Yellowstone Art Museum names new director

Brian Knicely

Brian Knicely

Bryan W. Knicely, most recently the executive director the Evansville (Indiana) Museum of Arts, History & Science, has been chosen as the new executive director of the Yellowstone Art Museum In Billings.

Robyn G. Peterson, who had been the YAM director for more than 10 years, left the museum in December to pursue other opportunities out of state.

In a press release from the museum on Thursday, search committee Chair Sharon Peterson said Knicely was offered the job after the committee reviewed applications from all over the country.

Under his leadership, the release continued, the Evansville museum earned its re-accreditation in 2017, formed the Museum Society, reinstated the popular Museum Ball, and partnered with TEDx, Evansville and St. Vincent’s Center for Children with Autism. Knicely also brought world-class exhibitions from national and international artists to Evansville.

Before Evansville, Knicely was the director of the Coral Springs (Florida) Museum of Art. During his tenure, the museum was nominated for a Congressional Medal for Museum Services and received a first-place award in 2013 from the Knight Foundation. Knicely  is also the former president of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Before that, he was the president of the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Arts Council and served on cultural delegations to Germany, Denmark, Chile and China. He has also worked with the National Endowment for the Arts, serving as a grants panelist.

Knicely attended the Harvard Business School’s Performance Measurements for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations continuing education program. He has a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Otterbein University in Ohio. He is an avid traveler, an amateur photographer and a community volunteer.

“We are delighted that Bryan will be at the helm of our organization, complementing the fine work of our previous executive director,” YAM board President Kevin Stenberg said. “His background in finance and programming, teamed with his wide experience, will be an asset to the museum and its regional audience.”

The museum plans to introduce Knicely to the public at the YAM’s Art Auction 50 on March 3, and he plan to begin work in Billings in mid-March.

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