Curator and Director of Exhibitions
Socrates Sculpture Park
Long Island City, NY 11106
About Socrates Sculpture Park:
Socrates Sculpture Park is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists in the production and presentation of contemporary public art. It is located on the East River waterfront in a New York City Park on the border of Long Island City and Astoria, Queens. Socrates is an internationally renowned outdoor exhibition space and studio program, a neighborhood park that offers a wide variety of free community events, programs, and services.
The Park was established in 1986 by the artist Mark di Suvero with other artists and community members. Once an abandoned landfill, it has been transformed into a thriving cultural space, a unique environment where artists are invited to create and present ambitious public art projects in an urban park landscape setting. The Park offers an extensive roster of inclusive public and educational programming, from events and live performances to yoga classes and meditation sessions. Education programs are provided for individuals of all ages, especially from our local community, to support life-long learning through an engagement with art and the natural landscape of the Park.
The Curator and Director of Exhibitions is a senior member of staff and leads the research, planning and implementation of the Park’s art and public program. This includes thematic and solo presentations of mid-career and established, internationally acclaimed artists and, especially through the longstanding Emerging Artist Fellowship Program and Exhibition, those at the start of promising careers. The Curator and Director of Exhibitions, in consultation with the Executive Director, creates and manages the Park’s visual arts programming and works closely and collaboratively with the Director of Program and Engagement and the Director of Education to ensure an integrated program of activity. They administer all aspects of the development, planning, and execution of the visual art program.
Socrates Sculpture Park has presented over 1,000 artist projects, performances, installations, and sculptures over the past 35 years. The breadth of the organization, scope of social programming, and history of past exhibitions can be viewed at Socrates’ website http://socratessculpturepark.org/.
Responsibilities of the position include but are not limited to:
- Work closely with the Executive Director, propose, develop, and implement visual arts programming for the park to achieve the philosophical, cultural, and strategic goals of the organization
- Take a lead on setting the annual and season program calendar, ensuring team accountability through collaborative discussions with all team members in the process
- Work closely and collaboratively with the Director of Public Programs to integrate public programming with the Socrates curatorial vision, including artist-led workshops, performances, and artist driven projects
- Work closely and collaboratively with the Director of Education to establish and work to themes relevant to Socrates’s vision and set projects together across all activities
- Work closely with the Director of Development and Communications as well as outside marketing and design firms to develop marketing and development materials to promote programs and support fundraising efforts
- Work closely with the Director of Studio and Fabrication on plans for program activities and approach to fabrication and installation of works; ensure that all works are legally compliant and meet requisite health, safety, and ADA regulations; Risk Assessments and Method Statements should be conducted and put in place when needed, consulting with experts as required
- Work closely with the Director of Grounds to establish plans and projects that work across the calendar and activities for the Park grounds
- Develop, maintain and coordinate partnerships with outside visual arts collaborators, colleagues, and other cultural organizations
- Write all texts related to the visual arts programming including, program, exhibition, and artwork descriptions for Socrates website, grant proposals, press releases, marketing materials, occasional essays for publications and in-park signage
- Manage digital publication program, creating E-Publications and print-on-demand catalogs for major exhibitions and projects (see digital page of website for examples)
- Take an active role in the development and creation of limited-editions as and when required
- Act as an ambassador, spokesperson, and advocate for the organization at events, openings, art fairs, and conferences
- Identify, develop, and cultivate relationships with Board members and potential donors or supporters for the visual arts programming
- Ensure requisite insurances covering public liability for specific artworks are in place as needed
- The Curator and Director of Exhibitions will be responsible for supervising and directing seasonal curatorial intern(s), freelance installers (in coordination with the Director of Studio and Fabrication), and occasional outside curators
- Responsible for the management and accounting of the organization’s visual arts budget
- Assist with the day-to-day operations and functions of the office
- Draft all agreements, recommendations, and correspondence with artists and partner organizations
- Work with the Communications Manager to ensure the maintenance and update of portions of the website pertaining to exhibitions, artists, artist driven events and performances, as well as manage the organization’s artist and exhibition digital archive
The Curator and Director of Exhibitions will report directly to the Executive Director and will work closely with the Director of Development and Communications, the Director of Public Programs, the Director of Education and with the Director of Studio and Fabrication.
Work Hours and Schedule:
Full-time / Monday – Friday / 10:00am – 6:00pm.
During the park’s high season, April – October, some weekends and nights will be required.
The qualified candidate will have substantial and extensive related professional experience working with other relevant visual arts organizations.
- Applicants must have a demonstrated track record of successful curatorial projects and exhibitions with previous experience, ideally with outdoor venues
- Candidate should have either a M.A. in Curatorial Studies or Contemporary Art History or equivalent experience through work and study
- Candidate must also have excellent managerial skills and be highly organized and self-directed
- The position requires very effective oral and written communications with public speaking experience, the candidate should be able to demonstrate this through examples of published written materials
- Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, with working knowledge of Adobe design programs a plus (e.g., InDesign or Photoshop)
- Prior experience of website maintenance through Word Press and database knowledge is helpful
This is a full-time exempt position with an annual salary range of $70,000 - $80,000.
Socrates offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes a 401K match and full employer paid health care coverage.