TAMPA, FL.- The Tampa Museum of Arts (TMA) board of trustees announced today the appointment of Todd D. Smith as the museums permanent executive director. On behalf of the entire board, I am very pleased with the selection of Todd Smith, whose experience and qualifications will serve our museum well. Todd brings a wealth of experience to the position, says Raymond E. Ifert, chairman of the board. Smith joins TMA from the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, where he served as executive director. He will begin work at TMA on October 6, 2008.
Among Smiths responsibilities as executive director of TMA, he will guide the completion of construction and opening of the new 66,000-square-foot facility in downtown Tampa, lead the museums effort to become a nationally recognized major arts destination, ensure the institutions financial stability while raising capital funds and building its endowment, shape and expand its art collection, as well as develop progressive and innovative programs to serve the community while fulfilling the museum's mission. I am honored that the board of the Tampa Museum of Art has chosen me to lead the museum during a very exciting and important period. I look forward to building upon the successes of the museum and ushering in the opening of the museum's new home, says Todd Smith.
While serving as executive director at the Gibbes Museum of Art, Smith oversaw a rethinking of the museums purpose and vision. Under his leadership, the Gibbes Museum of Art was recognized by the South Carolina Arts Commission as a top arts organization in the state. He oversaw an increase in major donor, government and volunteer support, elevated the visual identity of the museum with a rebranding campaign that included a state-of-the-art Website, and acquired important works of traditional and contemporary American art. Smith also instituted the Elizabeth and Mallory Factor Prize, an annual cash award for artists working in the Southeast.
Prior to Smiths appointment at the Gibbes Museum, he served as executive director at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville, TN, and as president/C.E.O. of The Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND. Earlier in his career, Smith served as curator of American and Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC, curator of American and Decorative Art at The Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, OH, and curator of collections at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Smith is a candidate to receive a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He received a M.A. degree in the History of Art from Indiana University, and a B.A. degree in Art History and Political Science from Duke University in Durham, NC. Smith has lectured throughout the United States and Britain on American art and has recently published several articles on museum studies.
A museum board search committee comprised of trustees and community leaders was formed to facilitate the hiring process, and was chaired by Edward M. Waller, Jr., TMA trustee and attorney at Fowler White Boggs Banker P.A. TMA is facing an important juncture in its history, and along with the board of trustees, our new director will steer this organization into the future as well as impact downtown Tampas redevelopment with the operation of a vibrant and thriving museum, says Waller. Waller was joined by fellow trustees Cornelia Corbett, Maureen Cohn, Margo Eure, Raymond Ifert, Ronald L. Jones, Daniel Murphy, M.D. and Tready Smith, as well as former trustees Sara Richter and Marshall Rousseau. The museum began an exhaustive national search for an executive director nearly a year ago with the selection of the search firm Opportunity Resources, located in New York City. Ken Rollins retired from the museum in July of this year after serving nearly three years as interim executive director.
TMAs new facility is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2009, and will become a premier venue for residents and visitors. Designed by San Francisco architect Stanley Saitowitz, the building will feature a shimmering pierced aluminum exterior, and state-of-the-art gallery spaces with innovative translucent ceilings and polished stone floors. The museum will adjoin the redesigned Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which will provide open green spaces for visitors to enjoy. The museum is currently located at an interim facility at 2306 N. Howard Avenue in Tampa.