New Mulvane director in June

Mulvane Art Museum is going to welcome a new director, Connie Gibbons, on the first day of June.

Gibbons has been studying in Drury College in Springfield, MO since 1980. She got her bachelors of science in photography in 1984. Later in the same year, she continued her education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. She majored in photography and art history and graduated in 1987 with a Master of Fine Arts. According to Delene Van Sickel, administrative office assistant in Mulvane Museum, Gibbons is currently working as the Executive Director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center in Casper, WY. She will take over the duties of director from June 1.

Other than her expertise in art research and museum collections, Gibbons also possesses good social skills such as staff development, community outreach, fundraising and public speaking. She has taken a variety of museum-related executive positions. Her work experience stems from Lubbock Fine Arts Center, TX. Gibbons served as an assistant director from January of 1984 and was promoted to director in 1987. She stayed in this position until 1994, when she took the job of director of the Cultural Arts Department.

In the following 16 years, Gibbons has served as director of River Music, executive director at B.B. King Museum, and executive director at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Most of her duties involved direct planning of orientation documentaries and acting as a liaison to other museums and art organizations. In January 2011, Gibbons began working in Nicolaysen Art Museum, where she is still working.  

Gibbons’ joining adds a huge asset to Washburn’s VPAA office.

“We are excited that Connie will be joining the Mulvane Art Museum. She brings a wealth of experience from a wide variety of venues. We look forward to her visionary leadership as we strive to bring wonderful exhibitions to the Museum which appeal to a wide variety of audiences,” said Nancy Tate, associate vice president of the VPAA office. Tate has served a short term as interim vice president in 2010 and assumed her current duties in fall 2004.

Randy Pembrook, vice president of academic affairs, appreciated Gibbons’ communication skills as well as her rich experience in museum administration. He noted that Gibbons has been instrumental in developing partnerships and has enthusiasm for educational outreach to the community.

“Her work in curating, writing grants, and leading accreditation efforts will be invaluable to Mulvane and to Washburn University and we enthusiastically welcome her to Topeka,” said Pembrook.

Mulvane museum is holding the exhibitions including Small Deaths, hand-colored photographs by Kate Breakey and Rediscovered, paintings and prints by William L. Haney, until June 9. On April 5, Mulvane museum will hold the Art Department Student Exhibit, an annual exhibit featuring works by Washburn University Art Department undergraduate students.

For more information, please contact Dena Anson at 785-670-1711 or check the news release at