Executive director Deb Fahy, who is stepping down as longtime executive director of the Harlow Gallery, is seen Friday at the Water Street gallery in Hallowell. JOE PHELAN/Kennebec Journal

HALLOWELL — After 14 years, Deb Fahy is stepping down as executive director of the downtown Harlow Gallery.

Fahy has served as executive director for the landmark art space since 2004. She told the Kennebec Journal in October 2018 that she was instrumental in instituting strategic plans that helped the gallery grow.

“My time at The Harlow has been a wonderfully rewarding experience as we’ve built on The Harlow’s mission to connect and celebrate art, artists and community, but after 14 years, I am ready for some new challenges,” she said in a statement. “I am confident that The Harlow is on a firm foundation and will continue to thrive.”

The Kennebec Valley Arts Association, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, announced Fahy’s departure in a Thursday night statement. Association Board of Directors member Anne Young said the Harlow Gallery grew under Fahy’s leadership.

“When Deb took over, she transformed the gallery into a place where the vibe was palpable even to someone looking in the windows while walking by,” she said. “The Harlow became a place you noticed, read about, heard people talk about, developed a curiosity about.”

The arts association purchased the Harlow Gallery at 160 Water St. in 1963. The association has been housed there ever since. Last year, the Gallery moved into a bigger space at the intersection of Water Street and Winthrop Street.

A farewell gathering is being planned in the spring, and Fahy’s final day will be sometime this summer, according to the statement.

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