Brenau University has appointed Nichole Rawlings as director of galleries and custodian of the permanent art collection. She has been the office manager of the Performing Arts and Art Galleries Support in Brenau’s College of Fine Arts and Humanities since 2012. She has always had a love for the arts and is an artist herself. She will assume her new position effective July 1.
“Nichole’s academic background in art history, knowledge of Brenau’s art collection, and ability to manage multiple projects and competing demands with grace and aplomb make her the right choice as the new gallery director,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Nancy Krippel. “Brenau is fortunate to have Nichole already on staff so she can step into the position with an understanding of our systems and requirements.”
Rawlings attended Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, Georgia, and was a Brenau University Firespark! camper. During her high school career she studied under the associate dean of fine arts and humanities, Mary Beth Looney, and under former Brenau University Gallery Director Mary Jane Taylor. After high school Rawlings went on to study at Elon University in North Carolina, where she majored in art history and minored in digital art and Italian studies. She interned at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in the exhibitions department, gaining valuable skills in exhibit planning and implementation. While in college, Rawlings studied abroad in Florence, Italy, for three months and learned about art, the Italian language, and amazing food.
After graduating, Rawlings went on to study at American University in Washington, D.C. She obtained a master’s degree in art history with a specialization in the Italian Renaissance. While in D.C. Rawlings was able to intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in adult programming. Her combined experience in both exhibitions and programming has served her well in supporting the Brenau University CFAH mission.
After finishing her master’s degree, Rawlings moved back to her native Georgia and obtained a job at Brenau University. She has been with Brenau for two years and values every moment and connection made while there.
“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to serve as Brenau University’s Gallery Director,” Rawlings said. “In my two years at Brenau University I have witnessed the immense potential of the permanent art collection to impact students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. While our designated gallery locations contain curated shows throughout the year, Brenau’s campuses themselves serve as exhibition spaces that make our collection accessible. The breadth and quality of work held in the Brenau University Permanent Collection establishes our university as a strong contributor to the arts culture of Northeast Georgia.”