After we placed Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ Executive Director, Belinda Tate, KIA turned to us again. Our charge was to find a Chief Curator to be Belinda’s creative and administrative partner in leading this growing and respected leading cultural institution in a city known for its support of arts and educational organizations. The challenge would be to locate a stellar curator with both broad art expertise and the specific focus required to spearhead KIA’s plans for growth in contemporary art; and besides outstanding art history credentials and experience, the successful candidate would have the administrative skills to partner with this ambitious, creative and dedicated director.
Our extensive search included both broadcasting the position widely in the field, and aggressive sourcing and recruiting. Talent and interest emerged from every corner of the country and from diverse organizations. In the end, the difficult choice was made between two exceptional finalists. Rehema Barber began at KIA in March 2019, arriving from her position as Director and Chief Curator of the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University. Her experience included University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s School of Art + Design, University of Memphis, Memphis College of Art, Power House Memphis, and The Amistad Center at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Rehema’s passion for accessible and innovative arts programming and scholarship and her wide and deep reservoir of connections among significant and emerging artists distinguished her candidacy and prepared her for an active role in KIA’s present and future growth.