❒ Nonprofit’s new executive director took helm May 18; eyes community ‘connections’
By Bethany A. Monk
Larnie Fox has an eclectic palette of experiences, but the newly hired executive director of Arts Benicia says his latest one amounts to his “dream job.”
Fox, 54, is a painter and arts administrator who most recently worked at the Palo Alto Art Center as director of the Children’s Fine Art Program.
He assumed his new role at Arts Benicia on May 18.
“I was thrilled,” he said of being chosen for the position by an Arts Benicia search committee out of more than 46 applicants from throughout the country.
Shortly after finding out the good news, he said, he sent an e-mail to family and friends saying he had found his “dream job.” And on Tuesday he told The Herald he’s looking forward to “connecting with more (Benicia) artists and connecting them with the community.”
Perhaps, he said, he’ll help start a children’s program. Maybe he’ll help expand the nonprofit’s adult education program. Bottom line: He wants to get the community involved in Arts Benicia.
“I believe that an art center should be a center of ‘magic’ for a community, a center of marvelous happenings and exceptional events,” Fox said in a written statement. “But you need to have a good structure in place to support it.”
Chris Meade, Arts Benicia board member and search committee chair, said the decision to hire Fox was unanimous.
“It was clear in his interviews that he had all the technical skills needed to do the job: financial planning, fundraising, marketing,” Meade said. “But what really shines through about Larnie is his true respect for people and an ability to build consensus. He works from a positive point of view and looks for ways to bring out the best in people. He delegates, he’s a coach, and clearly puts people in positions where they can excel.”
Fox has a bachelor’s degree in art from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts degree in art from the University of Utah.
Following his schooling, he worked as an adjunct art instructor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. After working as an instructor, he and his wife, Bodil, moved to San Francisco, where they have lived for about 20 years.
The couple has been visiting Benicia on the weekends, strolling and enjoying the city’s sites. They hope to eventually move to Benicia, Fox said.
Like him, Bodil “loves (Benicia),” Fox said of his wife. “She’s really charmed by it.”
Visit artsbenicia.org for more information about Arts Benicia.