Center for Creative Photography

Following a national search, Todd Tubutis has been named director of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.  

Tubutis has 20 years of experience in organizational leadership and management, strategic planning, fundraising, and institutional outreach, as well as record of innovative exhibition development and curatorial initiatives.

Since 2019 Tubutis has served as director of the Art Museum of West Virginia University.  From 2015 to 2019, he was associate director at the University of Nebraska’s Sheldon Museum of Art.  Earlier in his career, Tubutis was executive director of Blue Sky Gallery, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts in Portland, Oregon.

Todd Tubutis, the new director for the Center for Creative Photography. Image by Walker Pickering

Tubutis replaces Staci Santa, managing director of Arizona Arts Live, who served as interim director since last May. Tubutis will begin his appointment in mid-July.

“I am delighted to introduce and welcome Todd Tubutis as the next director of the Center for Creative Photography,” said Andy Schulz, vice president for the arts at the University of Arizona. “Todd comes to us with a wealth of experience working at, and leading, cultural institutions located within flagship public research universities. I look forward to working closely with Todd and the entire CCP staff during this exciting next phase in the center’s history.

“I also want to thank Staci Santa for the great work she has done in the interim role, setting us up for success with this search, and beyond.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the talented staff of the Center for Creative Photography as its next director,” said Tubutis. “It is a true honor to be asked to lead such an exceptional institution – to steward its history and chart a dynamic and inclusive course for its future – especially as CCP prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2025.”

Tubutis has a passion for photography.

At Blue Sky Gallery, he grew organizational capacity, diversified funding streams, and furthered its reputation as a champion of emerging photographic artists. Tubutis independently curated an exhibition for the Wright Museum of Art, Conflict and Consequence: Photographing War and Its Aftermath (cited as “The Best Photography Exhibition of 2015” by critic and curator Pete Brook). And at WVU, he strategically expanded the Art Museum’s collecting plan to include photography, secured the organization’s first dedicated photography acquisition fund, and organized photo-specific public programs, exhibitions, and donor cultivation events.

“CCP is singular in its commitment to the medium and unique in its importance as a museum, archive, and interdisciplinary hub at the University of Arizona. I look forward to collaborating across campus and with our Arizona Arts partners to continue integrating the Center into the student experience. And I can’t wait to get to know Tucson and the many dedicated supporters of CCP who champion its ongoing success.”

The Center was co-founded in 1975 by then University President John Schaefer and Ansel Adams and its initial collection contained the archives of five photographers—Adams, Wynn BullockHarry CallahanAaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer. The collection has grown to include 270 archival collections, including well-known 20th-century North American photographers Lola Álvarez BravoW. Eugene SmithEdward WestonDavid Hume KennerlyLouise Dahl-WolfeRichard Avedon, and Garry Winogrand

There are over eight million objects in the CCP collection including negatives, work prints, contact sheets, albums, scrapbooks, correspondence, writings, and memorabilia. In addition, the Center also actively acquires individual photographs by modern and contemporary photographers. There are currently more than 100,000 works by over 2,200 photographers.