Wichita Falls Museum of Art

WFMA pic.jpg

WICHITA FALLS MUSEUM OF ART

at Midwestern State University

DIRECTOR

Wichita Falls, TX

Application Deadline: Closed


The Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University (WFMA) seeks an innovative, collaborative new Director who will position the museum as a vibrant and  interdisciplinary laboratory for exhibitions, programs and events that benefits both university and city life and the broader North Texas community.   

The WFMA has a significant collection of American art, focused on works on paper, including pieces by Jaspar Johns, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol and many regional and national contemporary artists. Its expansive facility was recently renovated, including the addition of a scenic terrace on the lake and a striking outdoor pavilion for concerts and special events.  The incoming Director will have the opportunity to integrate the museum’s operations more closely into the university’s long-term strategic plans, amplify exhibitions and programming collaborations, and provide opportunities for research and scholarship.  The WFMA seeks an experienced museum director or department head, familiar with the key aspects of running a museum, and committed to strong visitor engagement and to AAM accreditation/museum standards.  S/he will be financially acute and an enthusiastic fundraiser willing to work with individuals, foundations, the Provost, the university and community organizations to build long-term financial stability for the museum as it moves to becoming a more self-sustaining institution.  

This position requires an individual who excels at communications, brings great imagination, and who seeks collaborative opportunities to provide a rich and valuable museum experience to the university community and to Texans in the Wichita Falls region and beyond.  The Director reports to the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs.  S/he will oversee 6 full-time staff and manage and build on an annual budget of $500,000, plus significant in-kind university support from departments ranging from marketing and advancement to HR, security and facilities. 

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Develop a dynamic vision for how the museum can better serve its broad constituencies, taking full advantage of its recent status as an academic museum, while continuing its previous role as a free-standing art museum for the Wichita Falls community.

  • Continue to build the collection of important American art for a museum with already-strong holdings.

  • Play a leading role in strengthening the museum’s presence within the MSU community. 

  • Frame an audience-development program that helps the museum fulfil its strong potential.

  • Head a respected academic museum at a liberal arts university, where the university covers the basic costs of facilities and salaries, so that fundraising can focus on special exhibitions and programs.

  •  Work at a museum with a competitive salary plus excellent university/state benefits and exceptional housing values in a state with no income tax.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Provide vision and leadership for this 50-year-old museum, working with the Advisory Board and the Provost to set direction, goals, and priorities for the museum’s future.

  • Provide oversight to create an even more dynamic, educational and noteworthy curatorial program of exhibitions.

  • Provide effective financial management for the museum, developing long-range financial objectives, building the annual budget, and bringing in the resources needed to mount a robust schedule of exhibitions and programs that serve the university and the community.

  • Develop and implement, in coordination with the Provost, the MSU Advancement Office and University Foundation, and the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR), a fundraising plan to cultivate individual and corporate donors and enhance grant opportunities.

  • Be the face of the museum and an effective advocate and communicator on campus, championing the museum’s relationship with different departments of the university, and reaching out to deans and department chairs in art, history, social sciences, and health, and at other departments and colleges.  Be comfortable and proactive in working with various administrative departments within the university, including the Business office and the Advancement office. 

  • Effectively liaise and develop collaborations with other organizations in the Wichita Falls community; strengthen community participation and engagement.

  • Oversee appropriate care for and stewardship of the building and collections.

  • Manage and motivate staff, set a strong collegial atmosphere, and enhance professionalism.

  • Work with the Provost and university constituencies to enhance the academic role of the museum and to stimulate relevant contributions of faculty scholarship, and as time permits, to serve the larger museum community. 

  • Coordinate museum initiatives with the university, uphold MSU policies and standards and maintain a high level of museum best-practices and standards. 

 

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Four or more years’ experience as a museum director or in an equivalent nonprofit executive-leadership or department-head position; art-museum experience preferred.

  • MA or MFA in art history, art, museum studies, or a related field. Terminal degree preferred.

  • Excellent financial management skills, demonstrating success with operational budgeting, multi-stream revenue development, grant writing, and long-term financial planning.  A track record of managing and stretching modest budgets is an asset.

  • Demonstrated commitment to developing new resources.  Experience with, or willingness to actively engage in, private-donor development campaigns, major gifts, and planned giving.

  • Demonstrated commitment to civic engagement, and to creating a welcoming, rich and engaging visitor experience.

  • A public-facing person and enthusiastic representative for the museum, skilled at liaising with others and promoting a museum; an engaging, inspiring and confident public speaker.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills essential to communicate effectively with a wide variety of constituencies, from professors to children. 

  • Track record of exhibitions and/or programming that demonstrates creativity, innovation, awareness of current museum trends, and successful marketing.  A record of expertise and/or scholarship relevant to an aspect of this museum or its collection is desirable. 

