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Curatorial Assistant, Oklahoma City, OK

  • 01 Jun 2021 10:29 AM
    Message # 10580375
    Peggy Schaller (Administrator)

    Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
    Job Description

    Position Title: Curatorial Assistant
    Reports to: Director of Curatorial Affairs
    Status: Exempt – Salaried; Full-time; Permanent

    Position Summary
    The Curatorial Assistant will perform duties related to exhibitions, assisting with research, editing, preparation, installation, and public programs. Exhibition programming includes major exhibitions of work by established and international artists, group exhibitions featuring mid-career and emerging artists, large-scale public art installations, and exhibitions that focus on local artists including the ArtNow biennial. Providing curatorial, editorial and administrative support, the Curatorial Assistant reports to the Director of Curatorial Affairs; works closely with other members of the Exhibitions department including the Exhibitions Manager, Associate Curator, and Registrar; and will interface with key staff in the departments of Communications, Education, and Development.

    Designed with a focus on editorial support for curatorial projects and exhibitions, the position requires strong writing and editing skills. The Curatorial Assistant will be involved in copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking all exhibition-related texts—from exhibition proposals, checklists, wall texts, and labels to press releases, invitations, brochures, catalogues, and other print or digital materials.

    The Curatorial Assistant will be involved in all phases of exhibition planning and implementation, providing support to Oklahoma Contemporary curatorial staff as well as guest curators. The Curatorial Assistant will also assist with preparing proposals and presentations for Exhibitions Committee meetings and Board of Trustees meetings, transcribing minutes and updating the Exhibitions and Public Programs calendars.

    Oklahoma Contemporary is a non-collecting institution with an active calendar of changing exhibitions that each year comprises two major exhibitions with corresponding Learning Gallery installations, three to four exhibitions that focus on local artists, public art commissioned for the Campbell Art Park, and outdoor sculptures installed in the Sculpture Garden.

    Essential Job Functions

    • Assist with research and planning for forthcoming exhibitions
    • Provide editorial and administrative support at all stages of the publishing process across all formats related to curatorial projects and exhibitions (copyediting, proofreading, fact-checking, publication coordination)
    • Assist in writing exhibition texts including labels, didactics and press and promotional materials
    • Develop, write, and update content on exhibitions pages of the website
    • Help manage publishing production timelines
    • Prepare contracts for, and serve as liaison to, guest writers, translators, editors, and graphic designers
    • Coordinate internal and external communications and arrange meetings in connection with generating exhibition-related content and publications (traditional print and digital media)
    • Coordinate with the Registrar in managing agreements related to copyright permissions, image licensing, and rights and reproductions
    • Assist with generating exhibition briefs and providing data for grant proposals
    • Prepare and update exhibition checklists; maintain and update digital and paper records for exhibitions
    • Provide support during exhibition installation and development of public programs
    • Provide curatorial walkthroughs to donors, trustees, board and committee members, and guests as needed
    • Assist with preparing proposals, reports, and presentations and with transcribing minutes for Board and Exhibitions Committee meetings
    • Participate in donor and community relations through attendance and assistance at Oklahoma Contemporary events, including receptions, public programs, and fundraisers
    • Cultivate active ties in the local artistic community by making connections with local arts organizations, conducting studio visits with local artists and participating in critiques or juries as invited
    • Help organize and streamline Exhibitions operations
    • Update the Exhibitions and Public Programs calendars
    • Collaborate with Curatorial and Communications staff in drafting institutional style guide
    • Organize and archive files and documents
    • Submit and track exhibitions- and publications-related invoices and expenses
    • Supervise/mentor interns

    Job Requirements

    • Bachelor’s degree in art history, museum studies, English, cultural studies, or a related field
    • Impeccable writing and editing skills; editorial experience observing Chicago style rules preferred; knowledge of Association of Art Editors and College Art Association style guides a plus
    • Solid art historical research skills
    • Experience working in the curatorial or publications department at an art museum ideal but not required
    • Broad knowledge of, or keen interest in, contemporary art
    • Meticulous attention to detail and strong organizational skills
    • Excellent communication skills in interfacing and corresponding with colleagues within the organization as well as with artists and external project stakeholders 
    • Ability to meet deadlines and manage shifting priorities
    • Discretion in confidential matters
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, required
    • Experience with Filemaker Pro preferred
    • Knowledge of SketchUp a plus
    • Occasional evening and weekend work required


    • $36,000
    • Excellent benefits package includes healthcare, dental, vision, and a 403b matching plan.
    • Professional development opportunities as available.

    Limitations and Disclaimer
    The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required for the position.

    Other requirements and working conditions

    • Use of a computer/monitor, telephone, and copier daily
    • Willingness to work evenings and weekends
    • Team environment with frequent group meeting participation

    To Apply
    Submit a cover letter and resume or CV highlighting your education and experience along with two references here.

    Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Unfortunately, because of the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to give status updates.

    Oklahoma Contemporary strives to demonstrate leadership by modeling excellence and best practices for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. We believe in the power of human creativity and value the opportunities for connection and learning that exist when cultures and communities come together in collaboration and understanding.

    We commit to championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster cultural equity, and create an accessible and inclusive environment. Oklahoma Contemporary does not discriminate based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion. We recognize our strengths lie in the broad range of people who contribute their time and talents to our mission and are dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive place for them to explore creativity.

    About Oklahoma Contemporary
    Oklahoma Contemporary is a non-collecting, multidisciplinary art center that features innovative work by living artists. Programming includes three major components: 1) a varied exhibition schedule in the galleries and in our public art space, Campbell Art Park; 2) a robust educational program for all ages, with classes and studio space for weaving, ceramics, photography, painting, printmaking, digital media, wood and metal sculptures; 3) performances, screenings, and events, both produced by Oklahoma Contemporary and in partnership with other organizations.  Oklahoma Contemporary aims for inclusivity in its programming and outreach.

    About Oklahoma City
    In the middle of its third decade of an enormously successful urban renewal plan, Oklahoma City is in a period of exciting growth. This growth has spurred developments in the city’s recreation and nightlife, with the construction of new parks, bike trails, restaurants, breweries, and bars. In the urban core, commercial centers have been developed, revitalizing residential neighborhoods with charming historic houses (though the housing remains some of the most affordable in the nation). The construction of Oklahoma Contemporary’s new building represents a significant commitment on the part of the city and its inhabitants to a new era in contemporary culture.

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