Pamela Wise

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) is pleased to announce that its board of trustees elected Pamela Wise as board chair at its August meeting.

Wise is a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Washington, D.C., and divides her time between D.C. and Midcoast Maine. Professionally, Wise manages assets and liabilities across the country for a variety of individual clients and select institutions. Her practice focuses on planning, transparency and social responsibility.

Wise brings 26 years of financial services experience to her new role. She is eager to apply her extensive expertise to CMCA.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to engage a broader population around CMCA’s mission of opening channels for interaction and discussion about contemporary art in Maine,” she says. “Additionally, I’d like to work alongside CMCA staff on expanding access to art and the creative process as well as solidifying our financial position towards the creation of an endowment.”

While she has spent her career in finance, the arts are Wise’s first love having studied art history at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, collecting outsider and Maine art with her husband James Wise, and founding a micro fashion line of bohemian streetwear called Syndibat. Her latest endeavor is to bring the eccentric and artistic “Oakenham” farmhouse in Saluda, Virginia, back to life with new purpose and in an area where she and James each have deep familial connections.

Wise previously served as a CMCA board member since 2022. She succeeds Marty Jones as board chair following the completion of Jones’ exemplary four-year tenure, which included leading CMCA through the pandemic, overseeing a change in staff leadership, and further cementing CMCA’s growing position as a leading contemporary art museum.

Martha Jones, photo by Robert Torres

Wise says, “Marty Jones brought tremendous wisdom and leadership to CMCA over these recent years and I am honored to build on her legacy. Without her extensive nonprofit expertise in solidifying the infrastructure and professionalism of how we operate, CMCA would not be able to take brave new steps in service to our mission and as we prepare for our 75th anniversary in 2027.”

With over 40 years of experience as a leader in cultural and non-profit management, Martha (Marty) Jones tenure as board of trustee member and term as Chair has been integral in CMCA’s advancement.

“It has been a great honor and privilege to lead the Board of CMCA,” Jones said. “I am grateful for the progress we have made, including adapting and emerging from the pandemic and a leadership transition to become an even stronger, more flexible organization. We have grown our staff, strengthened and increased diversity in both curatorial and educational vision, and we have increased assets to ensure financial stability moving forward. Pamela Wise takes over as Chair at a time when CMCA is firmly positioned to grow its Board, increase its community engagement, strengthen its infrastructure and take extraordinary steps toward becoming an internationally recognized leader in contemporary art.”

In 1982, Jones was one of the founders of the Tony award-winning Huntington Theatre Company. From 1986 to 2011, she served as both General Manager and President of the Celebrity Series of Boston. As a professional consultant, Jones specialized in strategic planning, fundraising counsel, organizational assessment, executive coaching, and board governance. Following over ten years of service and leadership on CMCA’s Board of Trustees, her current term will end in March 2024.

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