OGDENSBURG — The official search for a new Remington Art Museum Director has begun and the application review process will begin June 1.
After current Executive Director Laura A. Foster’s July announcement of her intention to retire in November, the museum’s Board of Trustees began discussions about the search process and, in the fall, formed a Search Committee.
A description of the job duties can be found at the museum’s website or at http://wdt.me/4v3mfW.
At the top of the 16-point list of qualifications is a minimum of a four-year degree from an accredited four-year institution; a minimum of eight years of progressive leadership, development, planning and operations experience in the arts/culture sector; experience planning and executing projects; and demonstrated organizational skills and multitasking abilities.
Search Committee Co-Chair and former Board Chairwoman Julie Hackett Cliff said the application review process will continue until the position is filled.
“The purpose of the Search Committee is to recruit and recommend to the board the top candidates for the museum’s new director and plan transition to ensure this person’s success,” she said. “I am looking for a dynamic individual who is passionate about the museum’s mission to expand and deepen the appreciation of Remington’s work to a local, regional, national and global audience.”
On the search committee with Hackett Cliff is Co-Chair and Board Trustee Dr. Patricia Mahoney, Board Chairman Craig Chevalier, Board trustees Michael Crowe, Tonki Downs and Rafael Olazagasti, museum Education Specialist Laura Desmond and former museum Board Chairman and part-time employee Douglas McDonald.
The responsibilities of the search committee include identifying internal and external perspectives needed to clarify the museum’s current situation; envisioning professional skills and personal qualities needed in the next leader in light of the current situation; articulating qualifications and opportunities of the position, advertise, and source among professional networks; screening potential candidates; participate in candidate interviews by phone, video conference, and on site, writing a brief personal assessment of each candidate; debrief on all candidates, articulating recommendations and reasons for them; check references and come to consensus regarding top candidates; and plan ways to support the new director in their first year on the job.
At the time of her retirement, Foster will have been a curator for 31 years and the director for 7½ years.
Hackett Cliff said Foster created a museum for all people and in looking for the person to fill those shoes, she is looking for a “highly motivated, visionary individual that sees the full potential of the museum and encourages others to support and be involved in the mission of the museum.”
While Mahoney said the search committee will be looking for someone who can grow the museum financially, in terms of grants, donors, membership, reputation of the museum and of Frederic Remington as a multi-talented artist and also recognition of the artist Sally James Farnham, the candidate will be someone in love with the north country and the museum as much as their predecessor.
“Someone who is as articulate as Laura who is able to communicate well with various groups, (with) a strong art background,” Mahoney said. “We would like someone who is a strategic thinker with strong leadership skills, inspiring.”
Chevalier said he would like passion in his candidate.
“That candidate should have the ability to develop meaningful relationships and philanthropy by sharing the good work and vision of the museum,” he said. “That candidate should have the financial management skills to help steer us into the future and ensure our longevity.”
But it was Foster’s attributes as one of the world experts on Remington, one of a small group who can authenticate Remington’s work, and her infections passion for the artist and his work that the trio said will be among what they will miss when she goes.
“Laura is special,” Chevalier said. “She has the ability to build lasting, meaningful relationships. Her management style gave the museum team the ability to grow and opportunities to try new things.
“She is extremely passionate about the museum, not to mention a leading and sought after scholar on Remington,” he said. “I anticipate that her successor will share her love of the museum and Remington works.”