Press Release

October 17, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher

‘A Perfect Fit’

Ohio Wesleyan Taps Christopher A. Yates, M.F.A., as Director of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum

Christopher Yates is the new director of Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum. (Photo by Sara Stuntz)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University today announced the appointment of Christopher A. Yates, M.F.A., as director of OWU’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum. Yates most recently served as associate director of Kenyon College’s Gund Gallery and previously taught Fine Arts classes at Columbus College of Art & Design, Tiffin University, and Ohio Wesleyan.

Yates joined Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 11 and reports jointly to Megan Ellis, M.Ed., executive director of the OWU Connection, and David Markwardt, Ph.D., associate dean of the OWU Connection.

“Chris is a perfect fit for Ohio Wesleyan and brings a full palette of exciting ideas and skills to the Ross Art Museum,” said Ellis, a 2005 OWU graduate. “He is committed to engaging the campus and community in the museum’s outreach and exhibits, and, given his successful track record, I can’t wait to see all Chris accomplishes at OWU.”

During his eight years with Gund Gallery, Kenyon’s museum of contemporary art, Yates assumed many roles. He curated successful exhibitions; coordinated residencies; supervised the Gund Associates Program that appoints students to work in pre-professional museum roles; mentored Gund Associates selected to present at the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries; taught art-making workshops for the campus and local communities; developed programming for K-12, campus, and community audiences in partnership with local organizations; improved the gallery’s budgetary and financial tracking processes; and assisted with grant-writing and grant-reporting.

At the Columbus College of Art & Design, Yates served as an assistant professor, associate professor, director of CORE Studio, and chair of Foundation Studies. At Ohio Wesleyan, he served as assistant chief of circulation for OWU’s main library and an adjunct faculty member teaching drawing I, II, and III.

Yates said he is pleased to be rejoining Ohio Wesleyan and overseeing the operations of the Ross Art Museum, which opened in 2002.

“I’ve long been aware of the Ross Art Museum’s vital role as an engaged, learning-focused academic museum,” said Yates, whose oldest child earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Ohio Wesleyan.

“In the past, I’ve written reviews of the museum’s exhibitions for The (Columbus) Dispatch, conducted writing seminars for graduating art majors, exhibited my own artwork on campus, and borrowed artwork from the collection for exhibitions at CCAD and Kenyon,” he said. “I’m excited about the possibility of contributing to the Ross Art Museum’s success, and collaborating with the campus, Delaware, and arts communities to define its future.”

Yates holds a Master of Library Science from Kent State University, a Master of Fine Art (studio art) from State University of New York, Stony Brook, and a Bachelor of Fine Art (painting) from Columbus College of Art & Design.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, opened in fall 2002 and features 2,986 square feet of exhibition space in four galleries, as well as offices and preparatory and storage spaces. Its permanent collection includes more than 2,500 works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Frank Stella, and Alfred Stieglitz. The Ross is part of OWU’s Division of Academic Affairs, which is committed to supporting the most exemplary teaching, learning, and research possible.

During the academic year, the Ross is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Monday and Saturday. The facility is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Learn more at or Follow the Ross on Instagram at owu_rossartmuseum.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at