Leadership Transition at Women’s Studio Workshop

April 11, 2024 by

To Our Community:

In our 50th year of service to artists, we take a moment to pause and reflect on our recent years, and look towards the future of Women’s Studio Workshop and the changes to come. At the beginning of February, Co-Executive Director Erin Zona announced her decision to leave Women’s Studio Workshop. With our deepest gratitude, we want to thank Erin for her exceptional contributions to the organization in the last seven years, most notably:

  • Expanding our mission to shed patriarchal understandings of gender, ensuring that the organization serves trans, nonbinary, intersex, and genderfluid artists
  • Reaffirming WSW’s commitment to DEIB principles by starting paneling initiatives that increased the diversity of resident artists by 440%
  • Making substantial contributions to the development of our publishing imprint, and spearheading publications that have been transformative for both our institution and the field of artists’ books
  • Working to break down barriers to access in our programming, including implementing a sliding scale tuition system for our workshops and eliminating letters of recommendation from our application process
  • Invigorating our archives and special collections through programming, visibility initiatives, and raising funds for a full-time archivist position

As Erin moves into the next phase of her career, she looks forward to turning her vision and efforts toward new, exciting, and radical initiatives. We wish her all the best in her journey!

Recognizing this as an opportunity for both personal and institutional transformation, Co-Executive Director Lauren V. Walling has decided to step down as Executive Director as well. She will continue to support Women’s Studio Workshop in our campus expansion and to maintain the fiscal health of the organization through the transition. Her 10 years of service to WSW were integral in stabilizing and guiding us through our founder transition. Both her continued guidance and the legacy of her astute and fearless leadership will set the organization up for success in the years to come. Her many accomplishments include:

  • Doubling  the size of our campus through her real estate and fundraising acumen, steering capital campaigns that transformed the quality of artists’ experience in our studios
  • Growing WSW’s operating budget to over $1M, supporting expansive and forward-thinking programming and initiatives
  • Writing and securing the largest state, federal, foundation, and individual grants in the history of the organization, ensuring financial health and organizational stability for future leadership
  • Fostering and strengthening relationships with longtime community leaders, while creating meaningful connections with new foundations and donors

As we look towards the future, we feel excited and invigorated about the prospect of new leadership at Women’s Studio Workshop. It is our great pleasure to announce the promotion of Natalie Renganeschi to Deputy Director, effective 3/29/24. Natalie is a practicing artist and former art educator who joined the staff in 2017. Since then, she has supported the organization in the areas of internal and external communications, development, marketing, residency management, and the sale of artists’ books. Natalie’s keen eye, attention to detail, and deep knowledge of all aspects of our work will offer the organization both stability and leadership, grounded in thoughtfulness and collaboration, as we move through this next transition.

We will be launching a search for an Executive Director on April 9th, seeking a candidate who has a clear and expansive artistic vision, strong financial management and development skills,  familiarity with WSW’s artistic disciplines, and an enduring commitment to the mission and values of the organization. We encourage you, as a valued member of our community, to spread the word about this opportunity in your networks. 

This year provides an opportunity for steady growth, on a solid base of work by the Directors, Staff, and Board. Our 50th-anniversary exhibition is booked into 2025, the 2024 Summer Arts Institute’s 18 one-week sessions are scheduled and staffed, and our next artist’s book residencies are selected and scheduled. The new building is well underway: it is 70% funded and 50% complete. There will be breathing room, time for reflection, and plenty of enthusiasm and support to continue WSW’s 50-year mission. We look forward to your continued involvement with us, as we move forward.


Women’s Studio Workshop Board of Directors:

Alexander CamposElizabeth DonskyBhavna MehtaRachel Weiss
Ursula Davila-VillaHayley FerberGina PellegriniKristin Wenger
Timothy DelaneyRichard D. ForbesTimea TihanyiCat Willett