Staff Report

Local resident Jody Williams has been hired to fill the new position of assistant director at the Elverhøj Museum of Art and History in Solvang.

Williams grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, she attended Solvang School and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in the History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz, graduating with double honors and Phi Beta Kappa.

During her undergraduate studies, she spent a year abroad attending the University of Bologna, where she studied art history and Italian politics.

Upon graduation, she moved back to the valley and interned at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She has spent the last 13 years in the wine industry, including a decade at The Wandering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang, which she co-owns with her husband and in-laws.

“After graduation my plan was to start working in a museum and one day become a curator of art,” Williams said. “But I also wanted to move home to the Santa Ynez Valley rather than a big city. I am thrilled to now be able to do both, and am having a great time learning more about the area’s Danish heritage while also getting to work with contemporary artists.”

“Jody has demonstrated passion, enthusiasm, and an ability to apply her substantial skills to help Elverhøj not only continue its pursuit of sharing Solvang history, Danish culture, and the arts, but to help the organization rise to a new level,” said Elverhoj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “This is a busy time of year and we are thrilled to welcome her to our team. We can already tell she is going to be a huge asset as we celebrate our 30th anniversary and work toward expanding our programs and community outreach.”

Williams lives in Solvang with her husband, Charles, 5-year-old daughter Audrey and their black Labrador, Lucy.

Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 805-686-1211 or visit