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Full-time ,
submitted by
University Galleries

Curator and Preparator

Illinois State University

Job No: 512502
Work Type: On Campus
Location: Normal, Illinois

Title: Curator and Preparator

Division Name: Academic Affairs

College/Unit: Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts

Department: University Galleries

Campus Location: Normal, IL

General Summary

The Curator and Preparator assists the Director and Chief Curator in organizing, installing, publicizing, maintaining, archiving, and providing programming for exhibitions and collections. The Curator II also independently curates exhibitions and creates public programming opportunities. The Curator and Preparator writes press releases and explicatory texts; engages in frequent communication with artists, art galleries, collectors, faculty, and students; photographs and documents exhibitions; organizes and updates image archives; co-designs books, brochures, and posters; and updates the gallery's website and social media accounts. The Curator and Preparator functions as the Preparator and works closely with the Director, Registrar, and student workers to install and maintain exhibitions. The Curator and Preparator also maintains and updates the exhibition supplies and tools; supervises the technology inventory; and supervises or assists with all aspects of exhibition installation. The Curator and Preparator also helps maintain the permanent collection, trains gallery interns and graduate assistants, acts as a liaison to faculty and students, and engages in various other administrative duties.

Additional Information

University Galleries’ mission is to foster a greater understanding of contemporary art in our university and community, while providing support for artists at pivotal points in their careers. University Galleries produces exhibitions and interpretive programming that reflect the shifting dynamics of contemporary artistic practice. Consistent with our university heritage, we cultivate a laboratory of expression that embraces various approaches to creating and experiencing art. We bring socially engaged art, performance, and experimental process to our region, while furthering the careers of artists through residencies, exhibitions, publications, and funding for new projects. In 2021, University Galleries was awarded the Unit award by the Center for Civic Engagement to recognize the unit of the university doing the most to promote civic engagement.

University Galleries’ exhibitions feature both emerging and established artists, often those whose work has not been previously presented in a comprehensive manner. We have organized the first U.S. surveys for artists including: Jen Bervin, Bethany Collins, Carrie Schneider, Walter Robinson, Melanie Schiff, David Wojnarowicz, Alexis Rockman, Martin Wong, Juan Angel Chávez, Nadia Hotait, Jason Lazarus, Siebren Versteeg, Michelle Grabner, Allan Sekula, Tony Tasset, and Stephanie Brooks. We have also organized large-scale exhibitions or projects for artists including: Terry Adkins, Aram Han Sifuentes, Basim Magdy, Caroline Kent, T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, Alice Hargrave, Oliver Herring, Dianna Frid, Claire Ashley, Kendell Carter, Jeanne Dunning, and Keith Haring, among many others. We have organized group exhibitions including An Infinite and Omnivorous Sky, Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy, The UFO Show, The House of the Seven Gables, Sad Songs, post-hypnotic, and pixerina witcherina, among others.

Since 1988 we have traveled more than 30 exhibitions to 80 museums, universities, and arts centers. During this same period, we have produced more than 50 exhibition-related books that have been distributed internationally. Through such activity, our program has made a considerable national impact.

We occupy a spacious storefront space in Normal's Uptown Station, which houses the Amtrak station and City Hall. From this centrally located facility, we have great visibility and access to community members.

Required Qualifications

1. Bachelor's degree in Art History, Curatorial Studies, Studio Art, or a related field.
2. Two years' experience working in an art gallery or museum.
3. Strong knowledge of contemporary art and general knowledge of art history.
4. Ability to catalogue and handle works of art, including storage, packing, framing, and general conservation techniques.
5. Ability to design and supervise exhibition installations.
6. Demonstrated digital design skills.
7. Proficiency with digital photography.
8. Strong interpersonal skills.
9. Extemporaneous speaking skills needed to conduct tours of exhibitions, introduce speakers, and talk to press.
10. Demonstrated excellence in writing.
11. Ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people.
12. Valid driver's license

Desired Qualifications

1. Master’s degree in Art History, Curatorial Studies, Studio Art, or a related field.
2. Experience in K-12, higher education, and/or community education.
3. Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite.
4. Experience setting up and operating exhibition-related technology including computers, projectors, monitors, and speakers.
5. Grant-writing experience.

Work Hours

Generally Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm with occasional weekend and evening hours as business needs dictate

Functional Expectations

Must be able to complete the following with or without a reasonable accommodation:
1. Remain at a workstation for extended periods
2. Move about in various locations on and off campus as needed to complete day-to-day work
3. Effectively communicate on a daily basis

Proposed Starting Date


Salary Rate / Pay Rate

$35,000 > $37,000

Required Applicant Documents

Resume / C.V.
Cover Letter
Reference List
Writing Sample

An idea for an exhibition the you would like to curate

PLEASE NOTE: These documents are required to be submitted online in order to complete the application process. Please have these documents ready prior to clicking on "Apply"

Special Instructions for Applicants

Initial application review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

All application materials must be submitted online. Application materials submitted via fax, email, or mail will not be accepted.

Please prepare in advance separate documents representing a cover letter, reference list (specifically, the names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of at least three professional references), a writing sample that evidences strong knowledge of contemporary art, and resume/C.V. to attach to this application.

Contact Information for Applicants

Donna Long

Important Information for Applicants

This position is subject to a criminal background investigation based on University Policy 3.1.30 and any offer of employment is contingent upon you passing a satisfactory criminal background investigation. You may not begin work until the criminal background investigation results have been received and cleared by Human Resources.

Illinois State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

If you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other state or federal law you may request an accommodation by contacting the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 438-3383. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will hold any confidential information you provide in confidence.

If you are having difficulty accessing the system, please call Human Resources at (309) 438-8311.

Application Opened: 11/15/2021 09:00 AM CST
Application Closes: Open Until Filled

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Normal, Illinois