I first heard of Thomas & Associates in 2001. I had just finished grad school and was looking for work. A professor who was friends with the company’s current president, Geri Thomas, told me I should check out the art recruiting and consulting firm. I sent out a resume to them and never heard back.
I now see that as a sign of a good recruiter. I had no experience or particular aptitude for commercial arts administration, and that would have been clear from even a quick look at my resume.
Founded in 1999—just two years prior to my own discovery of the firm—Thomas & Associates provides staffing, consulting and professional development seminars exclusively for arts and culture. The company has taken on top-tier clients like the Studio Museum, James Cohan Gallery, and Sean Kelly. Thomas herself has taught arts administration at NYU since 2002, and helped to create a certificate program at the university in Art Collections Management and Display. Prior to that time, Thomas owned a gallery, worked in PR for Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, and held the Director of Exhibitions and Collections position at the Jewish Museum.
13 years after my original application, I reached out to her again. I wanted to know what recruiting firms do, between fielding grad student resumes and helping museums put on major exhibitions. Now that I’m a blogger, I finally get to find out what happens behind the scenes at the offices of Thomas & Associates.