Phoenix Art Museum Selects Jeremy Mikolajczak to Serve as New Director

New Sybil Harrington Director and CEO will begin his tenure at Phoenix Art Museum in mid-April 2022

Phoenix Art Museum (PhxArt) has appointed Jeremy Mikolajczak to serve as the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Mikolajczak, who currently serves as the Jon and Linda Ender Director and CEO of the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, will assume his role at PhxArt, the leading and largest art museum in the Southwestern United States, beginning in April 2022.

Mikolajczak brings to the institution significant experience as a museum director and curator with a special focus on community engagement and education, having served previously as the executive director, chief curator, curatorial fellow, and faculty with learning institutions across the country. Mikolajczak was selected following a national search led by a diverse group of Trustees, community leaders, and Museum leadership.

“We are honored to announce to our community the appointment of Jeremy Mikolajczak to the role of director and CEO at Phoenix Art Museum,” said David Lenhardt, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, who chaired the national search committee. “As we set out on this search, our goal was to identify a museum leader who would be deeply invested in the success of the institution, building upon the strengths of past leaders, while bringing an innovative, entrepreneurial focus to its mission. Jeremy’s background and experience make him the right candidate to lead Phoenix Art Museum toward further growth and increased relevance to our diverse communities, empowering the Museum to meet the needs of our audience in ways that are authentic and meaningful.”

Mikolajczak brings more than two decades’ experience as a museum executive, scholar, and curator to the directorship at Phoenix Art Museum. Since joining the Tucson Museum of Art in 2016, Mikolajczak led the organization through a period of exceptional growth, including overseeing a capital campaign that powered strategic expansions to the TMA campus and enabled the museum to better engage its multicultural community, including the establishment and renovation of the Alice Chaiten Baker Center for Art Education and the Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art.

Along with his experience leading a museum in Arizona, Mikolajczak also led a museum in a major metropolitan region, having served as the executive director and chief curator of the Miami-Dade College’s Museum and Galleries of Art + Design, where he oversaw a network of six campus galleries and an international sculpture garden, founded the Museum of Art + Design, established the Cuban Exile Experience located in downtown Miami’s Freedom Tower, and helped to grow the institution’s annual impact to more than 100,000 visitors. Mikolajczak has also served as a scholar and educator at the University of Florida (Gainesville) and the University of Central Missouri.

“I am thrilled to be joining this exceptional museum and leading the next phase of Phoenix Art Museum and its prominent role as the foremost institution of our region,” Mikolajczak said. “Having spent the last six years in Arizona, I have greatly admired the work of the world-class museum, its incredible history, extensive collection, and exemplary scholarship. I feel genuinely privileged for the opportunity to work with a dedicated board, museum patrons, and diverse community, as well as an outstanding staff that mirrors my enthusiasm and drive to shape the future of a dynamic and inclusive Phoenix Art Museum. At a time of tremendous growth and opportunity in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, I look forward to building upon the outstanding achievements of my predecessors and advancing the Museum’s commitment to innovation and engagement.”

“Jeremy’s tenure at Tucson Museum of Art was marked by his energy, enthusiasm and passion,” said Mary Jo Brown, President of the Board at TMA. “Through his leadership and vision, TMA focused on enhancing the museum experience, advancing diversity through curatorial efforts and community engagement, and expanding our permanent collections to reflect our unique multicultural heritage. His influence will continue well into our future.”

Phoenix Art Museum began its national search in September 2021, after the departure of its former Sybil Harrington Director and CEO, Timothy R. Rodgers, PhD, who completed his service in July 2021, following his appointment as the Nanette L. Laitman Director of the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. During the search, Mark Koenig, the Museum’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer, has served as the Museum’s interim director. Koenig, along with the Museum’s executive team and the Board of Trustees, will comprise a key part of the new director’s transition team in the months ahead.

“I’m delighted to turn the reins over to our new director,” Koenig said. “During my own experience leading the institution, I have been inspired by the care, concern, and commitment of the Museum’s constituents. From our volunteer Docent corps to our Museum Members, from our staff to our visitors, the Museum is supported by an incredible groundswell of support from within our community. I am confident that with their continued support, along with our Board of Trustees, Jeremy and the Museum as a whole are poised for tremendous success.”

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