NORWALK — Photographer Andrea Letters applied to be an exhibiting member at the Rowayton Arts Center in 2007. She was turned down.

Eleven years later, she was appointed as the executive director of the RAC.

“The main thing is to be able to take the day to day financial things, which I’m learning,” Letters, a Long Island, N.Y., native, said. “It’s a lot of work and we’re looking ahead at what we need to do.”

Letters, along with the RAC Board President Steve Mernick and Marketing Director Jeanne Hard, stood on the waterfront deck of the 1905 building, which used to house the fire department before 1960.

“This is an amazing building and we need to take care of it a little better,” Letters said when asked about new initiatives. “We’re having the outside painted and also some improvements on the inside.”

The RAC had been searching for an executive director since December. The previous director, Debra Randall, moved to Maine, according to Mernick.

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Focus Under Forty exhibition goes from June 10 to June 23.

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“We didn’t start the process of looking for an executive director until the middle of March. We attracted eight people and narrowed it down from there,” Mernick said.

Eventually, the five-person search committee closed in on five candidates and appointed Letters. Her first day in the position was May 16.

“We felt very good about (Letters) given her involvement in the community as an artist and with the organization as a volunteer,” he said.

Inside the center, staff members and volunteers marched around, placing portraits and pictures on the white walls for the upcoming Focus Under Forty exhibit. Works from artists ages 16 to 39 will be on display from June 10 to June 23.

“We got a growing number of exhibit submissions,” Hard said. “It’s the first time we’ve done online submissions and it was very successful.”

For now, Letters is planning for the aesthetic changes to bring more attention the RAC. And as to her photography — “I need to get into a few more shows,” Letters said with a smile. “I got my hands full for now.”