Director/Chief Curator of the Tarble Arts Center – Eastern Illinois University

Position Description

Eastern Illinois University seeks a Director & Chief Curator for the Tarble Arts Center, the on-campus University Art Museum. The Director & Chief Curator should be an innovative, dynamic leader with proven success in planning and practical managerial experience in budgeting, fundraising, curating projects, and connecting with communities. They will have a passion for diverse and inclusive practices related to curatorial projects and object-based learning while staying current with best practices in museum management. They should embrace working in a small, collaborative team-based environment. Excellent interpersonal skills are a must since the position will work with various constituents and stakeholders including artists, scholars, museum donors and patrons, members of the university community, local school teachers, administrators and others. The Director & Chief Curator reports to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


The director’s primary responsibilities are to oversee the Tarble facility and create an innovative, engaging curatorial program that promotes both EIU’s educational and public service mission and Tarble’s collections, programs and outreach projects. It should also sustain and expand the Tarble’s service to local East Central Illinois communities. The Director coordinates all development and fundraising activities. Duties include maintaining affiliations with other university units, organizations for museum professionals (regional, state and national) and east central Illinois cultural organizations. In collaboration with senior staff the Director sets the vision for the Tarble’s exhibitions and collections. Together with the Museum Education Manager the Director implements educational programs and projects to encourage engagement. The Director also teaches one graduate level art exhibition course per year.



  • Advanced degree in Art History, Contemporary Art Practice & Theory, Museum Studies or a related discipline.
  • At least 3-5 years of curatorial and managerial experience in an art museum or gallery, or related environment along with planning and assessment experience as related to curatorial and executive needs.
  • Evidence of enthusiastic support for serving diverse constituencies.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and experience with promoting inclusive excellence is required.

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of progressively responsible experience in an art museum or gallery, or related environment, preferably associated with an institution of higher education.
  • Demonstrated abilities in grant-writing and fundraising.
  • Teaching experience and a demonstrated commitment to hands-on mentoring of students.

Application Deadline

Review of applications will begin on October 25 and will continue until campus interviews are scheduled.


A complete application will include: a letter of application; curriculum vitae; contact information for 3-5 references; a statement of leadership philosophy; statement of curatorial rationale and evidence of at least two past curatorial projects; undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable initially). Send application materials to

For questions regarding this search, contact Chris Kahler, Search Committee Chair,

Tarble Arts Center

The Tarble Arts Center presents a year-round program of changing art exhibitions, public programs, and educational and outreach activities, and administers and maintains the university’s permanent collection of approximately 1,300 art objects. The Center serves the Eastern Illinois campus community, residents of east-central Illinois, and beyond. The Tarble is a partially endowed institution that is an integral part of Eastern Illinois University. The Tarble serves as a hands-on laboratory for university students, with on-going cross-departmental collaborations, and presents a rich array of school and community-based educational and engagement programs serving east-central Illinois. The staff is made up of the Director & Chief Curator, Assistant Director, Museum Education Manager, Office Manager, at least two Graduate Assistants, and 6-8 student employees, supported by volunteer gallery attendants and docents. Major program support is provided by dedicated endowments in the EIU Foundation, memberships, and corporate sponsorships. The museum facility includes one large gallery, two smaller galleries, a small flux space, outdoor grounds for installations and sculpture, a large studio classroom, a large multi-purpose room, collections storage, plus offices and support spaces. The Tarble was accredited by the American Association (now Alliance) of Museums in 2000; reaccredited in 2017.

Eastern Illinois University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer – minority/female/disability/veteran – committed to achieving a diverse community.

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