Assistant Director for Exhibitions and Outreach: Ruth Davis Design Gallery, UW-Madison

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Position Vacancy Listing

PVL # 87158

Working Title: Assistant Director for Exhibitions and Outreach


Degree and area of specialization:

A master’s degree in design studies, studio art, art history, or other related field plus two years of leadership experience in design and installation of exhibitions including supervision of volunteer and/or student staff; or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and four years of gallery management experience.

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:

A qualified applicant will have a demonstrable record of: 1) a solid curatorial portfolio that includes coordinating all the moving parts related to one-of-a-kind exhibitions from layout to hands on installation experience; 2) administrative management of a gallery including budgets and personnel management; 3); experience and passion for mentoring undergraduate and graduate art or design students; 4) a demonstrable record of positive collaborations; 5) an ability to translate contemporary design and art concepts and processes to general audiences.

Principal Duties:

  1. Administrative and Curatorial Expertise
  • In consultation with the Design Studies Department conceive and produce a range of small- and large-scale curatorial projects and educational programs that link to curriculum and maximize hands on or applied learning
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the Design Gallery including standardizing exhibition processes and calendars; tracking budgets and training/supervising design studies students and student gallery assistants in various aspects of gallery practices
  • Work collaboratively with Design Studies Department and other stakeholders to standardize and formalize student exhibition processes
  1. Educational Program Expertise
  • Organize and facilitate workshops and additional informal student learning opportunities in the basics of installation; principles of effective exhibition design, and audience engagement
  • Cultivate a positive public reputation for exciting and engaging educational programs that will attract diverse, on- as well as off-campus audiences
  • Increase Design Gallery visibility with prospective donors and alumni

Additional information:

The Ruth Davis Design Gallery is a hybrid academic gallery that serves as a venue for unique, professionally curated exhibitions as well as a practical laboratory for the display of emergent student work.

The Assistant Director for Exhibitions and Outreach will bring greater public awareness to design processes and designed artifacts by providing expert curatorial vision and day-to-day operational leadership to the Gallery. The Assistant Director will work closely with Design Studies teaching faculty and academic staff in the Center for Textiles and Design to offer a combined schedule of unique curated exhibitions and displays of student work.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic, outgoing, and talented manager.  S/he must:

  • Possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Thrive in a dynamic work environment
  • Demonstrable ability to work with both academic and non-academic audiences, including university administrators, community leaders, faculty, and the press
  • Possess a collaborative management style, an ability to work closely and transparently with faculty and other academic and administrative staff, coupled with an ability to demonstrate leadership and work independently as required by the task; record of project experience working with stakeholders in higher education settings a plus
  • Demonstrate active engagement in professional networks and organizations that promote best practices in audience engagement and in exhibition design and installation
  • Certificate, formal coursework, and/or continuing professional education in gallery/museum practices is highly desirable.

The Assistant Director is part of a team that reports to the Director, Center for Textiles and Design and includes a Media/Communications Specialist and an Assistant Director for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.  A 12-month period of evaluation will be required.

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to hiring.
A period of evaluation will be required
  Employee Class:
  Academic Staff
Full Time Salary Rate: Minimum $46,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
Depending on Qualifications
Term: This is a renewable appointment.
Appointment percent: 100%
Anticipated begin date: AUGUST 15, 2016
Number of Positions: 1


Application must be received by: JULY 31, 2016


Sherry Harlacher
1300 Linden Dr
1235D Human Ecology Building

Questions about the position can be directed to:

Sherry Harlacher
Phone: 608-890-4854

Categories: Job Postings