Staff Directory



Title: Executive Director
First Name: Leslie
Last Name: Rowland
Phone: 315.686.4123 x 201
Bio: Leslie joined the Arts Center as interim executive director in June 2013, and became executive director in January 2014. Previously she was the principal of LWRPR LLC, an independent consulting firm advising clients on marketing communications and event planning in central New York. Prior to founding LWRPR in 1999, she was district director for U.S. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, and also spent a decade in the airline industry as a public relations manager for regional and international airlines, and later as a lobbyist for the Air Transport Association, the Washington D.C.-based national trade association of the major U.S. airlines. She also spent several years in the advertising business as an account executive and new business development manager. Leslie has spent most of her summers in the 1000 Islands and moved to the River year-round in 2012.
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Title: Education & Membership Coordinator
First Name: Marcia
Last Name: Rogers
Phone: 315-686-4123 ext. 203
Bio: Marcia was born and raised in Clayton, NY – and after 20 years in the Buffalo area working in sales & marketing for a mid-sized book publisher, she has returned to live and work in her hometown. She loves being a part of the Arts Center staff and bringing quality arts instruction to the 1000 Islands region.
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Title: Events & Exhibitions Coordinator
First Name: Nicole
Last Name: Heath
Phone: 315-686-4123 ext.200
Bio: Nicole is a fifth generation Wellesley Islander. She made the transition to year-round resident when she moved to the Island from Chicago in the fall of 2012. After earning her BA in Marketing from DePaul University, she moved to Los Angeles and worked in PR before returning to Chicago where she specialized in digital media marketing for Starcom USA.
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First Name: Serena
Last Name: Buchanan
Phone: 315-686-4123x 205
Bio: Serena Buchanan is the staff potter at the Arts Center and an accomplished artist and potter. She was born in Pisa, Italy and is a self-proclaimed DIY’er, teaching herself acrylic painting, ceramics, and jewelry making. She has exhibited her work throughout upstate New York, including the Arts Center.
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Title: Curator Emeritus
First Name: Sonja
Last Name: Wahl
Phone: 315-686-4123
Bio: Sonja Wahl has a BS in vocational education and an MA in textiles. She owned a garment design studio from 1956 to 1970. She taught design and manufacture of textiles from 1971 to 1992. She was appointed by the State's governor to represent textiles in the "Skilled Worker Emeritus" program. The Handwerkskammer of the State of Saxony in Germany awarded her the "Golden Master's" degree.
Sonja Wahl is a founding member of the Thousand Islands Arts Center, she was one of four members on the Steering Committee of the newly developing "Thousand Islands Museum Craft School," before she served as Chair of the Board from 1967 - 1987. After this she was appointed to be the organizations first curator of the textile collection retiring from the position in 2005.
During her tenure, Sonja initiated the following events: Along the River's Edge, Weaving History Conference, Arts and Craft Show and the Wednesday Weaver's.