Arizona Arts announced that Jill McCleary will be leaving her role at Acting Head at the University of Arizona Museum of Art to become a full-time caregiver to her mother.
McCleary has been the museum’s Acting Head since 2018. She joined the UAMA in 2012 and oversaw the establishment of its Archives of Visual Arts. As founding archivist, she supervised the acquisition of over 700 linear feet of artists’ archival materials and hundreds of works of art. In 2016, she became Head of Archives and Preservation.
As Acting Head of the UAMA, Jill has provided very effective leadership during a critical time in the museum’s history. She oversaw a major upgrade to UAMA’s security system, a renovation of its lobby and galleries, a significant expansion of the museum’s online programming, and a partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum to restore Willem de Kooning’s Woman-Ochre, which will be back on view at the UAMA in October.
“As Jill departs, the museum is poised to assume a critical role in fulfilling Arizona Arts’s ambition to ensure that all students, regardless of major, have meaningful experiences in the arts,” said Andy Schulz, vice president for the the arts. “We are also in a strong position to realize the long-standing goal of creating a new facility for this cornerstone campus and community institution.”
Olivia Miller, curator of exhibitions at the UAMA, has agreed to serve in the role of Interim Director, effective immediately.
Miller also joined the museum in 2012, initially as Curator of Education, overseeing the docent and education programs before becoming Curator of Exhibitions in 2014. In addition to reinstalling the permanent collection galleries, Olivia has curated more than 30 exhibitions during her tenure. Her most recent exhibition, The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, was the UAMA’s largest in over a decade, was accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, and will travel to other museums in Portland, Oregon, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Schulz said that he anticipates that Arizona Arts will launch a national search for the next permanent director of the UAMA in the coming months.
“In the meantime, please join me in wishing Jill the absolute best in her future endeavors and in welcoming Olivia to her new role during this exciting time for the museum.”