Rachel Jobe Reese has been appointed as director and curator of the Cress Gallery of Art beginning in  January.

“I’m excited to get on campus and engage with the energetic faculty artists and students,” Reese says. “It’s a very exciting time for contemporary art in Tennessee and Chattanooga. I’m thrilled to bring my passion for contemporary art and artists in the Southeast to UTC through artist-driven conversations, and I’m looking forward to joining new colleagues in the city and state that already share artist-centric missions.”

The Cress Gallery is located inside the UTC Fine Arts Center, which is undergoing a major renovation that is scheduled to be finished in fall 2020. Reese will help guide the gallery’s plans for the increasing number of exhibitions as well as initiatives to create deeper connections with both the campus and Chattanooga as a whole.

She also will oversee the care, maintenance, and management of the university’s permanent collection of art and will teach one undergraduate course per year.

“The capital renovation of the university’s Fine Arts Center is timely, especially with Rachel’s expertise and leadership in mind,” says Joe Wilferth, interim dean of the UTC College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re excited about this new space, and we’re looking forward to the vision Rachel brings to our campus. She will help us reimagine and envision innovative ways that contemporary art will connect and inspire collaborations among campus, Chattanooga-based and regional partners.”

Reese was at Telfair Museums in Savannah, Ga., from 2015-19 where she led the permanent collection of modern and contemporary art. Before Savannah, she curated exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa., and Deitch Projects, Petzel Gallery and Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York.

She is a former editor of Burnaway magazine and was responsible for the organization’s first print issue. Her writing and artist interviews have appeared in BOMB Daily, Temporary Art Review, TWELV and Art Papers.


She holds a master’s in fine arts from City College in New York and a bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of Georgia.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call 423-425-4363.
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