Chattanooga, TN – The Hunter Museum of American Art has named Virginia Anne Sharber to the role of executive director. The appointment by the Board of Trustees comes following a nationwide search.
“Virginia Anne will bring leadership, vision and close ties to the community to the role of executive director, and we have the fullest confidence that she will serve as an excellent steward of the Hunter Museum’s mission as we work to expand its impact and further establish it as a leading arts institution in the southeast and the nation,” said Board Chair Regina Rose.
“Virginia Anne’s diverse experience in strategic planning and fundraising, combined with her track record of arts and community leadership ideally position her to support the Hunter’s long-term objectives and expand its community engagement,” said Charlie Arant, who served on the search committee in a non-board member capacity.
Led by a committee comprised of board members, community leaders and museum members and volunteers, the national search included fifty candidates from twenty states, according to committee co-chair Norma Mills.
“The committee was very focused on identifying candidates with the critical strengths necessary to help the Hunter strategically address the key challenge art museums around the world currently face: how to meet the evolving interests of future generations while also maintaining the integrity of our mission and vision,” Mills said.
“We believe Virginia Anne will bring fresh perspective to that challenge, drawing on
her business background and her already deep entrenchment in a spectrum of arts and education initiatives across our community.”
Sharber, who has served as the interim director of the Museum since January, said “I am honored and excited to accept this role and to continue working with such accomplished and passionate staff, volunteers and board to ensure the Hunter provides our community and visitors from across the country with the highest quality experiences, programming and exhibitions. Through the collection, study and presentation of significant works of American art, the Hunter is connecting people of every background to creativity, knowledge and ideas. We are committed to growing the Museum's vital legacy as a wonderful cultural hub for our community.”
Sharber has been actively involved with Chattanooga arts organizations for a number of years,
including chairing the ArtsBuild (then Allied Arts) board, the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute, and the Cultural Cabinet of ArtsBuild (which oversaw the Imagine Chattanooga 2020 cultural planning process). Appointed by then-Mayor Bob Corker, Sharber chaired the Chattanooga Public Art Committee during the development of the 21st Century Waterfront, and is currently serving again as chair of the Public Art Committee. At the request of Mayor Andy Berke, she also co-chaired the Chattanooga Forward Arts & Culture Task Force.
A former partner at Miller & Martin where she practiced commercial real estate law for 25 years, Sharber has also served on the board of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, and has chaired the boards of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Memorial Health Care Foundation, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga. She has also volunteered on the boards of the Baylor School, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and the Bright School, where she served as board chair. She is also an active member of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.
Sharber’s appointment makes her the first woman in the history of the Hunter Museum to serve as executive director.
About the Hunter Museum of American Art - The Hunter Museum of American Art is located at 10 Bluff View in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Museum is open every day until 5 p.m., Wednesdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 8 p.m. For more information, call (423) 267-0968, or visit us on online at www.huntermuseum.org. Follow the Hunter Museum on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube.