Emerson College (Emerson) is the nation’s only four-year institution dedicated exclusively to majors in communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. Established in 1880 as a small, regional school of oratory, Emerson has evolved into a diverse, coeducational, and multifaceted degree-granting institution with a liberal arts orientation. It educates students to assume positions of leadership in communication and the arts and to advance scholarship and creative work that brings innovation, depth, and diversity to these disciplines. Emerson’s mission is informed by core liberal arts values that seek to promote civic engagement, encourage ethical practices, foster respect for human diversity, and inspire students to create and communicate with clarity, integrity, and conviction.
Emerson’s epicenter is located in the dynamic multi-cultural city of Boston in close proximity to incredible cultural resources, arts and educational institutions, and research centers. With additional campuses in Los Angeles and Kasteel Well (The Netherlands), Emerson enrolls a total of 3,662 undergraduate students and 830 graduate students from 75 countries and all 50 states.
Emerson is committed to an active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in its people, curriculum, and intellectual, social, cultural, and geographical communities. Emerson endorses a framework of inclusive excellence, which recognizes that institutional excellence comes from fully engaging with diversity in all aspects of institutional activities. Emerson is dedicated to strengthening communities, including its workplace, by fostering the development of the intercultural competencies necessary for meaningful citizenship in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society.
The School of the Arts at Emerson is a community of artists, professionals, and scholars committed to educating students to bring vision, commitment, sophistication, and courage to their crafts. Its four departments/programs—visual and media arts; writing, literature, and publishing; performing arts; and comedic arts—train students in theory, practice, and the intellectual and artistic traditions that inform both. The departments help students become thinkers, makers, and citizens of a complex world, and Emerson’s internationally recognized faculty members give students a sense of ownership of their education. The Department of Visual and Media Arts is a vibrant and engaged community of artists, scholars, and professionals, with over 100 full- and part-time faculty members and 1,700 students. The department offers a minor in art history, with courses ranging from surveys to seminars, a Bachelor of Arts that includes both media studies and media production, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in media production, a Master of Arts in film and media art, and a bicoastal low-residency Master of Fine Arts in writing for film and television.
Emerson’s Boston campus aims to use public art to achieve diversity through community and global engagement by activating its venues. The 1,600-square foot Huret & Spector Gallery serves as a laboratory space for Emerson students and faculty to produce experimental art projects and for graduate students to showcase their exhibitions. The 2,600-square foot Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery serves as the locus of an initiative to develop contemporary visual art as a vital component of Emerson’s arts profile. It is the only art gallery in the Boston Common, Theatre District, and Downtown Crossing neighborhoods, and Boston’s only gallery dedicated solely to media arts. Over the past six years, Emerson Urban Arts has programmed the Paramount Urban Screen, a three-story LED video projection on the façade of the Emerson/Paramount Center, located on Washington Street in Downtown Crossing. Emerson has also commissioned videos from artists, including Jim Campbell, Mischa Kuball, and Van McElwee, transforming the contemporary visual environment of Downtown Crossing.
Reporting to the Dean of the School of the Arts, the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence (Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator) is a non-tenure, term contract, unionized position housed in the Department of Visual and Media Arts. The Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator will increase knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of the contemporary arts through creative and scholarly works, exhibition curation, and public art commissions in collaboration with Emerson’s Public Art Think Tank (PATT), inspiring both theory and practice. Developing curricular and collaborative opportunities with faculty throughout Emerson, this position extends the curriculum beyond the classroom and emphasizes emergent art forms and the importance of diverse artists, audiences, media, and exhibition techniques. Teaching students and exposing the broader community to the most substantive and progressive contemporary art, the Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator will develop meaningful connections with individual donors, present written materials to institutional funders, and collaborate with various artists, artistic disciplines, and institutions that seek to advance contemporary art initiatives.
Gallery Curation and Administration
Public Art and Outreach
Teaching and Academic Program Integration
The Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator will be motivated by new ideas, methods, and approaches to how contemporary art can be used as a catalyst for deeper social and educational pursuits. A visionary colleague, mentor, and leader, the Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator will advance aesthetic and cultural knowledge and will demonstrate a keen awareness of service to a broad range of students, artists, faculty, and community members. A versatile and people-oriented professional adept at embracing frequent communications and interactions, this individual will have strong interpersonal skills balanced by a unique capacity in planning, organizing, and curating. The Foster Chair and Distinguished Curator will be a self-starter whose diplomacy and teamwork inspire creativity and collaboration in a dynamic setting.
Other key competencies include:
A Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, or Doctor of Philosophy degree and significant experience as a practitioner in contemporary art curation and exhibition planning are required. A deep background in contemporary and emerging art theory and practice with demonstrated experience in contemporary galleries, museums, or non-traditional exhibition spaces is needed. Interpersonal and written skills must be at an advanced level of excellence. Prior experience in academic lecturing and publications are welcomed but not required.
Emerson offers very competitive compensation, commensurate with experience, and a benefits package that includes medical, dental, short-term disability, long-term disability, and group life insurances; flexible spending accounts; 403(b) tax deferred annuity and retirement plans; tuition and transportation benefits; employee assistance program; and the quality of life that the metropolitan Boston area offers.
Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable curatorial, exhibition planning, and academic accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Vice President
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225
Emerson College is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer
focused on workforce diversity. It welcomes all qualified applicants without regard to race,
color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, veteran status,
or the presence of a non-job-related medical condition or handicap.
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