Second Street Gallery, an established and well-regarded nonprofit contemporary art space in Charlottesville, Virginia, is seeking a new curator.
Second Street Gallery (SSG) was central Virginia’s first artist-run alternative arts space, and is today one of the longest established nonprofit organizations in the country focused solely on the art and ideas of our time. Since its founding in 1973, SSG has served the community with continuous exhibition programming, and is recognized as one of the leading nonprofit proponents of contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic region. SSG is one of only 64 organizations to be included in The Warhol Initiative, an invitational program designed to bolster the organizational capacity of small and mid-sized, artist-centered organizations across the country. Established by a group of artists affiliated with the University of Virginia and the local community, SSG is committed to providing Charlottesville and central Virginia with access to the best in contemporary art and artists, and to fostering an active and open appreciation of this art by engaging, promoting and educating around the ideas and issues underlying it.
The gallery is located inside the City Center for Contemporary Arts (CCCA) building in downtown Charlottesville. Completed in 2003, the CCCA also houses two other non-profit groups, Live Arts (a community theater) and Light House (a youth media organization). Since its incorporation, SSG has been governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (12-20 individuals) and managed by a professional staff. SSG presents 10-12 separate exhibitions each year. In addition, SSG presents a full calendar of related educational and outreach activities that complement its exhibition season. The gallery is supported by memberships, donations from the local community, sponsorships, and grants from foundations and the state.
SSG’s mission is to enliven Virginia through access to the best in contemporary art and artists and to inspire new ways of thinking, seeing, and doing. To this end, SSG strategically promotes contemporary artists through the presentation of their work in a professional gallery setting, and encourages an appreciation of contemporary art and culture by educating the public through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, classes, tours, and publications.
The Curator is primarily responsible for leading the artistic programming with a clear sense of SSG’s history and mission to bring the best of contemporary art and artists to Central Virginia. The curator is also a passionate advocate for the contemporary arts in general, and the gallery in particular.
This is a part time position, 10 – 12 days per month. The Curator reports to the Gallery Director. Salary is negotiable based on experience, and the gallery has a flexible working environment.
Role and Responsibilities
Plan & Schedule Season
- Scout artists: visit art fairs, make studio visits, coordinate ARP*
- Schedule season six months to one year in advance: create a cohesive presentation of artist’s work; calendar shows and artists visits; assist with supporting programs.
- Write and negotiate artist contracts, subject to director’s approval
- Work with staff to schedule and arrange artist travel, shipping, and delivery and return of artworks
- Create budget for exhibition programming and participate in locating funding from individual donors and foundations
- Work with artist to select works for each exhibition
- Work with artist to determine exhibition layout, signage, etc
- Work with staff and/or artist to install and light show
- Write didactics, wall labels and any other exhibition literature
- Oversee one catalogue per year (if sponsorship available)
- Attend ‘First Fridays’ openings and give remarks/introduce artists
- Give Curatorial talks for approximately 3-4 shows per year
- Facilitate sales when appropriate
- Coordinate with and advise Director on securing exhibition sponsorships, meet with donors as needed, help prepare information for potential sponsors
- Advise the director about relevant grants and deadlines, produce sections of grant applications pertinent to exhibition programming and curator travel
- Participate in special events, including the triennial new art auction
- Plan and participate in Season Preview event (if scheduled)
- Suggest artists and themes for Artist Forum talks, work with staff and/or board on implementation
- Attend Board Meetings and/or Board Committee meetings on request to discuss upcoming shows, exhibition budgets, and so forth
- Generally liaise between artists and staff
- Serve on juries or panels if requested/as time allows
*SSG also promotes a national call for artist submissions via ads and its website, the curator is assisted in reviewing these proposals by an Artists Review Panel (ARP). The ARP consists of 8-10 artists and arts professionals representing the Central Virginia region, and also individuals who participate in the national contemporary art dialogue as exhibiting artists, critics, curators, and art historians.
- Five+ years experience working in a museum and/or contemporary art space, or the equivalent in advanced postgraduate training.
- Direct responsibility in areas of curatorial management and gallery operations, including:
I. A history of curatorial achievement within the museum and/or contemporary gallery world that matches the schedule, sensibility and mission of SSG
- Experience managing, collaborating with, and developing programs for the multiple stakeholders that make up a contemporary art gallery’s community including donors, artists, volunteers, board members and local media
III. Experience creating and successfully managing exhibitions and budgets
- An MA (or higher degree) with a focus on art history or related area
Please send your application as a pdf attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following in your application
1) A letter stating your interest in the position, your passion for the contemporary arts and any relevant experience or skills you could bring to the job (fundraising, management etc.)
2) Résumé, detailing education, professional experience and accomplishments
3) List of at least three professional references we may contact