Chris Reitz
Chris Reitz

As fall gets underway, the Department of Fine Arts’ Hite Art Institute gears up for a new season of exhibitions and programs with a new director at the helm.

Chris Reitz will preside over the Cressman Center and Schneider galleries, the city’s leading teaching galleries. He will also direct the Critical and Curatorial Studies academic program and its related activities, develop curriculum, engage in interdisciplinary teaching and facilitate research opportunities.

Ying Kit Chan, chair of the Fine Arts Department, praised Reitz’s background, saying he had strong experience in art theory and criticism, project management and curation.

“Dr. Reitz studied with Hal Foster and Molly Nesbit, two of the world’s most important art critics and curators. His credentials, intelligence and abilities are top-notch. I have no doubt that he will be able to provide strong leadership and vision for our teaching galleries, and elevate the critical and curatorial program to the highest level,” Chan said.

Originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, Reitz just finished his dissertation at Princeton University. Before that, he was a project manager at Public Art Fund in New York, a non-profit arts organization that produces large-scale public art projects and exhibitions. He also spent a number of years working as an independent curator, curating shows in New York and Paris. A grant allowed him to do research on contemporary art in Kosovo and Albania. He writes art criticism and has been published in the German arts journal Texte zur Kunst.

Reitz said the job appealed to him for many reasons, especially for how much potential the Hite spaces hold. On campus, Schneider Hall houses three galleries, while the downtown Cressman Center for Visual Arts boasts an exceptional 2,000-foot, storefront gallery space.

“We can have an international artist with a solo exhibition at the Cressman, a juried exhibition in one of the Schneider galleries, and a curatorial student show in Gallery X. The capacity to offer such a range of programing is really exciting” Reitz said.  “Our gallery resources here have an educational mission, but education can be conceived broadly. It’s a laboratory space that engages other creative producers and collaborators and allows us to be one of the leaders of the contemporary arts conversation in the region.”

Reitz said Hite’s upcoming season offers a number of unique opportunities for the public to enjoy, especially three exhibitions planned in October for a regional photography conference held in Louisville and Open Studio Weekend, which is a partnership with Hite and the Louisville Visual Art Association.

UofL Hite Art Institute 2015-16 Gallery Exhibition Schedule

Cressman Center for Visual Art

October 1 – 31

Throwing Light/ Catching Shadows

Midwest Society of Photographic Education Invitational


November 6 – 15

Open Studio Exhibition


Saturday, November 14 at 11 am – 5 pm

Open Studio Weekend is a partnership of the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute & LVA

November 6: Kick off for Open Studio Weekend
November 14-15: Open Studio Weekend
November 6-15: Exhibition at Cressman/Public


November 20 – January 8

Joshua Watts: Resonant Disclosures


Schneider Hall Galleries


October 1 – 31

We the People: Photographs by Milton Rogovin


October 1 – 31

On Fruited Plains

Midwest Society of Photographic Education Multi-Caucus Exhibition


November 20 – December 18

MA and BFA Thesis Exhibitions

Niki King
Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.