  • Strategic thinker who understands and seizes synergistic opportunities and is willing to take risks and embrace opportunities.

  • Managerial and collaboration skills and ability to engage with faculty and staff to leverage the museum’s programs, in support of the curricular goals of the university’s various disciplines.

  • Desire to work with a small staff and to be hands-on and pitch in, for example, on exhibition installations or event setups. 

  • Ability to develop and foster talent and a culture of teamwork and excellence among staff, as well as continued engagement, enthusiasm, and transparency for Advisory Board members, stakeholders and university constituents.

  • Experience working within a university system is an asset.

  • Basic familiarity with relevant technologies and social media.

  • Willing to work an active schedule, including attending openings and after-hours events some evenings and weekends, and available to travel as needed.

  • Able to possibly teach one course in the Fain College of Fine Arts each semester, if qualified and interested and if time permits.

     

About the Wichita Falls Museum of Art

Founded in 1967 and accredited in 1973, the Wichita Falls Museum of Art has been a jewel in the community for more than 50 years. After 38 years as a beloved free-standing community institution, in 2005, the WFMA merged with Midwestern State University, gaining the advantages of being an academic museum while continuing its original community purpose as a center of excellence and a catalyst for art enrichment for the public. The museum has an active, changing exhibition program focused largely on contemporary art in the context of American art.  The permanent collection has grown to 3,000 pieces, of which 1,200 are works on paper, and it is known for its strong focus on the development of American printmaking. This important collection ranges from a 1677 print by John Foster to works by Winslow Homer, John Sloan, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Robert Indiana, and Andy Warhol, and contemporary artists including Chuck Close, Donald Sultan, Ron Adams and Mary McCleary.  Other artworks in the collection feature sculpture, paintings, drawings, pottery, and rare books. The 16,500-square foot facility was renovated in 2013, and the museum now comprises 5 galleries, a large event/programming space, a classroom, and a small gift shop. In 2015, a new terrace and parking lot were built, along with the Ruby and Robert Priddy Pavilion.  The Pavilion, adjacent to the terrace and sitting at the edge of Sikes Lake, is home to the museum’s popular summer concert series, Live at the Lake, and is available for rentals. The museum works to integrate art into the life of the community within the liberal arts mission of MSU and to provide a first-class gallery experience. The museum welcomes 20,000 visitors a year and hosts several thousand students annually for educational programming.

HOW TO APPLY

Nominations and inquiries are welcome.

Qualified candidates should email cover letter and résumé or CV (Word documents preferred), salary request or range, and names of 3 references with contact information by March 15, 2019, to Connie Rosemont, Senior Search Consultant, and Marilyn Hoffman, Principal, at: searchandref@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant, and all applications and nominations are kept confidential. EOE. This position is designated as security sensitive and requires a criminal background check. Midwestern State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment or the provision of services on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. Midwestern State University welcomes applications from diverse populations including minorities and women.

About Wichita Falls/North Texas:

Wichita Falls sits in the northeast corner of the panhandle/plains area of North Texas, 15 miles south of the Oklahoma border and two hours from both Dallas and Oklahoma City.  

It is the county seat and has a population of approximately 104,553.  The city is economically diverse, with commerce, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and cultural enterprises all represented.  Midwestern State University, the state's only public liberal arts college, with a student population of about 6,000, is a significant employer. Local branches of Vernon College, which offers 2-year degrees, and Wayland Baptist University, are also in Wichita Falls.  Sheppard Air Force Base is just 5 miles out of town.  As the Air Force's largest technical training wing and home of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the base’s presence adds a strong international flavor to the City.   

Conveniently situated just two hours north of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex and two hours south of Oklahoma City, OK, Wichita Falls also has its own regional airport, offering 4 flights daily to DFW. The City is prosperous, very affordable, welcoming and strong in community spirit, described as a great place to raise a family.  It is ethnically diverse and has a growing arts and culture scene, including a symphony, a youth orchestra, two theaters, a ballet company, the Kemp Center for the Arts, and an active Arts Alliance. There is a popular farmer’s market, a brewery, and a good selection of restaurants and shopping. One of the biggest perks is that Wichita Falls offers all the amenities of a midsize city without the traffic snarls, affording short commutes to work. For nature and exercise enthusiasts, there is a celebrated Nature Center in the downtown and plenty of outdoor opportunities, including a nature preserve and Lake Wichita, which offers several acres of trails for walking and biking that also go through the city.  Wichita Falls annually hosts the Hotter’N Hell Century Bike Ride, one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation.  The summer brings temperatures in the high-90s to just over 100 degrees, but the other three seasons are extremely mild, providing opportunities to be outdoors year-round.  Learn more at:  http://www.wichitafallstx.gov/925/About-Us