CoCA Blog

Meet Our New Executive Director

Posted by admin on January 28, 2015

We are so excited to announce that artist, curator, and arts educator, Nichole DeMent, has accepted the position of Executive Director for CoCA.

Lynn Schirmer will take on the role of Board President/Chair until the next Board elections in March. Miguel Edwards continues as Vice President.

Nichole DeMent

Photo of Nichole at CoCA's 2014 Auction Gala by Miguel Edwards Photography

As Executive Director, DeMent’s primary focus will be to foster sustainable, strategic and innovative growth for one of Seattle’s oldest non-profit arts organizations. Bringing on an ED represents a major shift for the organization, which was able to survive, and expand, during the recession because of a nimble working Board and no paid staff. DeMent will be assisted by the current Outreach & Development Director, Anna R Hurwitz, who has worked part-time for the organization for two years. Together, they will assist the Board in presenting exhibitions of emerging and experimental art forms that CoCA is famous for while supporting a wide range of artists, curators and arts administrators at all stages of their careers. “This is a great opportunity for me,” says DeMent. “Seattle’s rapid growth and a refreshed strategic vision by the CoCA Board have created an exciting juncture and I am honored to be chosen to guide the organization. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the current momentum of supporting living artists through exhibitions and publications while reaching a wider audience through continued partnerships and community involvement.”

DeMent brings over 15 years of non-profit experience in the arts and cultural sector, most recently assisting Photographic Center Northwest with fundraising. She has also worked for Artist Trust as a Program Manager, overseeing the EDGE Professional Development Program and other programs. She continues to teach with Artist Trust and has taught fine art photography at Pacific Lutheran University and Photographic Center Northwest. As a curator, she has produced cultural exhibitions for Seattle’s Downtown Historic Theatre District, ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, and was co-owner of Rock|DeMent visual art space in Pioneer Square for six years until 2012, among other venues. She joined the CoCA Board in 2012 and became Board President in 2014.

DeMent received a BA from The Evergreen State College in Art History and Fine Art Photography. Her own artwork in mixed media encaustic processes can be found in collections including the Swedish Medical Center Art Collection; Nichole is represented at SAM Gallery, Waterworks Gallery in San Juan Islands and other venues. As Executive Director, DeMent will continue in her mission to empower and support contemporary artists. She can be reached at


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