Curator of Academic Programs – Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Portland State University

Salary: $55,128

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This is a term-limited position anticipated to end December 2024.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University (JSMA at PSU) aspires to create an environment that sparks creativity, shares perspectives, and stirs curiosity. By providing free access to rich, inclusive, and interdisciplinary programming, JSMA at PSU creates space for new audiences and seasoned supporters to engage with art and artists while re-imagining the potential for university museums.

The Henry Luce Curator of Academic Programs facilitates the use of Portland State University Art Collection and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art exhibitions for academic and teaching purposes, focusing primarily on teaching within the museum’s galleries. This position engages with faculty to incorporate art in the collection and JSMA exhibitions into their curricula and they will also collaborate with departments and centers to develop projects and programs that bridge art with other disciplines.  This position will also curate small exhibitions in the Broadway galleries and collaborate with guest curators for JSMA exhibitions. The position may supervise student interns.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Initiate, design, and lead university class visits exploring the university’s collection and JSMA exhibitions. Research upcoming exhibitions and communicate with faculty. Create exhibition descriptions identifying related academic topics, conduct information and discussion sessions with curators, and present this information at relevant faculty meetings. Connect artworks in exhibitions and collection to course offerings and interdisciplinary academic projects and initiatives.
  •  Assist in the coordination of guest-curated exhibitions at the JSMA. The position will also curate and coordinate small exhibitions in the Broadway Galleries located in Lincoln Hall. Creating exhibitions that are relevant to programs on campus. Develop concepts with faculty and students and guide them in the selection of artworks, and the writing and editing of explanatory and interpretive text and tombstones.
  • Work with Exhibition Manager, Preparators, and interns for installations. Work with Marketing & Engagement staff to promote and publicize exhibitions. Supervise departmental interns. Train gallery attendants to guide class visits to exhibitions. Evaluate performance and provide feedback on improvement.
  •  Integrate data collection, measurement, and assessment into museum processes and programs. Monitor effectiveness, gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative statistics, and other engagement metrics for evaluation, reports, and grants and funding proposals. Ensure timely and collegial responses to questions and feedback from visitors and others.
  •  Write and edit content about Academic Programs activities and initiatives for various reports. Participate in conferences related to Academic Programs, staying up-to-date with best practices and establishing relationships with colleagues at other institutions. Assist in preparation and tracking of departmental budget, and in tracking of relevant installation budgets.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • MA in art history or related humanities field.
  • At least 3 years of experience involving museum, academic, or instructional activities, working with faculty and graduate and undergraduate students.
  • At least 3 years museum or gallery experience working with and interpreting art objects is required.
  • Strong orientation toward collaborative and interdisciplinary work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, and the ability to work both autonomously and collectively as needed.
  • Strong visual literacy and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills.
  • Highly developed organizational capabilities and ability to work autonomously and collectively in a fast-paced environment. Excellent writing and research skills.
  • Deep commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and collaboration with a cross-disciplinary approach to original works of art.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 5 years of experience working in a university museum.
  • 5 years of experience involving museum, academic, or instructional activities, working with faculty and graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Demonstrated experience developing interdisciplinary programs for university audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience developing methods for evaluating programs.

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