Curator – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

About the Turchin Center

The Turchin Center engages visitors from the university, community, nation and beyond in unique and meaningful experiences with the visual arts, by offering a

wide array of dynamic and accessible exhibition, education, outreach and collection programs. These programs support the university’s teaching mission, inspire lifelong engagement with the visual arts, and create opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves and the world around them. The center is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of arts supporters, while presenting exhibition and education programming that fosters dialog about important issues facing today’s world, including social, racial and economic justice. The successful candidate will thrive in a team environment and embrace the challenge of working

for a visual arts center with a small staff that embraces a big vision. 

The largest contemporary arts center in the region, the Turchin Center presents approximately twelve annual exhibitions in six gallery spaces. The center is ideally situated at the crossroads between the university campus and downtown Boone, and actively serves both campus and community. Admission is free, and educational activities such as gallery tours, art talks, and festive exhibition openings that bring the entire community together are offered at no charge, in keeping with the center’s mission of affordable access to the arts and a commitment to community-building through a shared love of the arts. 

Additional details about the Turchin Center’s mission and programming may be viewed at

Position Summary:

The TCVA Curator plays a leadership role in researching, conceptualizing, developing               and organizing a diverse array of year-round exhibitions designed to engage campus and community groups in the contemporary visual arts. This position also provides critical leadership in developing a long-term curatorial vision for the center. The curator works closely with the center’s director in building and supporting a collaborative and inclusive organizational structure that values teamwork and participatory decision-making. Exhibition programming is foundational to the TCVA’s mission and operations. This position provides a framework for the entire staff, by effectively linking exhibition content and themes to each functional area of the Turchin Center’s operations

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Exhibition Research, Scholarship and Planning:  The position is responsible

for undertaking research and planning activities which serve as the basis for meaningful instructional, educational, public service and community-building activities encompassed by the center’s programming. Supporting this effort are the following types of activities:

  • Networking and relationship-building with artists, arts organizations,

museum and gallery professionals across the nation and beyond

  • Fostering strong connections with academic units across the university
  • Managing/coordinating the artist submissions review process (including

a proactive approach to generating a wide array of submissions)

  • Collaborating with the TCVA Collections Manager to coordinate exhibitions of works from the center’s Permanent Collection
  • Placing emphasis on exhibitions that fulfill the TCVA’s strategic goals

(for example, diversity and inclusion, support for the university’s teaching mission; and programming that is accessible and engaging to the broader community)

  • Seeking out and embracing community interests and needs, and creatively exploring curatorial opportunities to meet those needs
  • Consistently examining bias and engaging with ever-evolving ethical and equitable practices — looking at museum history, past exhibitions and programming, and creating goals that move toward a more equitable future
  • Acting as a catalyst and create spaces for dialogue, connection to artwork, and activism within our community; fostering dialog about important issues facing today’s world, including social, racial and economic justice
  • Maintaining a commitment to annual programs historically supported by

the center (including but not limited to the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition, Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, International Biennial Exhibition, and the Faculty Biennial).

  • Exhibition Programming and Design:
  • Managing/coordinating the selection process for exhibitions, in collaboration

with the Curatorial Team, drawing upon an interactive process which encourages active participation and involvement by other functional areas

  • Effectively communicating the exhibition schedule to the entire TCVA staff, while inspiring conversation/dialog that creates positive energy and engagement by the staff in the execution of each selected exhibition
  • In collaboration with the Curatorial Team, developing installation design plans for each exhibition; overseeing the installation and de-installation process
  • Developing budgets that align with planned exhibition needs and budgetary parameters established by the center
  • In consultation with the education and outreach team, developing a framework and structure for educational activities, in order to ensure meaningful curriculum connections for the university classroom and K-12 classes as well as educational resources for the community at large
  • Working closely with the Marketing Director to collect necessary informational and publicity resources (artist statements, bios, exhibition images, etc.) while developing creative and engaging communication strategies that build on the unique character of each exhibition.
  • Exhibition Installation/Implementation:
  • Serving as the center’s primary liaison with exhibiting artists
    • Ensuring completion of contracts/loan agreements
    • Working with TCVA Preparator to oversee the delivery/shipment of work
    • Working with artists to secure travel arrangements
    • Assuming primary responsibility for management of the exhibitions budget
    • Working with the Curatorial Team to ensure the highest level of professional care and stewardship is devoted to works of art in the center
  • Leadership for Exhibitions Team:
  • Fostering a strong sense of teamwork, shared vision, collaboration and positive morale among the Curatorial Team
    • Hiring and training curatorial positions, including student curatorial staff
    • Supervising and supporting other curatorial team members and students
    • Providing supervision and support for TCVA Preparator
    • Providing supervision and support for TCVA Collections Manager
    • Providing supervision and support for TCVA Curatorial Assistants
  • Administrative Functions:
  • Preparing regular reports to TCVA director, staff and board
    • Providing information and guidance to the TCVA team regarding

“best practices”

  • Working with other areas of the university to ensure compliance with requirements relating to such areas as inventory management, insurance procedures, etc.
    • Representing the center at selected events, if requested
    • Meeting with staff from other functional areas to guide the formation of programs that connect exhibition programs and themes to each of their respective areas: Marketing, visitor Services, Education and Outreach, Development/Donor and External Relations; Budget and Administrative

Position Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of curatorial experience in a gallery, museum or professional arts organization setting, with a documented record of significant exhibitions and publications
  • Advanced degree in visual arts, art history, or a closely related field; or a bachelor’s degree with significant related professional experience
  • Extensive knowledge of international contemporary art, art history, and theory; hands-on experience managing gallery spaces; knowledge of physical requirements of exhibitions
  • Demonstrated experience in contemporary curatorial practice as well as a track record of building institutional and community collaborations and partnerships
  • Exceptional public speaking, writing, and editing skills
  • Superior interpersonal skills with a proven ability to work well with colleagues, other employees, faculty members, artists, donors, and community supporters
  • Strong organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent leadership and management skills, including the ability to thrive in a team-oriented, collaborative work setting
  • Supervisory experience, with the ability to bring out the best in staff through effective leadership and mentorship; a strong desire to build a cooperative and enthusiastic team
  • Values that are culturally responsive and collaborative, allowing space for groups and communities being re-presented to speak for themselves (guest curators, artists and community collaborators)
  • Knowledge of trends in the field and commitment to keeping informed about developments in museum best practices
  • History of robust public engagement, community outreach, and educational programming
  • Demonstrated desire to approach curation through a diverse and equitable lens as well as a recognized and demonstrated history of championing the principals of DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and access) in curatorial practice
  • Interest in actively seeking out opportunities to support and develop public art and community art-making activities on campus.
  • Ability to create and manage project budgets
  • Familiarity and experience with current computer programs and technology
  • Track record as a self-starter and problem-solver who is creative, hard-working, tactful, detail-oriented, innovative and capable of working under the pressure of multiple deadlines
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • Previous experience in a college/university museum/higher education environment.
    • Experience teaching and/or coordinating programming in an academic setting
  • Application deadline: November 14, 2021
  • For additional details, and to apply for this position, please visit:

(Please note that all applications must be submitted via the website link above; applications mailed directly to the Turchin Center will not be eligible for consideration)

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