Public Art Commission - About the Board


The Public Art Commission was established by Town Meeting on April 23, 1990, to foster greater community awareness of the interaction with public art, and through public art, promote cultural diversity and an improved quality of life for Amherst’s citizens. Responsibilities include developing guidelines for public art, proposing to the Town Manager and Town Council, an annual budget, seeking funding sources for public art, encouraging integration of art in public and private development, interacting with all Town Boards, serving as a resource in educating developers, officials, and committees about possibilities for public art; and developing policies for publicly owned works in Amherst.


Appointed by the Town Manager. 7 members / 3-year terms.
Member Name
Year Appointed
Term Expires
Robert Brainin 2022 2024
Lisa Cain 2022 2024
Michelle (Mikey) Cutting 2022 2025
Lori Friedman 2022 2025
Terry Holt 2022 2025
Shoshona King, Chair 2018 2022
Dara Wier 2021 2024

Member Info:

James (Jim) Barnhill is an award-winning art photographer who concentrates on landscapes, cityscapes, and candids of people. In 2018 he published a murder mystery, Dirt Road to Death (Levellers Press). In addition, he is a recovering attorney with experience in business law, banking law, corporate law, contract negotiations, and high-tech issues. He is a former Trustee, Co-Chair of the Governance Committee, and present member of the Governance Committee of Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School. 

Ellen Keiter is the chief curator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Previously she was the Director of Exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art and Curator of Exhibitions at the Hudson River Museum. Her passion for public art includes project management of two large public installations and serving as a crew chief for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates in Central Park.  

Shoshona King, life long independent artist & activist has spent the last decade focusing on costume design & visuals in local festivals.  She comes from a long line of women artists. Her first teacher was her Grandmother in the field of ceramics. Since then she has worked with jewelry, leatherwork, commercial arts, fabrication & all manner of fiber arts.  Shoshona received her education from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco. She never stops learning nor shies away from a new project since there is almost nothing she can’t learn from youtube. Locally, she can be seen as the front of house manager at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company or dancing on stage in the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker.