The Bascom Staff

Tracy Gihl, Chief Financial Officer

Tracy joined The Bascom as CFO in September 2014. Tracy comes to the Bascom with over 25 years of experience in Finance. A certified public accountant, Tracy joined The Bascom from Angel Medical Center where she served in the roles of Controller and CFO. Tracy is responsible for all of the Accounting and Finance functions of The Bascom. 

Tracy began her career as an auditor with KPMG in Atlanta, GA. There she worked with clients from diverse industries, but mainly concentrated in Real Estate, Insurance, Healthcare and other non-profits. After working in Atlanta for many years, the opportunity to return to her mountain hometown presented itself and, as the saying goes, “the rest is history”. 

Tracy is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She is active in her church and also serves as the Treasurer there. 

In her free time, Tracy enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter enjoying the beautiful mountains of Northeast Georgia and Western North Carolina. 

Contact Tracy at (828) 787-2885 or

Billy Love,  Director of Education and Outreach

Billy love is an Education and Non-Profit professional with 20 years of experience working in the arts, education, and sales and marketing.  Always avoiding idle hands, Billy is constantly exploring new forms of creative expression and innovation.  A self-proclaimed "maker of things," Billy's creative interests reach far and wide.  As a professional muralist, he has completed over 30 murals, both individually and collaboratively, including work on the "Milltown Murals" project in Lakeland, GA. The "Milltown Murals" project has been recognized as a historic landmark by the State of Georgia.

Billy is an art educator who has instructed figure drawing and art education courses at Western Carolina University.  He has instructed at the high school level, and has conducted several youth and adult art workshops in Western NC. Billy also has experience with the theater arts, including scenic design, set and prop construction, and scenic painting.  Currently, he is exploring work in digital photography. Billy received his Bachelors in Studio Art from Furman University in Greenville, SC, and his Masters in Art Education from Western Carolina University. 


Originally from Columbia, SC, Billy spent many summers in the mountains of North Georgia and Western North Carolina with his family, and is happy to have permanently relocated to the cool beauty of the southern Appalachian mountains.

Contact Billy at (828) 787-2881 or

Frank Vickery, Director of Ceramics

Frank Vickery has been working in clay for 20 years with multiple years devoted to instruction in clay arts. His personal art works are concentrated in wheel throwing but Frank also has extensive experience in hand building and creating and embellishing clay forms. Frank has a Bachelors in Art Education and Bachelors in Fine Art from Winthrop University and a Masters of Fine Art from Western Carolina University.

Contact Frank at (828) 787-2892 or

Maurice Laderoot, IT and Facilities Manager

Maurice has been a contractor, a custom wood-worker, and a property manager in Highlands for 35 years. He enjoys camping and fishing with his three sons and spending time with his family. He has developed a passion for keeping the climate right at The Bascom, and also all of the IT up and running. He attended Rabun Gap Nacoochee School and lives in Scaly Mountain. 

Contact Maurice at (828) 787-2884 or

Kai Koopman, Development Manager

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kai Koopman joined The Bascom in June 2019 after relocating to Western North Carolina with his spouse, Kellan. With degrees in art history and creative writing, and six years of experience in the community engagement field, Kai is passionate about the places where creativity and community converge.

As Development Manager, Kai utilizes his communication skills and creative expertise to connect artists, guests, volunteers and staff to inspiring and empowering visual arts experiences.   

Zachary Rogers, Exhibitions Manager

Born and raised in Laurinburg, NC, Zachary is an artist with a knack for creative problem solving. After earning his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metal Design from East Carolina University in 2013, he stuck around Greenville, NC for a couple of years working in a few of the art galleries and as a studio tech at Pitt Community College.

Zachary moved to the North Carolina mountains to attend Western Carolina University and received his Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Western Carolina University in 2018. Zachary has instructed art history lecture classes, 3-D design studios, and Sculpture courses. While in graduate school he began to incorporate his interest in archaeology and museum studies in his sculptures and wrote his thesis on shifting museum dynamics and their relationship with the viewer.

Since starting at The Bascom as the Exhibition Manager in May 2018, Zachary is able to continue utilizing his skills to create on both sides of the gallery wall and remain engaged in the artistic community.

Contact Zach at (828) 787-2878 or at

the bascom logo
323 Franklin Road
Highlands, NC 28741
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5
© 2017  The Bascom • A Center for the Visual Arts • Highlands, NC