Title: Executive Director

Status: Regular, full-time, exempt position

Starting Salary: $65,000 – 72,000 DOE, plus benefits including health/dental, paid sick/vacation leave, and holidays


About Blue Sky 

Blue Sky, founded in 1975, is a nonprofit gallery dedicated to presenting international contemporary photography. Our mission is “to educate the public about photography through exhibitions, publications and dialogue; and to further the careers and artistic development of the artists shown.”

Three full time staff and a large corps of passionate volunteers produce an ambitious annual schedule of 20 - 24 solo exhibitions 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 are free and artists do not pay a submission fee to be considered for a show. Blue Sky sees over 22,000 visitors a year.

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. All exhibitions are curated by a volunteer Exhibition Committee that makes decisions autonomously with the participation of but not the direction by staff. Blue Sky is a creative and financially stable nonprofit that owns its own space, with an annual budget of about $320,000.

The successful candidate will have a high level of initiative, will seek out and seize opportunity, be resourceful and action-oriented, achieving results with limited resources. You should:

  •  Be a proven leader with significant professional experience and increasing levels of responsibility, preferably in the arts and the nonprofit world.

  • Have significant successful development experience in creating fundraising plans, writing grants, and making individual donor solicitations, building on our current small but committed pool of major donors.

  • Have the ability and commitment to manage and execute our diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, which seeks to diversify Blue Sky’s artists, photography, visitors, volunteers, board and staff.

  • Be an energized presence, keen to find new ways of sharing photography with the world. The successful candidate will be able to engage deeply in the photography community locally, nationally and internationally and either have or quickly gain deep knowledge of photography – history, processes and trends.

  • Have a solid fiscal background with the ability to read financial statements as well as develop and adhere to annual budgets,

  • Have the ability to work with staff and Board to update and ensure a long-term strategy which achieves its mission, and make consistent and timely progress,

  • Be a collaborative and supportive leader with a proven ability to mentor staff, and coordinate and work well with a diverse group of long-time volunteers,

  • Possess superb oral and written communication skills with the ability to market and sell ideas, promote photography, and attract potential donors,

  • Be an excellent project manager with the ability to assist staff and volunteers in prioritizing and delegating tasks, anticipate potential problem areas and work collaboratively to find solutions.

  • Have a great sense of humor and joyfulness in your work.

The position requires frequent evening and weekend obligations, including artist talks, meetings of the Board, Exhibition Committee, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Subcommittee and special events, as well as a presence in the larger Portland arts community.

How We define Success

The successful next 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 BlueSky’s audience base and build organizational visibility,

  • Maintain a robust roster of exceptional exhibitions and provide a meaningful gallery experience for visitors,

  • Ensure that Blue Sky programs continue to be beneficial to artists.


To learn more about Blue Sky, please visit:                             


To Apply

Please submit a detailed and compelling letter showing your passion and fit for the mission and skills outlined for this position. Tell us how you heard about this position, and include a complete chronological resume, as well as the names and contact information of four references to: with “Executive Director” in the title by 5:00 PM (PST) on Monday, July 22, 2019. No phone calls please.