Blue Sky seeks Executive Director

  Blue Sky is currently seeking the ideal candidate for a new Executive Director. Read the job announcement below, or download it here. Please note the deadline for applications: 5:00 PST on Monday, October 5, 2015.



Title:                    Executive Director

Status:                 Regular, full-time, exempt position

Starting Salary:    $60,000 – 70,000 DOE, plus benefits

About Blue Sky 

Blue Sky, founded in 1975, is a nonprofit gallery dedicated to the presentation of excellence in international contemporary photography whose mission is “to educate the public about photography through exhibitions and publications; to further the careers and artistic development of the artists shown; to create a dialogue among artists and between artists and the public; and to leave a concrete permanent record of their work through print and digital publications.”

With an ambitious schedule of 24-26 solo exhibitions annually and regular artist talks, Blue Sky operates from a 3,700-square-foot venue on Portland’s North Park Blocks in the historic DeSoto Building. All Blue Sky exhibitions and public programs remain free of admission charge, and artists have never been required to pay a submission fee to be considered for a show. Annual visitorship to Blue Sky’s galleries has risen to 25,000, including between 800 and 1,200 at each monthly First Thursday Opening Reception.

In addition to three full-time paid staff, Blue Sky enjoys the dedication and hard work of a large corps of passionate volunteers who contribute to all areas of operations. Specifically, exhibitions are curated by an all-volunteer Exhibition Committee, in keeping with the democratic, participatory, and members-based origins of the organization. With the strong involvement of artists, photographers, and other members of the community serving on the Board of Directors and Exhibition Committee, Blue Sky strives to remain inclusive and joyful in sincere pursuit of its mission.

The Position

We’re seeking an Executive Director who combines a passion for the arts with the business skills necessary to keep Blue Sky sustainable and growing. It is important to know that this is a management and leadership position rather than a curatorial one. The successful candidate must have a high level of initiative, must seek out and seize opportunity, be resourceful and an action-oriented doer, achieving results with limited resources. You must also be tech savvy and have experience and interest in working with IT professionals as we reach out to find new ways of connecting to and interacting with audiences around the globe. If you have these and the following skills and characteristics, this might be the job of a lifetime for you.

  • A proven leader with at least 3–5 years of professional experience, preferably in the arts, at least some in the nonprofit world, and increasing levels of responsibility,
  • Significant successful development experience in creating fundraising plans, writing grants, and making individual donor solicitations,
  • An energized presence keen to find new ways of sharing photography with the world,
  • A solid fiscal background with the ability to read financial statements as well as develop and adhere to annual budgets,
  • Ability to work with staff and Board to ensure that Blue Sky has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress,
  • A collaborative and supportive leader with a proven ability to mentor staff, and coordinate and inspire volunteers, and board members to achieve clear goals,
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of long-time volunteers,
  • Superb oral and written communication skills with the ability to market and sell ideas, promote photography, and attract potential donors,
  • An exceptional time manager who enjoys the challenge of coordinating the hundreds of disparate tasks necessary to run an organization like Blue Sky,
  • A great sense of humor, preferably irreverent, and joyfulness in your work,
  • Undaunted by the necessity for creative solutions.

How We Define Success

The successful next Executive Director for Blue Sky will:

  • Keep Blue Sky fiscally sound by raising additional revenue
  • Mentor and support staff to learn new skills, experience creative opportunities, and expand their capacity to contribute to Blue Sky and the world,
  • Implement new programmatic initiatives—both in gallery, in print, and online—as guided by Blue Sky’s current strategic plan,
  • Broaden, diversify and expand Blue Sky’s audience base and build organizational visibility,
  • Maintain a robust roster of exceptional exhibitions,
  • Continue providing a meaningful gallery experience for visitors,
  • Strive to insure Blue Sky programs are beneficial to artists.

To Apply

Please submit a detailed and compelling letter showing your passion and fit for the mission and skills outlined for this position at Blue Sky Gallery Also tell us how you heard about this position, explain why you think you should be the next Executive Director, and include a complete chronological resume, as well as the names and contact information of four references to: [email address=""] with “Executive Director” in the title by 5:00 PM (PST) on Monday, October 5, 2015 (Blue Sky’s 40th birthday).