Director of Galleries & Collections- School of Art

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Arts & Museum Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Director of Galleries and Collections- School of Art
Regular, Full-time, MR12

Gallery Director provides primary senior-level leadership for the development, curation, and long-term planning of Ewing and UT Downtown gallery exhibitions, publications, and programs, and oversees collections management and development. Position fosters collaboration within the School and College and among diverse UT academic constituencies; oversees galleries’ academic outreach and public relations; champions diverse and inclusive exhibition programming; and represents University nationally. Position 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’s collection of 5,000+ works of art; manages, mentors, trains, directly supervises, and assigns duties to three permanent staff; and teaches course in the Museum Studies minor. Position ensures that the strategic and operational functions of galleries directly support and further the University’s Vol Vision 2020 strategic priorities.

30% Managing Curation, Programming, and Exhibition Planning:

  • Provides primary administrative and intellectual leadership for development and management of exhibitions, publications, programs; 3-year strategic plan; and collections.
  • Develops and implements galleries’ curatorial vision for the School, independently supervises all gallery operations, and coordinates staff support of operations.
  • Engages in critical curatorial field research — including visits to galleries and institutions nationally — cultivates a national network of curators and institutions and maintains expert knowledge of contemporary art and exhibition practices.
  • Conducts curatorial research and writing using accepted scholarly methodology.
  • Conceives, researches, curates, plans, budgets, and manages year-round calendar of (typically 22) exhibitions 18–24 months in advance for both on-campus Ewing Gallery and off-campus UT Downtown Gallery.
  • Collaborates regularly across departmental units and colleges to develop exhibitions supporting UT’s instructional and land-grant missions; oversees galleries’ academic outreach efforts; and represents the University nationally.
  • Fosters critical inquiry and expands learning beyond the classroom through the representation of diverse voices, perspectives, media, and processes in gallery programming.
  • Curates exhibitions for Ewing Gallery (funded jointly by School of Art and College of Architecture and Design) to develop and present exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and architecture, support academic goals of these units, and serve as a cultural resource for university and regional communities (5,000 visitors annually).
  • Curates exhibitions for UT Downtown Gallery to provide diverse cultural programming and exhibitions of historical and contemporary art to East Tennessee region (6,000+ visitors annually), and partner with Arts & Cultural Alliance, Knox County Schools, Knoxville First Fridays, Dogwood Arts, and Big Ears.
  • Manages drafting of catalog, didactic signage, and wall text to translate specialized research and provide historical or biographical context to aid visitor interpretation and understanding of exhibitions.
  • Facilitates identification and scheduling of public lectures by artists, scholars, and curators supplementing gallery and school programming.
  • Negotiates and contracts with artists, external galleries, art centers, and museums. Consults with UT’s General Council Office regarding contracts and agreements with external partners.
  • Oversees visitor itineraries and travel arrangements; scheduling of on-campus and community events; and securing of venues with appropriate partners.
  • Serves on School Programming Committee to foster coordination of programming.
20% Budget management, philanthropic development, and public relations:

  • Oversees, allocates, and manages gallery-related budgets, endowments, and gift funds in consultation with School Director and Accounting Coordinator,.
  • Allocates resources for exhibitions and events at Ewing and UT Downtown galleries during current fiscal year, and engages in long-term planning of budgets and allocations for scheduled exhibitions in future fiscal years.
  • Collaborates regularly with School Director and College Advancement Office in grant writing and facilitation of philanthropic support for the School and its galleries.
  • Identifies and cultivates external donors of both culturally important artworks to the Ewing Gallery permanent collection and financial gifts to the Gallery’s gift funds and endowments.
  • Coordinates with gallery staff and School Communications Coordinator to promote exhibitions, visiting artists, programming, and news to local, regional, and national calendars; exhibition guides; and news outlets.
  • Communicates advance gallery programing schedules to faculty to facilitate instructional and School program and event planning.
  • Supervises public relations processes to ensure press releases and news items are likewise strategically distributed through campus communications, electronic newsletters, social media, and other appropriate media.
  • Ensures email and mail press contact lists are maintained and used to promote exhibitions, programming, and events.
  • Oversees staff management of gallery events and receptions.
20% Collections management:

  • Oversees the maintenance, preservation, and conservation of the University of Tennessee’s permanent collection of over 5,000 works of art established for the purposes of scholarly research, instructional support, and the enrichment of University and regional communities.
  • Ensures compliance with the highest professional and ethical standards, regulations, and policies regarding the authentication, acquisition, appraisal, registration, documentation, archiving, and storage of valuable and culturally important works of art.
  • Develops professional accession and deaccession policies and processes to evaluate artworks, oversight of their implementation, and review of their compliance with university, professional (Association of Art Museums and Association of Academic Museums and Galleries), and legal standards.
  • Works in concert with Collections Committee to develop a collections plan, and to review and approve the accession of artworks to be added to the Ewing Gallery collection and the deaccession of those items currently in the collection to be removed.
  • Complies with professional best practices, university regulations, and tax laws with regard to the valuation of art works and donations, adheres to donor agreements, complies with applicable laws governing collections care, and collaborates with campus partners to develop potential future resource sharing. Likewise, oversees staff compliance with those standards.
20% Staff management:

