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Exhibition and Collection Preparator

Employer
Kenyon College
Location
Gambier, Ohio (US)
Salary
not specified
Date posted
Mar 1, 2024

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Other Arts
Employment Type
Full Time

The Gund at Kenyon College seeks a full-time skilled exhibition and collection Preparator to bolster our rotating exhibition programs and expansion. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Admin and External Affairs (temporarily, until the Manager of Exhibitions and Collections position is filled), this role entails collaborative work with our Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Education, Exhibitions and Collections Registrar, Collection-care experts, and consultants working with us on project-basis, art handling personnel, visiting artist(s), and guest curator(s). The ideal candidate will actively collaborate with colleagues on campus and within peer museum institutions.

The Exhibition and Collection Preparator plays a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement, housing, and installation of collections and loan objects within The Gund and on the Kenyon campus while maintaining professional museum standards of care and maintenance in permanent collections and exhibition areas. Responsibilities include systematic cleaning, monitoring the condition of works, conducting annual inventories, and assisting with lighting maintenance. The ideal candidate embodies the essential values of the institution's mission, demonstrating kindness, respect, and integrity while championing living artists, understanding art museum pedagogies, and staying informed of best practices in handling modern and contemporary works of art. Collaboration with the curatorial team requires ingenuity and expert skill during exhibition planning, preparation, and installation. Additionally, the candidate must administer museum procedures and safety protocols to ensure object and collection care.

This job description outlines the essential duties and responsibilities associated with this classification. It may not encompass all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required for the role. Management retains the right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities as needed without restriction. Additionally, tasks may be added or modified as necessary.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Maintain housing for permanent collection and objects on loan and in storage, and care during transportation. Utilize expertise to coordinate optimal planning for collections and exhibitions with other team members. Manage assigned projects, develop a plan, and execute, with attention to detail, to completion with minimal oversight. Prepare, install, and de-install objects for exhibition, including matting and framing, constructing mounts, surveying object condition, and conducting minor cleaning and conservation treatments as necessary. Perform daily visual inspections and maintenance of exhibition spaces and storage areas, including dusting and light cleaning of collection objects according to museum best practices. Serve as a resource for proper art handling methods and art storage practices and model these practices for our student intern program, Gund Associates. Assist in maintaining lighting in exhibition spaces, including changing lamps, ensuring light levels, and and maintaining an inventory of lighting supplies. Expedite object move requests and document location changes. Assist registration activities in the periodic and annual inventory of collections. Monitor gallery and storage environment using electronic data loggers and report any irregularities. Act as a courier for artwork both domestically and internationally. Maintain inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibit preparation and collections maintenance, and submit requests for supplies and materials to the supervisor as needed. Pack and unpack, install, and deinstall artworks in conformity with established conservation specifications. Prepare galleries for installations—including but not limited to cleaning, scraping vinyl, demolition, painting, patching, and placing/assembling fabrications. Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment or independently. Interact with Gund Associates (student intern program) and model best practices as a learning opportunity for students. Move all necessary tools, hardware, installation materials, worktables, blankets, ladders, scaffolding, personnel lifts, work carts, bins, lights, light canisters, audio-visual equipment, stanchions, fabrications, mounts, etc. Make, mount, position, and install wall labels and other graphic elements for exhibition display. Maintain an organized and clean working environment and communicate inventory/supply needs to the supervisor on a timely basis. Maintain an inventory of museum furniture. Work closely with contract art handling personnel and delegate work assignments to achieve installation expectations. Perform general maintenance as needed - sweeping, wiping down, and sanitizing in the exhibition space. Assist and support any maintenance, service, inspection, and construction personnel who are authorized to work in the gallery, preparatory, and storage facilities.  Perform weekly check-in of external storage facilities and ensure proper storage efficiency. Perform related duties as required.

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • Demonstrated experience includes handling, installing, and mounting various 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art objects.  Knowledge of installation materials and techniques; knowledge of fine art packing with an emphasis on detail. Fundamental understanding of preventative conservation as it relates to collection care and preservation. Basic electrical and/or woodworking skills are a plus. Ability to interpret and follow detailed instruction. Demonstrate creativity in problem-solving and work within a budget. Conscientious, self-motivated, detail-oriented, resourceful, flexible, and punctual. Ability to communicate effectively, remain organized, and execute details precisely under pressure. Strong computer skills, including familiarity with museum collection database programs, ie: embARK and Digital Exhibition Rendering software (In Design). Experience in the safe operation and maintenance of a variety of hand and power tools, scaffolding, ladders, hydraulic lifts, forks, and scissor lifts. Access and employ job-related computer software (i.e. Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Gmail, Google calendar ) at an adequate proficiency level. Ability to read and follow diagrams and schematics. Strong initiative and work ethic with flexibility to respond to and act in changing circumstances, often under pressure. Excellent time management and organizational skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, Art History, Studio Art, Museum Studies or a closely related program from an accredited college or university. 5+ years of related experience within a professional arts or historical organization. Experience in museum art handling, installations, and preparation. Experience working strategically and closely with museum registrars.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS The physical requirements and work environment characteristics outlined below are essential for successfully performing the duties of this job or may be encountered while doing so. During the course of this job, the employee is frequently required to follow and give oral and written instructions and may need to stand, walk, or sit for extended periods with limited breaks. They will use their hands to handle objects, reach, and perform tasks above shoulder height. The job may also involve climbing, squatting, kneeling, and crouching. Occasionally, the employee may need to lift up to 50 pounds unassisted. Visual abilities required include close and distance vision, color perception, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The job requires movement within the varying museum spaces, between buildings and campus grounds, as well as ascending and descending stairs and steep terrain. Outdoor weather conditions, sometimes extreme, may be encountered. The noise level is typically moderate and does not usually require hearing protection equipment.  

Kenyon College is a nationally prominent, private liberal arts college where academic excellence goes hand in hand with a strong sense of community and close relationships among students and professors.

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries at Kenyon are competitive and commensurate with experience. In addition to an attractive salary, Kenyon offers benefits for employees and their family members. Children of employees are eligible for 100% tuition waivers at Kenyon, and through the Great Lakes Colleges Association, children of employees are eligible for 90% tuition waivers at fifteen other of the nation's finest liberal arts colleges.

We also offer health, dental and vision insurance, TIAA retirement, and many other benefits, including provisions for a spouse, families, and domestic partners. Details about benefits as well as conditions of employment are described more fully in our Staff Handbook.

Kenyon is a unique place to live and work. To discover why it should be your next home, click here.

 Kenyon College is an equal opportunity employer and applications from members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged. It is the College's policy to evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical and/or mental disability, age, religion, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law. Kenyon College has a strong commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. Please visit our Diversity at Kenyon website.

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