Arts Center Staff
Melissa Griffin was born and raised in Tangipahoa Parish. She holds a degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University. Over the years, she has pursued professional development opportunities—through classes and mentors—to further her education and understanding of her passion: nonprofit marketing and management. She’s volunteered and supported organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, Loaves of Fishes Soup Kitchen, Children of Destiny, and 90.9 FM KSLU. Melissa’s career path has taken her to locations across southern parts of the U.S. and allowed her to hold many different positions including radio producer, downtown event coordinator, business development and marketing manager, and even, executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center (2011-2013). Melissa returns to us with a renewed passion for her home-town community and looks forward to the challenges of managing an organization that contributes to the enrichment of people’s lives through culture and the arts. Along with her husband Josh and their young son, Melissa is happy to be back home in Hammond.
Tara Bennett is the Media Coordinator for the Hammond Regional Arts Center. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Ms. Bennett has worked extensively in the theatre department as an actor, makeup designer, and publicist. In 2012, she obtained her Master's degree in Organizational Communication, focusing on news media and social media. Sinceaccepting her position in April 2014, Ms. Bennett has applied her extensive education to the application of modern technologies to increase the HRAC presence in print, radio, and online media. In her spare time, Ms. Bennett is an involved member of the Hammond arts community as an active alum of Southeastern's chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, serving on the board for the Hammond Horror Festival, and dancing as a member of La LA Tribal Belly Dance.
Jose Canales was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2013 he moved to Hammond, Louisiana and obtained a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design at Southeastern Louisiana University . After working for one year in the industry, Jose returned Southeastern Louisiana University and graduated with a Masters in Business Administration. Although he greatly enjoys the ins and outs of the business world, he considers himself first and foremost and artist. Jose's higher level education might have started within digital media, but he is also an avid screen printer and enjoys pursuing new hobbies's such as playing the harmonica and learning the Russian language.
Board of Directors
Lacy Landrum grew up in windy west Texas, graduated from Texas Tech University, and then left Lubbock to pursue a Ph.D. in Technical Communication at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. During that pursuit, she began writing grants for nonprofits, taught classes and coordinated a statewide fire safety program for people with disabilities. She moved to Hammond shortly after Katrina, finally found home, and began working for the City as a grants writer. She was promoted to Director of Administration in September of 2014, has served with two mayors, and absolutely loves helping to run the city. When she moved to Hammond, she rented an apartment next door to the Hammond Regional Arts Center and promptly began volunteering and writing grants for the center. She is honored to serve on the Board and to promote the value of arts throughout the region.
Brandon Mulina has been involved with Hammond Regional Arts Center since 2006 and joined the board in 2016. Brandon is the Director of Customer Experience for Dixie RV Superstores. He also volunteers as an adviser for Theta Chi Fraternity at Southeastern. He loves to share what the Arts Center has to offer the community and is working to expand the platforms of art offered even further with music, theatre and dance.
Pat Macaluso is an artist who was born in Kansas in 1948, and raised in Oklahoma and Kansas until 1963. She spent her high school years in Alabama and Louisiana. After graduating from Southeastern Louisiana College in 1970, she lived and worked in public relations in New Orleans, LA until 1974, when she returned to Hammond to marry attorney Ron S. Macaluso and raise their four children. Since then she has been active in the community in the arts and other organizations including Hammond Garden Club, Friends of the Library, Tangi Food Pantry, Holy Ghost Catholic School Board, SLU Alumni Board and many others. Macaluso was a charter board member of the Hammond Cultural Foundation, which later was renamed the Hammond Regional Arts Center. She has served on the HRAC Board for several terms serving on the Executive Committee many times.
For the past seven years, Pat has owned and operated The Oak Street Gallery presenting exhibitions of local and regional arts. The Oak Street Gallery has been a corporate sponsor of the HRAC for several years. Macaluso’s career as an artist has included participation in many national, regional and local invitational and juried shows with prizes and awards for her work. She continues to create work and exhibit throughout the US. Pat serves the HRAC Board by participating in First Friday Art Walks, serving on the Gallery Committee, Culinary Arts, and the Literary Fest Committee. www.patmacaluso.com
Denise Tullier-Holly is an accomplished artist and award-winning arts educator. Ms. Tullier-Holly is a longtime member of the HRAC and a critical element to our community educator outreach. Ms. Tullier-Holly is one of only two lifetime members of the HRAC Board of Directors.
Dana Goblowsky, as a former educator is passionate about providing access to art for children in the greater Hammond area. She believes art and art education are critical parts of an individual’s well-being and a community’s growth and development. Ms. Goblowsky is a life-long resident of Hammond. She is the proud mother of a daughter who lives and works in Texas.
It wasn't until 2009 that I pulled an old lathe out of the cobwebs and dust and started to turn a few bowls and functional items to go along with my woodcarving. Then the bug bit deep and after retiring became fully immersed with every concept of turning. Going through the gambit of every phase of turning, bowls, pens, hollow vessels, piercing and carving, I saw my interest headed more to the artistic side of turning. By 2012 I was a full time turned wood artist. Within the next two years, I had been the featured 3D artist in several galleries, and made the back cover of the American Woodturner magazine December 2014 issue, demonstrated at the SWAT Symposium, and assisted at John C. Campbell folk school teaching finial turning. Feeling the need to share my turning skills, I began traveling around the southeast giving demos and workshops at numerous clubs and organizations. Continuing toward the artistic side of turning, I use many things to enhance my creations. From metallic paints and patinas, to carving, to copper leaves and wire, all blend together to express my art form. Married to wife Susan, who is a retired R.N., have two children and five grandchildren, we currently reside in Hammond.