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Not Just Another Pretty Face Project Assistant

Hyde Park Art Center

Project Assistant

Part time, temporary, 16-month contract, 10-15 hours a week (average)

Applications due April 15, 2022

Hyde Park Art Center seeks a Project Assistant to support the planning and implementation of Not Just Another Pretty Face, the Art Center’s signature art-commissioning project.

Wage, term, and hours:

The NJAPF Project Assistant is a part time, temporary position with a monthly salary of $1,250 per month for a 16-month term beginning in June 2022 and concluding in September 2023. The assistant should expect to work an average of 10 to 15 hours a week, with certain weeks being more or less depending on project needs.

Reports to:

The NJAPF Project Assistant will report to the Art Center’s Associate Director of Development and work closely with the entire Development team and other Art Center staff who work on this project.


An estimated:

30% of the work can be done remotely, especially in the first few months of the employment term

20% of the work will be at Hyde Park Art Center, and

50% of the work will done at homes and studios around Chicago.

Travel is required for home and studio visits, and hours will vary, but will include many evenings and a few weekends. Some travel expenses, such as parking and some mileage, are reimbursable according to Hyde Park Art Center reimbursement policies.

About Not Just Another Pretty Face:

Not Just Another Pretty Face (NJAPF) is the Art Center’s matchmaking-commissioning program for artists and potential art buyers that facilitates lasting relationships between artists and patrons, a new base of support for artists, and investment in the vitality of Chicago’s cultural community. The program occurs every several years, and involves a broad range of patrons and artists, with commissions ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands of dollars. To date, the Art Center has raised more than $1 million—half of which goes directly into the hands of artists, with the other half going to support Art Center programs. The project culminates in an exhibition of the original works of art, a catalog documenting the process, and a lively event to unveil the finished pieces, which the patrons take home following the exhibition.


This project has roughly three phases, and responsibilities will change throughout the course of the contract period. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

June – August 2022: Preparing for salons

Contact participating artists (approximately 90) to collect bios, work samples, price range, artist statements, and goals for a commission

Collate all materials collected from artists into two binders and the Art Center’s website for external viewing and create price lists and other support materials

Attend two artist information sessions

Practice presenting the project publically and speaking about all participating artists and their practices

September 2022 – March 2023: Salon & commissions phase

Attend salons around the city (approximately 20 – 25) to give presentations and discuss potential commissions with individuals

Strategize with Art Center staff about how to develop commissions

Contact potential commissioning patrons (approximately 150-200 potential patrons will be divided among NJAPF team) to learn about their interests

Arrange meetings and studio visits with potential patrons and artists

Support patrons in commissioning artists, including providing options, exploring price ranges, making suggestions, and helping them navigate the process

Arrange contracts between patrons and artists, clearly communicating the expectations of all three parties (artists, patrons, and Hyde Park Art Center)

April – September 2023: Prepare for the exhibition and catalog

Communicate with artists to ensure that the art is delivered to the Art Center by the deadline

Facilitate documentation of artwork for catalog

Collect artwork information (title, size, medium, etc.), artist statements, and artist bios from artists for catalog

Collect patron statements from patrons for catalog

With NJAPF team, plan and execute Unveiling event in September 2023.


This position is both an administrative and external-facing role, and Hyde Park Art Center is open to candidates with a variety of skills and experience. Many aspects of this position can be trained. The ideal candidate will exhibit many, but likely not all, of the following experiences and competencies:

Experience working with artists and/or arts patrons

Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills

Critical thinking skills and creativity, particularly with matching artists with patrons

The ability to work as part of a team in a unique, fast-paced, and dynamic environment.

Broad understanding of, and commitment to, the development and support of Chicago artists

Arts administration; WordPress; event planning; art handling; public speaking; or/and development experience or interest a plus, but not required

Hiring Process and Timeline:

Application Deadline: April 15, 2022

Anticipated Start Date: June 1, 2022

We will conduct phone screenings on a rolling basis with qualified candidates and expect to host interviews by Zoom or in-person (TBD) beginning May 1, 2022. We will make every effort to accommodate candidates’ schedules and needs in all parts of the process.

Organizational Culture:

Hyde Park Art Center promotes and develops a culture within its staff that reflects the values and core principles of equity, inclusion, and access. We understand that these have become buzzwords but we believe deeply in the responsibility we have to change the inequitable landscape of the arts, and we’re committed to the hard work it takes to make it better. We believe in intentional risk-taking and experimentation for good and thoughtful reasons, and work collaboratively with one another to ensure alignment and dynamism throughout all we do.

To apply, please send resume and a brief email explaining your interest in the position to Maria Nelson, Associate Director of Development at The deadline is April 15, 2022. No applicant for employment with Hyde Park Art Center shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, reprisal for engaging in anti-discrimination activities, sexual orientation, or parental status.

Job Type: Freelance/Contract/Temp
Location: Chicago, IL