After 21 years of service to the community, Annette Schweiger has retired as Executive Director of the Tioga County Council on the Arts (TCCA). To replace her, TCCA found the perfect candidate right here at home in Abbey Hendrickson. A Newark Valley High School graduate, Hendrickson went on to SUNY Brockport for print making and drawing, then on to the University of Buffalo where she majored in Visual Studies. Hendrickson and her husband Phil moved back to the area four years ago.

"I'm really pleased to have been chosen as the Executive Director of the Tioga County Council on the Arts, and appreciate the warm welcome from everyone so far," Hendrickson said. As an artist, Hendrickson will no doubt bring a different perspective to TCCA, but she is focused on serving Tioga County's artists. "Right now we're taking a step back to look at what's been done," Hendrickson said, "we're figuring out what residents need and then we'll try to make that happen. After we assess things we'll be looking for partners and community members to join with us."

Hendrickson said that many of TCCA's programs will be continued, including an upcoming performance by Irish Folk Musician Pat Kane as part of the popular Always on Sunday series. "He's really talented, and we're really excited to have him," Hendrickson said. Always on Sunday concerts are held on the third Sunday of each month from January through April at the Owego First Presbyterian Church at thecorner of North Avenue and Temple Street, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. This month's artist at the Artspace Gallery is Rochester based visual artist Jim DeLucia. DeLucia works primarily in oil, Hendrickson said, and combines stencils, patterns and graffiti as an atmosphere for the central figure.

A reception will be held during the Third Friday Art Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, Hendrickson said. A big open house is being planned for early February, Hendrickson reported, to show off TCCA's new classroom space. The space is currently being renovated, and once it is completed Hendrickson is looking forward to showing off the new facilities to the community.

"We're lucky there are so many artists in Tioga County," Hendrickson said. Hendrickson added, "I'd like people to stop in and see the exhibit in the ArtSpace Gallery and chat for a while."

The ArtSpace Gallery is located in the Tioga County Council on the Arts building at 179 Front St., Owego. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information on upcoming events or how you can support the arts in Tioga County, call TCCA at (607) 687-0785. TCCA has launched a new Facebook page and is now on Twitter as well at twitter.com/tiogaarts.

"I hope to be here a long time," Hendrickson said, "2013 is going to be an exciting year!"