The Tyler School of Art and Architecture invites applicants for the position of Director of Temple Contemporary, the school’s center for exhibitions and public programs. This position is an uncommon opportunity for an individual to bring progressive leadership to a contemporary gallery in a school of art and architecture with nationally ranked programs situated within a research university, Temple University.
We see this as a highly creative, hands-on position that requires an essential understanding of contemporary art and visual culture, and the collaborative and communication skills to work effectively across disciplines with constituencies within and beyond the school. We are looking for a leader who will build a distinctive intellectual vision for the gallery. The successful candidate will demonstrate initiative, creativity, be passionate about arts advocacy, be fluent in contemporary arts discourse, have experience in fundraising, and be able to work in collaborative and dynamic ways with a diverse group of faculty, students and staff and members of our surrounding community.
Curators, artists, scholars, and cultural producers and practitioners are invited to apply. We are especially interested in candidates who share a love for progressive ideas across the arts and design disciplines, who value working with the broad and diverse communities and who view art as knowledge and as an indispensable arm of free thought and direct social engagement.
The director is a salaried, 12-month position reporting to the dean of the School. The director may also teach up to one class per year.
About the Tyler School of Art and Architecture
The Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University is known for fostering a culture of diversity practices in our scholarship and pedagogy. Candidates for the position of director of Temple Contemporary are encouraged to address the ways in which they could contribute to Temple’s institutional mission and commitment to excellence and diversity and to Tyler’s engagement in interdisciplinarity, social responsibility, and community engagement.
One of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s core strengths is the breadth of its academic programs. The school offers more than three dozen degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in studio art, design, art history, art education, art therapy, architecture, and built environment disciplines. In each program, students work in small learning communities, while also benefiting from state-of-the-art facilities, a rigorous curriculum, and a large, diverse campus community.
Tyler’s faculty members are widely recognized as among the most exciting practitioners in their fields. Tyler’s vast network of alumni—artists, designers, art historians, scholars, architects and urban planners—are rich resources for collaboration. Temple Contemporary plays a crucial role in the lives of students at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture by expanding their learning experiences.
Located in Philadelphia, a hub of cultural and artistic activity and historical resonance, Tyler draws on the many opportunities and resources available throughout the city. Philadelphia has deep artistic traditions in the arts and crafts, including painting, printmaking, ceramics, architecture, and more. The city is home to a thriving contemporary art scene and myriad arts institutions, large and small, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Clay Studio, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Monument Lab.
Philadelphia’s urban context includes many notable works of architecture and urban design. Transformational design began with William Penn’s city vision, incorporating green urban squares accessible to all citizens. The city’s accessible green infrastructure was expanded over time to include Fairmount Park, the largest urban park system in the United States, and the Reading Viaduct Rail Park. The dense urban fabric, built up over three centuries, includes innovative architectural works from William Strickland’s Merchant’s Exchange to Howe and Lescaze’s PSFS Building, and more recent works like Snøhetta’s Charles Library.
Main Responsibilities of the Position
The Director of Temple Contemporary is responsible for generating and organizing a yearly series of vital exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and other programs. The director will be expected to consider the educational needs and goals of the academic programs at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture as well as actively engage with students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the public.
- Develop and maintain a dynamic vision for Temple Contemporary in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and advisory committees.
- Engage in productive partnerships and collaborative relationships that enrich the educational and cultural life of the school, university, arts community, and general community.
- Create interdisciplinary activities that serve pedagogical, research and outreach interests of the students and faculty.
- Work with faculty to develop responsive programs that are integrated with academic coursework at Tyler.
- Manage, operate, and oversee 3,400 square foot gallery facility.
- Lead the effort to generate contributed income from private, public, governmental, and internal university sources.
- Develop and manage budgets for Temple Contemporary.
- Supervise Temple Contemporary staff of two to three full-time members, graduate assistants, and work study students.
- Maintain a dynamic media presence to promote Temple Contemporary in collaboration with Tyler’s communications staff.
- Support MFA thesis exhibitions.
- Coordinate Temple Contemporary’s Youth Advisory Council and general Advisory Council.
- MFA in Visual Arts, MA in Museum/Curatorial Studies, MA in Art History/Museum
Management/Administration or equivalent
- Experience in community engagement
- Three to five years of experience in museum or gallery curating or programming
- Record of successful fundraising
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
- Experience as a teacher in formal or informal environments
- Hands-on experience with the practical processes of supporting exhibitions from proposal to de-installation
- Demonstrated ability to produce exhibition publications, gallery text and promotional materials
How to apply
Submit application materials here.
Application should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, documentation of 3-5 relevant previous projects, and contact information for three professional references. Please include two statements:
- A programming statement that illustrates your views of an institution as a space of cultural exploration and social interaction, as well as your vision for how you would approach a university gallery’s presentation of contemporary art and visual culture within the contexts of the school, the university, and the larger community.
- A statement outlining how you have contributed to diversity practices that foster equity and inclusion.
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