Director of School of Art Galleries and Collections – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

General Description and Responsibilities:

The Director of the Ewing Gallery and UT Downtown Gallery provides primary senior-level leadership for the development, curation, and long-term planning of gallery exhibitions, publications, and programs, and oversees collections management and development. The Director will foster collaboration within the School and College and among diverse UT academic constituencies; oversee the galleries’ academic outreach and public relations; champion diverse and inclusive exhibition programming; and represent the University nationally. The Director oversees, allocates, and manages gallery-related budgets, endowments, and gift funds; pursues grant writing and philanthropic support; oversees maintenance, preservation, and conservation of the UT Galleries’ collection of 5,000+ works of art; manages, mentors, trains, directly supervises, and assigns duties to three permanent staff; and teaches a course for the Museum and Curatorial Studies minor in the School of Art. The Director will ensure strategic and operational functions of galleries and directly support and further the University’s Vol Vision 2020 strategic priorities.

Minimum Education:

Master’s degree in museum or curatorial studies, studio art, art history, or a closely related field.

Required Experience

  • A minimum of five years of relevant experience developing, curating, and organizing ambitious exhibitions in galleries, museums, higher education, or other professional arts environments; or an equivalent combination of training, education, and experience.
  • In-depth knowledge of modern and contemporary art, a demonstrated track record of achievement in exhibitions, working with artists, collectors, museum professionals, dealers, university communities and the public, and working with and negotiating with artists and vendors.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to planning programs that attract and support diverse artists and audiences.
  • History of development of robust public engagement, community outreach, and educational programming.
  • Experience managing an organizational budget and financial resources.
  • Hands-on experience managing gallery spaces and knowledge of physical requirements of exhibitions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to collaborate closely with faculty and motivate staff, students, and community.
  • Track record of successful collaboration and partnerships, including demonstrated ability to build consensus and develop strong relationships at all levels within an organization.
  • Progressively responsible administrative experience leading and managing professional and non-professional gallery staff.

Preferred experience

  • Demonstrated understanding of the academic mission of a comprehensive research university and the role of the arts within it.
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing, donor cultivation, audience development, and institutional planning.
  • Demonstrated history of authoring both scholarly publications and interpretation for general audiences
  • Experience teaching museum or curatorial studies.

Applicants can apply at this web portal:

Review of applications will begin November 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Overview of School of Art Galleries:

Funded jointly by the School of Art and the College of Architecture and Design, the Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture’s mission is to develop and present exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and architecture, support the academic goals of these respective areas, and serve as a cultural resource for the general university and regional communities. The gallery sponsors events that augment the curricula and expand students’ awareness of art and architecture via artists’ workshops, student critiques, public lectures, and films. The gallery is visited by UT classes in many disciplines, including studio art, art history, design, creative writing, English, philosophy, and foreign languages. The Ewing also hosts the thesis exhibitions of graduating School of Art MFA students, BFA capstone and honors students, and the Artist in Residence Biennial. Since its inception, the Ewing Gallery has served as a fieldtrip location for elementary and high school students, and has partnered with the Knoxville Museum of Art on several curatorial projects.

The Ewing Gallery Permanent Collection consists of approximately 5,000 objects and was established for the purpose of scholarly research and the enrichment of the University and regional communities.

Established in 2004, the UT Downtown Gallery is the sole University of Tennessee cultural institution located off campus. The Gallery’s mission is to broadly promote and celebrate visual art through diverse programming and cultural outreach. The Gallery receives more local visitors — sometimes up to 600 individuals on First Friday evenings — than any of the other School of Art gallery venue. In coordination with School of Art educational programming, the Gallery provides exhibitions of contemporary art for the entire East Tennessee region and is a long-standing participant of the Knoxville First Fridays, Dogwood Arts, and Big Ears festivals. The gallery is adjacent to the Emporium Building, which houses the offices for the Arts and Cultural Alliance, Knoxville Opera, and local artist studios, and annually coordinates with the Knox County Schools to host an exhibition of artwork by primary and secondary art teachers.

Additional Information:

The School of Art reaffirms the immeasurable contribution of diversity to the arts and seeks in its programming and activities to incorporate diverse perspectives from the rich panoply that is the human race. Furthermore, we assume our responsibility to ensure a welcoming and conscientious environment for everyone. We recognize that exposure to all forms of diversity is essential to facilitating a creative artistic and academic environment.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the state’s flagship research institution with an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university, UT Knoxville fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement. The School of Art Galleries advance the university’s strategic mission “to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world.”

Knoxville has a lively downtown; over 1,000 acres of urban wilderness, close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains; and a vibrant and diverse array of restaurants, arts organizations and music venues, including the Knoxville Museum of Art and the acclaimed Big Ears avant-garde music and art festival.

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status.

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