The Art Students League of New York (ASL) is a legendary and beloved institution in the New York art world, with loyal members and supporters around the country and internationally. Located in a beautiful late 19th century, historical landmark building on 57th Street, opposite Carnegie Hall and around the corner from the Museum of Art and Design, Columbus Circle, and Central Park, the League has been instrumental in shaping America's legacy in the fine arts.
The League was founded in 1875 by breakaway instructors and students of the National Academy who wanted to explore the “art spirit” of contemporary European art developments. With incorporation in 1878, a constitution and by-laws were developed establishing a Board of control, elected by the membership, assuring students a central part in the future of the League and granting them power in making decisions that would affect their own development as artists.
Courses at the League were initially funded by membership fees and volunteer work alone, a policy that ensured its ability to function as the only independent art school in the country and the only one in which the life class, a crucial element, was available every day. The League currently offers a wide range of classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, metal work, ceramics, mixed media and printmaking. Workshops, including travel-abroad workshops, exhibitions, and lectures expand the offerings.
The League began as and continues to be a collection of studios, each autonomous and directed by the creative authority and counsel of the individual instructor, a tradition that ensures that students are able to choose among a wide range of modes of expression. This framework, based on the nineteenth- century French atelier system, enabled a pluralistic and inclusive education, one that cultivated both the technical and intellectual components essential to developing the skills of visual artists.
The mission of the League is to educate students in the language and process of making art in an environment where anyone who wishes to pursue an art education can realize his or her full potential. Today, the League remains an institution run by artists in support of artists. There have never been any degrees or diplomas or set curriculum. Students come for a hands-on studio education accessible to anyone who truly aspires to develop as an artist, whether they seek to pursue a profession in the fine arts or are just beginning their artistic journey. The League fulfills this mission by offering accessible, affordable, high quality education and instruction in the context of an atelier system.
Many famous artists who have shaped the vocabulary of art worldwide have been instructors, lecturers and students at the League. They include, among many others, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Barnett Newman, Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, Man Ray, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Louise Nevelson, Reginald Marsh, Romare Bearden, Red Grooms, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, William Merritt-Chase and Al Weiwei.
As the landscape of art education continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, the League is in an enviable position. Its unique legacy of artistic training and strong financial position make it possible for the League to maintain and build on its heritage, while at the same time maintaining a balance between traditional and contemporary trends in art education in order to ensure relevance and sustainability of the curriculum and meet the needs of a new generation of artists.
To learn more about the Art Students League of New York, please visit their web site: https://www.theartstudentsleague.org.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Control and is responsible for overseeing and managing the day to day programs and operations of the League. S/he will plan and implement strategies that advance the artistic mission of the organization towards the future, shape the vision and be the guiding force behind the League’s philosophy, planning, programming, and management.
ESSENTIAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY:
Leadership and Management:
- Lead and guide long-range strategic planning that identifies and strengthens the distinct qualities within the League that differentiate the school’s position in the art education field and that attract and retain a strong, diverse community of art instructors, students and staff.
- Support, develop and direct a diverse team of art instructors, students and staff whose discussions broaden the understanding of art.
- Provide seasoned management oversight to direct and support staff, with the goal of maintaining and strengthening bonds with instructors, students, alumni, and the arts, civic, and business communities of New York and beyond.
- Enrich and strengthen the artistic standing of the League in the community and promote the long tradition and teaching mission.
- Develop innovative and dynamic art classes and program offerings with the faculty, and collaboratively with other institutions.
- Maintain balance in programming classes and instructors between the preservation of the historical tradition of the League and contemporary art trends, in order to ensure relevancy and the sustainability of the League’s curriculum and attract new generation of artists.
- Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and commitment to scholarship that can inspire the art community with a comprehensive knowledge of art across all genres and schools of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking as well as understanding of traditional and contemporary trends in art education.
Development and Fund-Raising:
- In collaboration with the Director of Development, identify, cultivate and secure financial support for the League in the form of exhibition support, annual gifts, bequests, grants.
- Identify, cultivate, and steward new donors both within the League as well as outside.
Networking and Promotion:
- Act as the “face of the League” internally and externally by engaging and building relationships with the broader art community, including alumni, art institutions (schools, museums, galleries), foundations, art patrons and philanthropists, corporations, and government institutions, in order to enlist and solicit their support for the students and programs of the Art Students League.
Financial and Planning:
- Ensure the short and long term financial stability of the League resources as well as structural maintenance and viability of the historical landmark building.
- In collaboration with the CFO/COO, prioritize and manage the competing financial needs of the different program components of the League.
The ASL is seeking an energetic and entrepreneurial Executive Director with solid art and or art history expertise and a passion for working with students of diverse interests and backgrounds. S/he must be able to articulate a strategic vision for the League and must possess strong skills in fundraising, management, and program development.
Specific requirements include:
- A record of success raising funds from individuals, institutions and/or organizations.
- Demonstrated experience managing both the budgets and operations of an arts or educational organization.
- Ability to be a compelling, energetic and enthusiastic spokesperson, capable of articulating the mission and goals of the ASL to diverse audiences, both in person and/or in writing.
- Effective mentoring of faculty, staff, and students.
- Familiarity with best practice standards governing arts programming, exhibitions, collections care, and facilities management.
- Conversant with new technologies, the ability to lead the League successfully in an increasingly digital age.
- M.F.A. or M.A. in art, arts administration, art history, or a closely related field preferred, with senior management experience as an administrator of a comparable not-for-profit art organization.
The position will offer a competitive salary and benefit package.
START DATE: Summer/Fall 2017
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION:
To apply for this position please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 professional references to:
Linda Sweet or Bill Appleton, Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attention: Christy Wall at MCAWall2@gmail.com
The Art Students League of New York is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.