Jamaal B. Sheats
Jamaal B. Sheats, MFA is Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries and an Assistant Professor in the Fisk University Art Department. An alumni of Fisk, both positions enable Sheats to work with students, faculty, and the community in ways that integrate his expertise and passion for the arts, education, and mentorship. As a member of the Art Department, has taught Sculpture, Arts and Ideas, Drawing, and Independent Study courses for students with an interest in sub-specialties.. In his director and curatorial appointment with the Fisk University Galleries, he successfully integrated the Arts into all academic disciplines and increased engagement with the Middle Tennessee community through novel and innovative approaches. Sheats’ implementation  of multi- and inter- disciplinary programs, such as the Fisk University STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Series, Babies in the Gallery (BIG), Visiting Lecturer Series, and Gallery Ambassador Program for Fisk students and community members, are outcomes of this goal. During Sheats’ 3-year tenure as Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries, he has also curated 15  art exhibitions; welcomed over 16,000 visitors from across the globe; created the Fisk University Galleries Fellowship for post-doctoral scholars; and built a continuous pipeline of charitable giving from the annual Friends of the Gallery Campaign that he instituted in 2016. In 2017 Sheats’ led efforts to secure funding from the Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation to establish the Fisk University Museum Leadership Program, which is a 2-year certificate program that aims to diversify art museum leadership.

In addition to his appointments at Fisk, Sheats founded Sheats Repoussé his art gallery and studio in 2003; as well his art education organization, the Charlotte Art Project, in 2013. Within the arts community Sheats is a well-known and respected artist who has maintained a strong and consistent domestic and international exhibition record for nearly 2 decades. Most recently, he curated Scape: African American Artist Inspired by the Built Environment, Origins of Influence Part II: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Modern Art, Carl Van Vechten: Depth of Field Selections from the Fisk University Galleries and the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library Collection At the Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery at Fisk University. In 2015, he curated the Topography exhibit at Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to that, he was commissioned by the city of Nashville to create his work, Eight Octaves, for Nashville’s Music City Center in 2013. Sheats was also commissioned to create works for the National Museum of African American Music, Flying Solo Nashville International Airport, and continues to receive accolades for his art. In 2016 his Origins of Influence: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Modern Art  and Topography exhibitions were voted by the editors of the Nashville Scene as “Best Art Comeback” and “Best Group Exhibit,” respectively. He has also been featured in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Numbers, and Nashville Arts Magazine, as well as several other arts journals, newspapers and magazines.

To support his commitment to the arts and art education, Sheats is a board member of the Arts & Business Council, HBCU Alliance of Museums and Galleries, and Association of Academic Museum & Galleries. He maintains leadership positions within the local and national arts communities is a board member of the Arts & Business Council, HBCU Alliance of Museums and Galleries, Association of Academic Museum & Galleries. He also holds positions on the Frist Art Museum Education Council, the Nashville Conference on African-American History Culture Planning Committee, the Associations of Art Museum Curators Professional Practices Committee, “Plan to Play” Steering Committee for the Metro Parks and Recreation, and is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Nashville.

Jamaal B. Sheats, MFA obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from Fisk University and a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Art (SMFA)-Boston and Tufts University. He completed a postgraduate Teaching Fellowship at SMFA-Boston and Tufts University, as well as a Teaching Artist-in-Residence at the Nashville Public Library.