Nichole DeMent, Executive & Artistic Director

Nichole DeMent is an artist, educator, and cultural producer that's worked in the arts for two decades including as curator at non-profit, independent and commercial galleries. A steadfast advocate for arts and culture, she is passionate about empowering the arts community and providing artists with exhibition and professional development opportunities as Executive & Artistic Director at CoCA (Center on Contemporary Art). 

Nichole traveled abroad studying prehistoric art and architecture in France, Italy, Greece and Crete and received a BA from Evergreen State College in Fine Art Photography and Art History. Her personal artwork is found in private and public collections and represented at SAM Gallery in Seattle and WaterworksGallery in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.  


CoCA is run by a working Board, which means that in addition to overseeing fiscal and governance responsibilities, our Board members also push up their sleeves and do everything from programming to sweeping the floors. If you are interested in learning how you can become part of this amazing cohort of hardworking, fun loving, creative people, please contact us.

Judy Rayl

Board Chair 2018
Board Member 2017 - Present
Volunteer Recruiter 2016 - Present

Having become smitten with CoCA in 1989, Judy was overjoyed to re-encounter the gallery in 2016 and immediately signed up to volunteer. Later she accepted the Volunteer Lead role, then also an invitation to join the Board of Directors.  She is the 2018 Board Chair.  

"Being on the CoCA Board of Directors is the culmination of my long-term love of contemporary art.  I am a photographer, and working with CoCA helps keep me inspired."  

Judy's background is in medicine; she earned a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.D. Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Having retired from her medical career, Judy now brings her skills with business and working with people to CoCA. "My goal is to continue to offer the joy and boldness I see in CoCA to our community for many years moving forward."

Sara Everett

Curatorial Committee Chair 2018
Board Member 2012 - Present
Board President 2017
Board Vice President 2015 - 2016
Marathon Chair 2014
Board Chair 2012 - 2013

With a strong background in group facilitation, she joined the CoCA Board at a time of exponential growth and could utilize her skill set to help organize and facilitate meetings to be more streamlined. Sara has a collaborative approach to organizational management and encourages balance where every voice is heard and respected.

As a working artist, she has exhibited with Seattle's CORE, Ghost, and Twilight galleries and has shown internationally. She's also a curator of site-specific installations for local real estate development. |

Eddie Reed

Board President 2018
Board Treasurer 2017 - 2018
Board Member 1983 - 1985, 2016 - Present 
"CoCA is a community-based art organization that shares my passion for raising public awareness of the great contemporary visual arts legacy of the Pacific Northwest."

Eddie achieved his BS in Art and Art Education at University of Maine, Machias and went on to receive his EdD at University of Washington, Seattle. Having a background in education but having long appreciated and produced art. Eddie has experience in public funding campaign management, serving as a board member, and possess skills in public organization leadership.

As an artist, he exhibited in Machias, ME; Dayton, OH; Birmingham, AL; Tacoma, WA; and Lincoln City, OR. Published various education-focused papers as well as acted as a contributing editor on Vision Magazine’s quarterly review of Northwest Contemporary Art from 1983-1988.

Current volunteer at Leschi School Community Support and serve as the Executive Board Member Museum of History and Industry.

Joseph Bisacca

Board Member 2016 - Present

Joseph was born and raised in Fairfield, CT/NYC, attended college at Gonzaga (Psychology/English majors, Art minor), messed with banking for a few years and then moved out to Seattle and opened Elysian Brewing Co (1996). Joe makes beer, drinks beer, throws epic events, focused on branding and marketing of Elysian. In between, he work on many photographic projects with Miguel Edwards.

Archis Gore

Board Secretary 2018
Board Member 2017 - Present

"I have a general love for the arts and am an outspoken vocal proponent of the need for contemporary arts."

As a professional scientist and engineer, Archis loves to bridge gaps across “intellectuals” to open minds, nurture ideas and thoughts, and to encourage critical thinking. He especially values the ability for holding “uncomfortable” or “controversial” thoughts which he sees as important for every discipline – scientists require it and artists provoke it through palatable expression. His skills lie in corporate networking and event promotion.

A member of Global Underwater Explorers – an organization that works to conserve, explore and educate on the world’s marine systems. "I spend significant amounts of time traveling and diving to extreme depths to locate lost shipwrecks."

Volunteers as a judge for the ISEF and WESF Science Fairs, as well as a coach and judge for the Marine Tech Remote Operated Vehicle competitions, an organization that teaches K-12 students how to build marine robots for complex missions.

Joseph Roberts

Board Member 2004 - Present
Curator 2018
CoCA Ballard Curator 2007 - 2013
Board President 2005 - 2008

Roberts is CEO of Apulent, a Seattle based hospitality firm that provides event venue management, fine catering and event planning services.
He has curated numerous CoCA exhibits, some of which include:

Haris Purnomo: Visual Poetry
East | West: Emerging Artist Exchange
Tracy Boyd: Seattle Sketches
Momoko Sudo: Linescaping
Sarah T. Skinner: Takako
Jules Frazier: Western Landscapes
Steven Poster
Carlos Saura: Fotosaurios
Matthew Klein: Context Bends Perception

Roberts also serves as board president of Copper Canyon Press, the preeminent independent publisher of poetry. He is a member of the board of advisers of Art With Heart (art therapy for traumatized children), and he serves as public arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority resolving complex securities disputes. He serves a mentor for young people both privately and through formal college programs.

He is a graduate of Washington State University (BA) and of Seattle University (JD).

Joy Turner

Board Member 2018

Joy was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana with her three brothers and mother. In 2006, she left home to attend West Point where she graduated in 2010. Post graduation, she served as a Military Police Office throughout the U.S. and abroad deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2014 for nine months.  In 2016, she decided to change paths and recently earned a Master of Public Administration (with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Social Innovation) from the Evans School at UW.  Joy self describes as a kite enthusiast and introverted people lover.

Lead Volunteers

We rely on hardworking volunteers to help us with a wide range of tasks, from running our CoCA Archives Project to assisting at special events. Current lead volunteers include:

Dana Anderson, Development Support
Kree Arvanitas, Newsletter Support
Miguel Edwards, Adviser, Past Board President
Ray C. Freeman III, Publisher, Adviser, Past Board President
Amanda Hood, Auction Dessert Dash Queen, Graphic Design Support
Rohena Alam Khan, Online Marketing Support
Julian Lepke, Graphic Design Support
Tom Perigo, IT Support
Liz Ruest, Website Management


CoCA supports a robust internship program for students at all levels, from undergraduates to PhD candidates. Current interns include:

Sarra Alnaemi, Development Intern
Anastasia Babenko, Curatorial Intern  
Danaia Brown, Volunteer Lead Intern
Jillian Cross, Gallery Docent Management Intern
Christyna George, Finance & Administration Intern
Autumn Grindle, Social Media Intern
Hannah Hogness, Membership & Development Intern
John Huang, Communications Management Intern
Katelyn Johnson, Events & Development Intern
Pansy Lee, Curatorial Intern
Candy Santos, IT Intern

Interested in joining the CoCA team as a volunteer or intern? We invite you to become part of one of the country's most colorful, and oldest, arts organizations. Working with CoCA will give you the opportunity to hone your skills, build your resume, gain college credits or fulfill your philanthropic desires.

To learn more, go to our Volunteer page. We accept applications on a rolling basis, and projects can vary depending on your availability. If you need to do an intensive, 35 hours per week, we can keep you busy.