WEST PALM BEACH — Tom Pearson, chief executive officer of the Armory Art Center, plans to retire at the end of October, the center has announced.
Pearson has been CEO of the West Palm Beach center since 2016, when he took over from Kim Harty. Before joining the Armory, he worked for three years as head of the Mississippi Arts Commission and for more than 20 years with the Palm Beach County School District, including time as its arts education administrator.
“It has been my privilege to serve as the CEO of the Armory Art Center for the past seven years,” he said in a press release issued July 8. “Arts and arts education have been my life’s work. I have thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the thriving South Florida arts community.”
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In 2016, Pearson, also a past president of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, said he became familiar with the Armory during his years with the school district.
“The quality of work they do there is excellent. The word needs to get out,” he said then. “This could be a regional and national jewel.”
The Armory listed his accomplishments as including developing the computer lab to teach digital photography, animation and drone photography; adding 3-D printers to the ceramics and jewelry programs; and establishing yearly professional development programs for the Palm Beach County School District.
He also launched the BraveheArts program with the VA Medical Center; expanding the Art of the Phoenix program to include Teens of Trauma; establishing the Armory as the regional affiliate for the national Scholastic Art Competition for Palm Beach and Martin Counties; developing a working partnership with SunFest; and establishing the West Palm Beach Arts Festival at the Armory.
The Armory Art Center was named the Nonprofit of the Year for 2021 by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.
The Armory will begin a search for his replacement, officials announced.