.Marin Art and Garden Center appoints Iris Lax as executive director

A new season begins at the Marin Art and Garden Center, as the center’s board of trustees introduced Iris Lax as the newly appointed executive director.

This ushers in a transformative era for the iconic 77-year-old public garden and event space.

Having previously served as the center’s director of events and marketing, Lax, a nonprofit veteran, was chosen from almost 200 applicants for the position, and is poised to steer the well-loved place towards a future filled with even more growth and community engagement.

In her new role as executive director, Lax will assume responsibility for overseeing all facets of the 11-acre publicly accessible and privately operated garden and event space. This includes the maintenance of the expansive gardens, preservation of historic buildings, administration, finance and marketing, fundraising, public and private programs and events, as well as the Garden School preschool.

Open every day of the year from sunup to sundown, the non-profit public garden welcomes visitors to explore its gardens, art installations, events and historical mid-century modern buildings, fostering inspiration, education, entertainment and a sense of community for all who visit.

Lax is well-equipped to uphold the legacy of the Marin Art and Garden Center, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2022. Succeeding Antonia Adezio, who departed this past summer, Lax will manage a dedicated team of full- and part-time employees alongside numerous community volunteers.

Thomas Perry, board president and acting executive director, expressed confidence in the board’s decision, stating, “Elevating Iris Lax to lead Marin Art and Garden Center is the best decision today for this beloved 77-year-old garden and for its future well-being.”

Perry emphasized Lax’s instrumental role in establishing the center as the premier venue for weddings, life celebrations and special events. He further underscored the board’s anticipation of Lax’s expert guidance in programming, fundraising, and the imperative renovations and expansions awaiting the center.

Before her tenure at the Marin Art and Garden Center, Lax made significant contributions to various other local organizations, including serving as the marketing and communications manager for KQED. Her responsibilities there included developing and executing communication strategies, leading branding and advertising campaigns for the local public broadcaster’s headquarters renovation and managing the KQED Live events series.

She also formerly served as the director of marketing and strategic projects for Osher Marin JCC for 14 years, where she demonstrated her skills in overseeing marketing, advertising, PR, social media, strategic projects, fundraisers and events.

“My entire career has focused on creating community, expanding awareness and increasing participation for critical public institutions,” Lax said, speaking about her dedication to advancing community appreciation for vital public places. “I look forward to expanding these efforts at Marin Art and Garden Center and realizing the mission of our founding women to truly make it a place for all the people of Marin—and beyond.”

After earning a degree in communications from California State University Northridge, Lax began her career in advertising and PR agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She currently resides in San Anselmo.

The Marin Art and Garden Center stands as a testament to the community’s commitment to conservation, and under its new leadership it is poised to bloom into a vibrant hub for generations to come.

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