a dream come true, to know that I could have an impact on the community by providing others the opportunity to experience what I grew to love -- art.
"Now that I am the executive director and curator, I can work in all facets of the Art Center in hopes of sharing and enriching the lives of the Quincy community through access to art, either by creating or experiencing."
Teter earned her bachelor's degree in ceramics from Truman State University and her master's from Central Michigan University.
Additional changes in the staff for the Art Center included naming Lana Rabe as the director of development and marketing. Rabe began working for the Art Center in 2012 as assistant to the director after graduating from Hannibal LaGrange University with a bachelor's in painting. She will work with Teter on increasing membership, facilitating donations and helping develop community programming.
Steven Stoll replaces Teter as the art education coordinator. He is a graduate from the Chicago Art Institute in 2013, with bachelor's in ceramics.
The Quincy Art Center will hold a reception to celebrate Teter's new position at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6.