Laura Ritchie, the director of The Carrack Modern Art, announced in a press release yesterday that she is stepping down from her position in June, after seven years as the leader of the nonprofit community gallery, a mainstay in the Durham art scene.

Ritchie cofounded The Carrack in 2011 and has since grown the volunteer-run, zero-commission gallery (meaning artists keep all money from sales) into a sustainable art and community space with a paid staff. Hosting the work of more than one thousand artists to date, Ritchie made The Carrack a cornerstone, supporting local artists who otherwise had few platforms and participating in important dialogues about social issues across the city. The gallery, which Ritchie moved from Parrish Street to Golden Belt in 2016, also hosts performances, workshops, and gatherings.

Ritchie is stepping down to focus on pursuing a master’s degree in liberal arts at Duke and to work on personal projects, according to the press release. The Carrack is already searching for a new director, with Ritchie assisting in the process; read the guidelines and email with inquiries.

As Ritchie explores new opportunities, she hopes that the local institution she established will continue to flourish. “My greatest wish for The Carrack is that it thrives—that it grows to more effectively serve the art community I’ve come to love, and that it is able to support a new generation of arts leaders by providing them with the invaluable learning experience that it has provided to me,” she writes.

Ritchie’s departure is planned for June 15.