Art in Public Places Director

Recruitment #220302-UNCE-138


Cover letter, Resume and  References (up to three with names & contact info.) is required to be submitted with your application.


The Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. We strive to build a diverse team comprised of the best and brightest individuals to support our mission to lead, cultivate, and amplify the transformative power of the arts for all Oklahomans and their communities. The Oklahoma Arts Council is currently seeking enthusiastic and creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to public service to contribute to our team.

The Oklahoma Arts Council seeks qualified applicants for the position of Art in Public Places Director. This position is responsible for administering the State of Oklahoma’s 1.5% for Public Art Program. The Oklahoma Arts Council is responsible for managing the administrative aspects related to the selection and placement of artwork in state facilities. This position works with other state government representatives to develop calls for artists and qualifications that lead to the selection of public art to be included in capital projects.

The successful candidate will exhibit a robust knowledge of public art best practices, strong organizational and communications skills, sector knowledge in visual art and general construction, and site-specific project management. This is a full-time, non-exempt position that reports directly to the Director of Visual and Public Art with state retirement and insurance benefits, including health, dental, life, and disability insurance. Salary is commensurate with experience with a cap of $58,047.

The Art in Public Places Director is responsible for the following functions:

Program Planning
• Perform professional level project management duties within the state’s program, requiring knowledge of the legislation, rules and regulations, and state laws
• Work closely with the Director of Visual and Public Art to manage high value public art projects
• Develop internal policy and procedures related to the acquisition and placement of public artwork
• Simultaneous management of multiple art projects at various stages from the initial point of contact to the final installation of the artwork
• Prepare interagency agreements, memorandums of understanding, and contracts for commission of artwork
• Prepare and monitor the annual Art in Public Places budget, prepare, and monitor project specific budgets
• Work closely with the Art in Public Places Program Assistant for completion of program finances and event planning
• Work collaboratively with the Director of Collections Management to maintain records in the collection management system for the Oklahoma Public Art collection
• Develop proposals for program growth and potential projects

Committee Management
• Serve as the liaison between the Oklahoma Arts Council, oversight committee, community groups and committees, artists, clients, architects, contractors, other regulatory officials, and the public
• Meet with client agency and project design team to learn about the project and discuss possible project locations or approaches; attend community meetings to introduce the project to the community.
• Organize and lead meetings with selection committees specific to each project and the Art in Public Places Oversight Committee
• Establish and nurture professional relationships with team members of other state agencies, fiscal partners, design teams, neighborhood community organizations, arts organizations, educators, and other stakeholders
• Uplift the role of the committee members and project partners to lead and participate in program activities

Commissioning of Artwork
• Lead the artist selection process, prepare Requests for Proposals and Qualifications, conduct outreach to potential artists
• Foster professional relationships with artists
• Conduct site visits to construction sites, fabrication shops, and artist studios to monitor project progress
• Draft and negotiate contracts with artists and other contractors; monitor contract compliance, ensuring that all contract requirements, deliverables, and deadlines are met; approve and track payments
• Facilitate interaction between the artist and the client agency, project design team (architect, landscape architect, etc.), and the community
• Anticipate and address possible problems or issues that may arise in course of the project, and use initiative, creativity, and diplomacy to address and resolve these conflicts
• Ensure the artist’s project is documented in all project design and construction documents; review all bid documents and specifications for full and correct documentation of the artwork into the construction documents and specifications
• Ensure that all phases of the project are thoroughly documented, maintain organized paper and digital files, and with the assistance of the Director of Collections Management, organize the transfer of essential documents to the Collections archives.

Public Programs
• Work collaboratively with the Director of Marketing and Communications to develop a public awareness plan for the Art in Public Places program and for each site-specific project
• Develop and coordinate activities of the Oklahoma Public Art Network
• Work collaboratively with the Curator of Education and Engagement to develop and manage educational resources and public tour programs
• Act as a liaison with municipalities and local arts agencies to educate and assist in the development of public art programming across Oklahoma.

The Art in Public Places Director is part of the Visual and Public Art department of the Council and will work collaboratively with the agency’s Curator of Capitol Exhibitions, Curator of Education and Engagement, Director of Collections Management, and Art in Public Places Program Assistant on special projects and other agency initiatives as needed. Any other duties as determined by the Director of Visual and Public Art or Executive Director.

Successful candidates will:
• Possess strong written, oral communications, and interpersonal skills
• Take a proactive approach and work independently
• Collaborate as a team player with other agency staff to deliver quality programs and services
• Be adept at interacting with people of various social, cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds, embracing diversity and inclusion
• Demonstrate excellent planning and organizational skills
• Meet deadlines consistently
• Be attentive to detail and committed to excellence in all aspects of work
• Present a professional appearance
• Remain knowledgeable of current trends, best practices, and research in visual art and program evaluation
• Experience organizing and managing site-specific projects and working closely with artists, fabricators and/or contractors is essential
• Knowledge of best practices in public art, records management, legal policies, ethical standards required
• Knowledge of principles and practices of budget preparation and monitoring, event planning and production, and architecture and design principles a must
• Actively pursue outreach and partnerships to expand services to underserved populations
• Develop and maintain a network of professionals and organizations in the field of public art
• Manage department budgets.

The Oklahoma Arts Council is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of OAC to prohibit unlawful discrimination and to provide equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to political or religious opinion or affiliation, race, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other reason prohibited by law. It is the policy of OAC to provide equal opportunity in employment, advancement and other conditions of employment to all qualified applicants and employees. It is the intent of OAC to fully comply with all applicable state and federal equal opportunity and non-discrimination laws and regulations. 

A successful application will consist of:
• Cover letter addressed to the Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director with information that reflects the applicant’s qualifications for the position
• Resume with relevant experience and a list of degrees held and/or certifications
• List of up to three references with names and contact information (letters of reference not required at this time)

While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.


• Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in visual art, museum studies, art history, architecture, arts administration, public art, or an arts- related field; master’s degree with specialization in an arts-related field preferred
• Minimum of five (5) years of curatorial, exhibitions, arts administration, and collections management or registrar experience required
• High-level project management experience required
• Experience in administering or coordinating art exhibitions and working with artists required
• Basic knowledge of conservation techniques essential
• Skilled with standard electronic collections management systems (i.e. Past Perfect, FileMaker Pro, Access, or equivalent database knowledge preferred)
• Exemplary knowledge of technology, with a high level of computer literacy including the Microsoft Office 365 Suite (Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and SharePoint), database technologies, and mobile computing, among others
• Skilled in organizing work and managing time with ability to complete tasks requiring accuracy and attention to detail
• Bilingual, Spanish-speaker a plus

Key Requirements/Physical Demands:
• Pre-employment OSBI background check must be successfully completed
• Must hold driver's license and be able to drive a vehicle to various locations across the state if necessary
• Must be able to lift and carry up to 40 pounds; have experience and the ability to lift and handle art objects of various shapes and sizes; familiarity with power tools
• Limited overnight travel may be required, as well as attendance at occasional evening or weekend meetings or events.