Small Museum Association

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Gallery Director

12 Oct 2021 3:12 PM | Preminda Jacob

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) seeks a visionary Director to oversee the mission of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC). Reporting to the Dean of CAHSS, the Director will be a vibrant leader with an informed, forward-looking vision of what a university-based art gallery can be, helping both the campus and larger communities realize their values. With demonstrated professional commitment to values of cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility and lifelong learning, the Center Director will be a key contributor to forging relations between the Center and academic programs across the college and university. By overseeing the activities of the Center, supervising staff, chairing the CADVC’s Advisory Board, and working with faculty, students and other constituencies, the Director will be instrumental in both supporting and raising the visibility of the CADVC within UMBC, throughout the Baltimore-Washington region, nationally and internationally.

This five year, renewable appointment as Director will be at the rank of Professor of the Practice, see UMBC Faculty Handbook for a description of this rank (7.j). Applicants must possess an advanced degree in a relevant field, as well as broad, practical experience and knowledge of museum/gallery work. The expected start date is July 1, 2022.

UMBC is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral University with high research activity (RU/H). The university serves more than 11,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students and is one of two public universities in Maryland to achieve the “doctoral/research university-extensive” Carnegie classification. Located just outside Baltimore and 45 minutes from Washington, D.C., the campus is along the dynamic northeast corridor in proximity to federal and private research and technology hubs and internationally renowned art and cultural institutions in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. US News has cited UMBC as one of the nation's most innovative universities; the Chronicle of Higher Education has consistently included UMBC on its "Great Colleges to Work For" list.

Founded in 1989, the CADVC’s mandate is to serve the wide-ranging, liberal-arts mission of the College and the University. As a university art gallery, the CADVC has a well-established reputation for creating forums in which students, faculty, staff, as well as the public, engage in dialogues on contemporary visual culture. Through diverse, challenging exhibitions, a lucid application of cultural theory that builds connections between visual culture and social systems, rigorously researched catalogs, creative exhibition and publication design, and inclusive, collaborative public programming, the CADVC reshapes the interactions between cultural institutions and the public.

The Director will have the unique opportunity to develop, promote, and implement the annual activities of the CADVC that comprise: the production of four to five exhibitions, of which one to two are of national stature; the publication of one to two catalogues or books devoted to contemporary art, graphic design, and critical theory; and the presentation of public programs, related to the Center’s exhibition schedule, both at the Center’s gallery space and the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park on UMBC’s campus. These programs include lectures, interdisciplinary panel discussions, screenings, guided gallery tours and a wide variety of workshops for K-12 students. Periodically, the CADVC organizes events in partnership with a range of cultural institutions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Responsibilities: 

Position Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage and implement an annual schedule of in-house exhibitions, national and international traveling exhibitions, an internationally distributed publications series, an extensive K-12 educational outreach program, community outreach, the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park, and public art projects.
  • Curate exhibitions and liaise with UMBC faculty or external curators to conceptualize and organize future exhibitions. 
  • Submit applications for grant and foundation support and consult with university administrators on strategies to maximize the role of the CADVC in the life of the College and the University.
  • Be prepared to advance faculty research in the College and to forge and illuminate cross-disciplinary connections with research across the university by continuing to build on the Center’s record of exhibition, publication, and programming. 
  • Supervise a staff of three full-time employees as well as numerous contractual employees for any given CADVC project and/or initiative.
  • Coordinate the promotion of the Center’s activities by attending evening CADVC opening receptions, programming events or donor cultivation opportunities, and liaising with UMBC’s Office of Arts and Culture. 
  • Work with the CADVC Business Manager to manage the Center’s operating budget of approximately $50,000 with additional support possible through the annual submission of grant proposals to the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences.
  • Work with the CADVC staff to review the Center’s contracts with commercial vendors and companies.
  • Teach one course annually in their field of specialization.

Basic Qualifications: 

Applicants for the position, at the minimum should:  

  • Possess a commitment to values of cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility, interdisciplinarity, and lifelong learning.
  • Be a scholar-professional with an advanced degree in a relevant discipline such as: a PhD in Art History, Visual Culture, Material Culture, or History with a specialization in Public History; an MA in Museum Studies, Arts Administration, Public Humanities, Public History; an MFA in Visual Arts or Design.
  • Have professional experience in a museum or gallery with some experience in a progressively responsible, supervisory and management capacity.
  • Have demonstrated experience and success in managing a budget and fundraising
  • Be able to advocate the mission of the CADVC to both experts and non-experts, with the ability to articulate complex ideas to a wide range of audiences. CADVC stakeholders include a wide range of audiences including faculty, staff, students, and administrators, City and State officials, international experts on art and culture, K-12 students, and visitors to the CADVC gallery.

Application Submission: 

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an application that includes:

  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A cover letter (up to three pages) outlining qualifications and skills for the position, and describing: 
    • relevant work experience in a museum/gallery context
    • relevant experience with fund-raising
    • vision for the advancement of the Center
    • how the position fits with applicant’s career goals 
  • Statement (one page) about your experience in, or commitment to, fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in your professional life.
  • Any relevant documents related to your professional experience
  • Names of three references

Starting salary range is in the low to high $90,000s commensurate with qualifications and experience. Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled, but preference will be given to applications received by December 1, 2021. Submit the application materials electronically to http://apply.interfolio.com/95239

UMBC is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer: 

Diversity is a core value of the University, the College, and the Center. We believe that innovation and creativity are enhanced when diverse groups of people come together to learn. UMBC is committed to inclusive excellence and is especially proud of the diversity of its 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students. We are equally committed to increasing faculty diversity by attracting a diverse applicant pool for this position. Information on faculty diversity initiatives is available at http://facultydiversity.umbc.edu. We encourage applications from women, minority group members, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Resources to help balance work and personal priorities are available at http://hr.umbc.edu/work-life-balance/. Candidates with a proven record of working with diverse and/or under-served populations are particularly encouraged to apply. Preference is given to candidates who demonstrate the potential for building an equitable and diverse workplace environment in the CADVC.

Direct questions to Dr. Carolyn Forestiere (forestie@umbc.edu), Chair, CADVC Search Committee


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