  • Manages, mentors, trains, directly supervises, and assigns duties to three permanent staff positions: two staff at the Ewing Gallery and one staff at the UT Downtown Gallery.
  • Manages search process and chairs a search committee composed of faculty and other staff to hire new employees in the event of a staff vacancy.
  • Provides new staff with appropriate training required for their successful completion of job responsibilities.
  • Serves as first point of contact regarding all human resources processes and ensures compliance with those policies and procedures within the area.
  • Conducts annual reviews assessing performance of the three gallery staff and sets staff goals and objectives for the coming year to implement strategies and achieve goals of the School of Art galleries.
  • Serves as “two-up” supervisor of student workers who are hired and supervised by gallery staff.
  • Supervises staff shipping, transport, and handling of artworks, and the layout, installation and deinstallation of exhibitions.
  • Ensures safe practices and procedures of gallery staff in their responsibilities for transporting, and loading artworks, and the installation and rigging of artworks within galleries.
10% Course Instruction and Instructional Support:

    Teaches one course in the Museum Studies minor on a regular rotation as demanded by enrollment — at least once every other academic year and not more than once per year. serving students majoring in disciplines across the university including anthropology, history, journalism, ecology and evolutionary biology, plant sciences, forestry, and architecture.Provides in-depth specialized instructional support through the development of internships and practicums within the gallery spaces to advance the development of students’ professional skills and experiential learning, and provide them with professional preparation for careers in galleries and museums.Provides indirect supervision of work-study students in the galleries.Plans and oversees events that augment the curricula and expand students’ awareness of art and architecture via artists’ workshops, student critiques, public lectures, and films.Facilitates class visits from across the UTK campus including studio art, art history, design, creative writing, English, philosophy, and foreign languages.Hosts thesis exhibitions of graduating School of Art MFA students, BFA capstone and honors students, and the Artist in Residence Biennial.Facilitates field trip visits from area public schools and educational partnerships with area institutions including the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Required 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 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 Expereince

  • 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.
Required Qualifications
  • Expert knowledge of historical and contemporary art, gallery and museum practices, and museum or curatorial studies, and commitment to maintaining appropriate professional activities in relevant state, national, and other professional organizations.
  • Excellent managerial, planning, organizational, and administrative skills.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision, and strategic direction.
  • Ability to manage and curate programing for two galleries with differing missions that serve overlapping, yet distinct audiences.
  • Ability to coordinate and facilitate programing among diverse constituencies including the School of Art, the College of Architecture and Design, campus-wide stakeholders within the Museum Studies minor, and community and disciplinary partners.
  • Ability to create short- and long-range strategic planning and scheduling of exhibitions, programing, events, and budgets.
  • Ability to solve problems creatively, manage several demanding projects simultaneously with excellent attention to details.
  • Knowledge of professional standards, regulations, and policies regarding the acquisition, appraisal, registration, documentation, and storage of valuable and culturally important works of art.
  • Knowledge of the presentation, care, and professional handling of works of art.
  • Knowledge and skill in exhibition design and installation.
  • Ability to provide strong financial oversight of and manage budgets and maintain financial records.
  • Ability to independently analyze complex situations and implement successful solutions to complex problems within a deadline-driven environment.
  • Ability to develop, inspire, and manage a successful team of professional staff, define their work objectives, and plans and prioritize the delegation of routine tasks.
  • Ability to consult, problem solve, communicate, and collaborate effectively with a diverse community of students, faculty, university programs and external stakeholders and audiences.
  • Strong written/oral and interpersonal communication, collaboration, organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex, specialized disciplinary research to both disciplinary-specific campus constituencies and translate and present that knowledge for external public audiences.
  • Ability to instruct within and support college-level instruction in the Museum and Curatorial Studies program.
  • Ability to travel, both domestically and internationally, and to work some evenings and weekends.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Skills and experience in grant writing and the facilitation of philanthropic development.
  • Knowledge of public relations processes
For full consideration, applicants must apply electronically through Taleo and submit:

    A cover letter describing qualifications and professional experiences and how the applicant has addressed diversity and inclusion in past workCurriculum vitaeWriting sample Names, addresses and phone numbers of three references.  

    Documentation of installation and/or publicationsLink(s) to website(s) Syllabi 

Job: Executive/Administrative
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Arts
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Sep 28, 2021, 4:18:54 PM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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