Art is less of a discipline and more of a passion for Arif Khan. This love and a deep connection to New Mexico has driven the recent appointment of Khan as the new director of the UNM Art Museum—the largest fine arts collection in the state.
Khan will be leading this state treasure as of Aug. 15. He is returning to his hometown and alma mater with over 14 years of experience in contemporary visual arts organizations and art museums.
He has expertise in the fields of museum administration, fundraising, collections management, exhibition development, museum education and strategic planning with contemporary artists.
The University’s staff and College of Fine Arts (CFA) are eager for the museum to move into its next era of exciting exhibitions and contributions to the campus, community and state under Khan leadership.
“As interim director and dean, I am very pleased that Arif will be returning to UNM,” said CFA Dean Kymberly Pinder. “He is bringing great energy and a strong commitment to the arts in New Mexico.”
Khan will be leaving his post as the Mary Price Ratrie Curator of Art at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston, W.Va., a position he has held since 2011.
Khan has deep ties to New Mexico. Prior to working at the Clay Center, he was Gallery Director at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, Curator of the Governor’s Gallery in the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe and Artist Coordinator for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
With a bachelor’s degree in History from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., Khan went on to received his master’s degree in American Studies from The University of New Mexico and a master’s in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute in London.
In 2012, he completed The Getty Leadership Institute’s “Museum Leaders: The Next Generation” professional development program.