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Job ID: 101119

Artistic Director, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI)
Chautauqua Institution

  • Dec. 8, 2017
  • February 2018
  • Fall 2018
  • Director/Manager
  • Art - General
    Fine Arts - General
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The Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI) seeks applicants for a visionary leader to direct a dynamic a program comprised of the Chautauqua School of Art, Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, an artist lecture series and growing education and community engagement programs. This position begins in Fall, 2018 and reports to the Vice President of Performing and Visual Arts (PAVA).


The Artistic Director advocates for the program both within and outside Chautauqua. The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Provide academic and artistic leadership by articulating and carrying out a shared vision for a vital and forward-looking VACI, including aligning with the Institution’s major priorities of:
    o Evolution toward year-round programming
    o Engagement beyond the grounds
    o Movement from siloes to unified "Big C" brand
    o Diversification of programs and people
    o Thought leadership/consistent excellence
    o Focus on alternative revenue generation
  • Work closely with the VP of PAVA as well as the School of Art Managing Director and Director of Galleries to develop and implement the vision of the School of Art and all related VACI Programs (including special studies, lecture series and galleries)
  • Recruit faculty and staff for VACI (including annually rotating faculty of approximately 30 one to seven week visiting artist positions each summer)
  • Oversee faculty development, teaching and curriculum; active student recruitment and selection; outreach, and promotion of the school; budget, resources, and development along with some external fundraising in coordination with Chautauqua Foundation
  • Create and sustain national, regional and local partnerships
  • Teach and critique students throughout the summer
  • Actively collaborate and plan inter-arts projects and performances

Additionally, the Artistic Director will evaluate and potentially re-envision other aspects of VACI while overseeing them, such as:

  • Select and stage annual student exhibition
  • Select and recruit major jurors for Chautauqua National Exhibition and several other exhibitions in the galleries
  • Curate at least one major, museum level show each year and stage the exhibition once delivered
  • Weekly docent talk on the "museum level" exhibition
  • The Artistic Director is expected to be in residence at Chautauqua from mid-June through mid to late August. Housing, cafeteria meals and studio are provided.

Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum of five years of University level teaching, including graduate level, with a distinguished record of continuing research or creative activity; and
  • Dynamic and innovative leader-teacher-scholar with a specialty in any field represented within the School of Art;
  • Possess strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Fund-raising record preferred

About VACI at Chautauqua Institution:

The Chautauqua School of Art offers serious young artists a chance to give themselves over to a sustained period of exploration. The emphasis is on a period of study in depth with a limited number of resident and guest faculty and a close-knit group of 38 students. The school has undergone many recent renovations, including the addition of a digital media studio in 2017.

Every summer, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI) presents 10 exhibitions in the galleries of the Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, as well as the Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden. These diverse spaces allow VACI to host a variety of contemporary shows from nationally recognized artists. The focus in our galleries is on contemporary work in a wide range of media and sensibilities. There is also a lecture series each week where visiting and resident artists discuss their work, process and inspiration.
VACI also offers community (adult education and "young artists") classes in drawing, ceramics and digital media. Faculty for these classes is currently selected in collaboration with Managing Director, who reports to the Artistic Director.

For more information about Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, visit:

About Chautauqua Institution:

The Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of over 100,000 attend scheduled public events.
CHQ is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and at least three references via email to

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Sarah Malinoski-Umberger
    Performing and Visual Arts
    Chautauqua Institution
    1 Ames Ave
    Box 1098
    Chautauqua, NY 14722
  • 716/357-6233


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