Exhibition Designer/Lead Preparator – Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, Moraga, CA

Salary: 55-62 yr
Job Type: Full Time
Job Number: 2015-1603787
Location: Moraga, CA 94556
Closing: 11/20/2022 11:59 PM Pacific

Saint Mary’s College of California Background:
Founded in 1863, Saint Mary’s is a residential campus nestled 20 miles east of San Francisco in the picturesque Moraga Valley. Based in the Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts traditions, Saint Mary’s currently enrolls more than 4,000 students from diverse backgrounds in undergraduate and graduate programs. The De La Salle Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guide the spiritual and academic character of the College. As a comprehensive and independent institution, Saint Mary’s offers undergraduate and graduate programs integrating liberal and professional education. Saint Mary’s reputation for excellence, innovation, and responsiveness in education stems from its vibrant heritage as a Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts institution. An outstanding, committed faculty and staff that value shared inquiry, integrative learning, and student interaction bring these traditions to life in the 21st century. The College is committed to the educational benefits of diversity.

Reporting to the Director of Collections and Operations, this position is responsible for art handling, transport, packing, and unpacking; exhibition preparation, installation maintenance, de-installation, framing, and unframing; collections assistance in terms of care documentation and storage; and maintenance and management of collection and exhibition support areas and supply inventories, such as storage and art preparation room, tools, hardware, and lighting. Works with the Director of Collections and Operations to assess the condition of works in the permanent collection and performs some conservation as needed. Designs and produces exhibition-related graphics, including didactic panels, catalogs, posters, brochures, and announcements. Trains assistant preparator, interns, and volunteers.

1. Exhibition Installation and Design:

  • Assist in the planning, installation, lighting and de-installation of museum exhibitions
  • Prepare the exhibition galleries for exhibitions, including repairing walls, painting gallery walls and casework; moving and installing temporary walls, cases, and pedestals; and installing art according to accepted museum standards and best practices
  • Design and build appropriate display and storage units for collection objects, and works with contractors as needed
  • Assist with maintenance of all gallery media and interactive displays
  • Monitor the ongoing condition and appearance of exhibition installations; changes lights in galleries as needed
  • Schedule and complete duties as required by individual exhibitions in collaboration with Director of Collections and Operations and Curator
  • Handles art, following all safety standards, museum policies and procedures, and professional best practices
  • Mats and frames collection and loaned objects as needed
  • Pack, unpack, and transport exhibitions, incoming and outgoing loans, and gifts
  • Assist with organization and implements the transportation and delivery of objects, including local and long-distance driving and loading and unloading of shipments
  • Work alongside technicians and temporary art installers in the preparation of artwork and the installation and deinstallation of exhibitions and permanent collection rotations
  • Handle and transport art for photography, conservation, curatorial research, education programs and appraisals
  • Confer with supervisor, curators, artists, other museum departments, and staff from other institutions, in planning for the design and construction of temporary and permanent exhibits

2. Maintenance of the Permanent Collection:

  • Maintain the cleanliness and order of the permanent collection storage and installation workshop areas and care supplies
  • Assist with the maintenance, documentation, and storage of the permanent collection
  • With the Director of Collections and Operations, assess the condition of the works in the permanent collection
  • Photograph objects from the art collection
  • Aids in the designs and installation of art screens and other storage systems in the collection storage areas as needed
  • Works With the Director of Collections and Operations to implement appropriate art handling procedures to ensure the safety of artwork and successful installations
  • Assist the Director of Collections and Operations in general maintenance of the collection and art storage facilities, including conducting inventories and filling condition reports.
  • Oversee the maintenance and repair of tools and equipment; estimates costs, purchases materials, equipment, and supplies

3. Exhibition Design:

  • Develop, in coordination with Museum staff, posters, flyers, electronic flyers, press releases, website postings, and social media promotion materials for each exhibition and event
  • Work with the staff to produce exhibition materials
  • Design exhibition space, including hanging, signage, labels, and lighting of exhibits
  • Work with the Curator and other staff to design and produce exhibition graphics, posters, and other materials
  • Design and create signage, including exhibition title walls and art labels

4. Curatorial Support Duties:

  • Assist curator with installation budgeting and tracks installation and art handling-related expenditures according to museum procedures
  • Confer with supervisor, curators, artists, and other museum staff in planning for the design and construction of exhibitions;
  • Participate in exhibition planning to determine detailed production schedules, estimating time and cost involved, and general procedures
  • Maintain the collection and installation tools, equipment, and hardware in proper working order, maintains and organizes work areas including loading dock and prep rooms
  • Carefully maintains display inventory, including frames, glazing, pedestals, and platforms
  • Assist with setup and breakdown of programs and events
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Experience and Qualifications


Education:  REQUIRED: BA or BFA in Fine Art, Art History or related field   PREFERRED:

Experience: (years required and applicable field of experience): Minimum of five to seven years of experience as a preparator or exhibitions designer in a museum setting with some supervisory experience preferred. Some experience teaching studio art will be a plus.

Skills/Abilities: (e.g. computer skills, written & verbal skills, trades, laws, procedures, technical) Must have thorough knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign software. Must have skills as a photographer and graphic designer and be familiar with carpentry.Must have knowledge of basic materials conservation practices. Must be able to work independently and as part of the Saint Marys community. Must be able to train interns, students, and volunteers. Must be able to set and maintain deadlines. Must have good communication and interpersonal skills.

Other Requirements: (e.g. travel, weekend/evening work) Must be able to work evenings and weekends as needed. Must be able to drive large box trucks and lift heavy items during pick-up and delivery of art to the museum.Supplemental Information

Supplemental InformationApplication Instructions: Please apply online at http://jobs.stmarys-ca.edu

 Include a cover letter that specifically addresses how you meet the qualifications and are prepared to support the mission of the College

  1. A resume
  2. The name and contact information for three (3) professional references. 
  3. In applying for a position, candidates sign a consent authorizing a broader inquiry which may include reference checks, a motor vehicle check, and a third party background check.

Saint Mary’s is an equal employment opportunity employer. We support inclusive excellence and are committed to creating a safe and welcoming community for all.

College policy prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, gender stereotyping, and gender identity, taking a protected leave (e.g. family medical or pregnancy leave), or on any other basis protected by applicable laws.

Saint Mary’s College annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Saint Mary’s College Report, please go to the Public Safety website at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/public-safety/annual-security-and-fire-safety-report-0. To request a paper copy please call Public Safety at (925) 631-4284. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

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