The Director of Curatorial Affairs is a member of the leadership team and contributes to the overall mission of the organization. This position requires a proven leader with excellent organizational skills and demonstrated expertise in the arts. The Director of Curatorial Affairs facilitates identification and selection of relevant artists and ideas and oversees administration, implementation and evaluation of Oklahoma Contemporary’s exhibitions. The ideal candidate is prepared to take on significant responsibility at the arts center and is adept at mediating the needs of multiple internal and external stakeholders. The Director of Curatorial Affairs, under the direction of the Artistic Director, supports Oklahoma Contemporary’s vision as an outward-facing, visitor-centric contemporary arts center.
- Ensure timely delivery of mission-driven exhibitions of living artists’ work.
- Oversee development and implementation of the exhibition schedule in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Exhibitions Committee. Schedule should include a selection of original exhibitions curated by Oklahoma Contemporary staff, incoming traveling exhibitions, guest-curated exhibitions, public art projects and ephemeral happenings across a range of styles, disciplines and media.
- Administer major public art initiatives on Oklahoma Contemporary’s grounds and in Campbell Art Park.
- Manage ongoing 18- to 24-month exhibitions calendar in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Exhibitions Committee, developing ideas, research and proposals for review.
- Work with the Artistic Director to develop and manage the Exhibitions Department annual budget, including the tracking of income and expenditures, and reporting.
- Engage and lead full-time staff, seasonal interns and a rotating team of guest curators, designers and others in the Exhibitions Department, recruiting for new positions and contract workers as projects and budgets allow.
- Work with Exhibitions Manager and others on exhibition design and installation, production of labels, gallery guides and texts.
- Project manage publications for exhibitions, including original exhibitions catalogues.
- Work collaboratively with the Director of Education and Public Programs on programming inspired by and in support of exhibitions, providing exhibition research and information well in advance of exhibitions openings.
- Work collaboratively with the Communications Department to supply exhibition research, high-resolution images and curatorial narrative to ensure all needed material is completed within a timely manner for marketing and communications needs.
- Collaborate with Development Department in fundraising and grant writing for exhibitions.
- Maintain good working relationships with local, regional and international artists, galleries and art dealers, collectors and peer institutions that benefit Oklahoma Contemporary’s reputation and programming goals.
- Travel domestically and abroad to conduct business, visit artists and accompany patrons.
- Under the advisement of the Artistic Director, establish and maintain relationships with local, regional and national institutions for partnerships and collaborations.
- Oversee meaningful after-action exhibition evaluations, interpret data and communicate results to help further the arts center’s programming and engagement goals.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Artistic Director.
- Graduate degree in Art History or related field with a minimum of seven to 10 years’ experience required.
- Demonstrated project management and evaluation experience.
- Able to meet deadlines and ensure completion of projects on schedule and on budget.
- Demonstrated knowledge of art, critical theory, cultural history, art markets and current affairs and proven familiarity with curatorial processes and best practices.
- Proven experience managing teams of employees and contract workers.
- Recognized experience in public speaking and superior organizational, writing and verbal communication skills.
- Experience engaging diverse artists and audiences through exhibitions and/or programs.
- Ability to balance multiple priorities.
- Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
- High level of computer literacy including, Microsoft Office Suite and calendaring.
- Familiarity of database systems - experience with FileMaker Pro and Tessitura is a plus.
- Extremely organized, reliable, punctual, accurate and detail-oriented.
- Integrity, honesty, good judgement.
- Fluency in Spanish or Vietnamese is a plus.
- This is an exempt position that includes benefits. This position typically works Monday through Friday, with weekends and evenings as needed, including frequent Saturdays. Work schedules may require expanded hours and flexibility when needed, and the successful candidate must attend major Oklahoma Contemporary events and programs, as well as all department-related activities.
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 car required; legally registered and insured for daily use.
- Use of a computer, telephone and printer/copier daily.
- Team environment with frequent group meeting participation.
- Physical requirements: combination of sitting, standing, walking and driving on a frequent basis. Lifting modest weights (up to 30 pounds) may be required occasionally.
Oklahoma Contemporary is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, different abilities, gender identity or veteran status.
Submit a cover letter and CV here to apply.
About Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary is an inclusive center for the arts where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience art, encounter new ideas and ignite their creative potential. Through visual art exhibitions, performances, public programs, community-building initiatives, outdoor installations and special events, Oklahoma Contemporary creates opportunities for everyone to come together in celebration of contemporary culture and artistic expression. With year-round classes and seasonal youth camps across multiple disciplines, the arts center’s education programs encourage youth and adults to express their ideas across a variety of media and learn new skills. Oklahoma Contemporary believes that art is for everyone and places accessibility and education at the center of all programming. Admission to exhibitions is always free. Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.
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 City
In the middle of its third decade of economic and cultural expansion, Oklahoma City is a surprisingly lively and diverse American city. Recent growth has spurred exciting developments in the city’s recreation and nightlife, with the construction of new parks, a streetcar system, bike trails, shops, restaurants, breweries and bars. The construction of Oklahoma Contemporary’s new building in the urban core, originally scheduled to open in March 2020 prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, represents a significant commitment on the part of the city and its inhabitants to a new era in contemporary culture.