Monday – Friday (full-time, salaried exempt)
David Kordansky Gallery seeks a highly motivated, extremely organized, and collaborative individual to join our team as Head Preparator. Reporting to the Director, New York, and working closely with the exhibitions and operations teams in Los Angeles, the Head Preparator in New York is a critical, cross-departmental role, responsible for leading a range of significant functions of the operations team, including people management, oversight and implementation of all artwork installation and de-installation, exhibition and art fair planning, as well as facilities and storage maintenance. This position is a full-time role, Monday through Friday, and will require flexibility for additional hours based on the needs of the gallery. A generous benefits package is offered.
ABOUT THE GALLERY:
David Kordansky Gallery is one of the most dynamic venues for contemporary art in Los Angeles—and soon to be New York—and is internationally regarded as a leading gallery of its generation. Established in 2003, the exhibition program is dedicated to presenting artists’ work with passion and intellectual rigor, and to bringing the utmost care and precision to showcasing artistic visions. The Gallery is committed to presentations that blend scholarship and connoisseurship with equity and inclusion. We are an institution rooted in our hometown of Los Angeles, and in California, even as we embrace cultural activity as a fully global phenomenon.
Maintaining a culture of belonging is important to us—we strive for a workplace where every single team member feels valued, supported, and heard. We believe in the power of creativity and seek opportunities for connection, collaboration, and learning between cultures and communities. We are committed to championing policies and practices that promote diversity, foster cultural equity, and sustain an environment of inclusivity. The Gallery is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit, qualifications, and abilities. The Gallery does not discriminate, and does not permit discrimination against its employees, interns, volunteers, or applicants. We recognize our strengths lie in the broad range of individuals who contribute their time and talents to our mission, and we pledge to create a safe, accessible, and inclusive place to work.
The Gallery’s consistent growth, developed in tandem with its artists’ ambitions, occurs through the unique participation and contribution of each employee. We look for colleagues who are the most driven, the most talented, and the most creative. Every member of the Gallery’s team should aim for excellence and ingenuity, surpassing challenges and discovering new possibilities together. We value long-term commitment and loyalty, and in turn provide avenues for career advancement across all departments.
- Oversee, schedule, recruit, and train the New York based preparator team in the following duties:
- Installation, maintenance, and de-installation of artworks for exhibitions, art fair presentations, photo shoots, and private viewings
- Proper packing of artworks for storage and outgoing shipments
- Proper unpacking of artworks for condition reporting and installation
- Receipt and release of artworks
- Local collection and delivery of artworks
- Proper construction of models for exhibitions and art fair presentations
- Storage maintenance, including, but not limited to, proper labeling, organization, storage, and handling
- General facilities maintenance
- Mentor and foster growth of preparator team, including conducting regular one-on-one check-ins and offering opportunities for learning, collaboration, and socializing
- Oversee work hours, following an annual budget; monitor and approve time sheets
- Lead team in the installation and de-installation of artworks for exhibitions, art fair presentations, photo shoots, and private client viewings at the gallery
- Lead team in the installation and de-installation of artworks for clients at offsite locations (e.g. domestic settings, storage viewing rooms, corporate offices, etc.)
- Lead team in the installation, de-installation, and cleaning of artworks and other materials for Owner both at the gallery and at Owner’s home
- Properly pack and unpack artworks for storage, outgoing shipments, condition reporting, and installation
- Oversee proper storage procedures for artwork, including labeling, organization, and handling practices
- Manage offsite projects, viewings, and art fairs, representing the Gallery and maintaining high professional standards for all offsite presentations
- Maintain familiarity with the operation of installation machinery (e.g. scissor lifts, fork lifts, gantries) and large-scale rigging
EXHIBITIONS & FAIRS:
- Collaborate with exhibitions department (including Registrar(s), Artist Relations, and Media teams) to establish installation and de-installation timelines, staffing, and supply needs
- Oversee the production of new artwork, as-needed
- Oversee general contractors, painters, electricians in collaboration with other departments
- Coordinate in-house fabrication of exhibition materials, in collaboration with the Registrar, as needed (pedestals, etc.)
- Ensure safety of building, artwork, and people throughout installation, exhibition duration, and de-installation
- Oversee purchasing, maintenance, and organization of department’s supply needs
- Arrange and oversee periodic maintenance/monitoring of facilities vendors / accounts and regular servicing at main gallery; submit payment requests in a timely manner
- Oversee and direct regular in-house facilities maintenance
- With Registrar, oversee facilities at all onsite and offsite storage locations
- Ensure the safety of artwork, including maintaining high standards of artwork storage, packing, and labeling
Our ideal candidate is highly detail-oriented and creative with exceptional organizational skills; an excellent verbal and written communicator; and possesses the ability to work successfully in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. We seek candidates who are extremely self-motivated, responsible, and efficient, and who hold a sincere appreciation for and experience with navigating diverse cultural spaces. In addition:
- Knowledge of and interest in contemporary art required
- Minimum two (2) years of experience managing a team of direct reports (at least two people)
- Minimum three (3) years of experience working in a production or installation role in a sales-driven environment at a contemporary art gallery, auction house, fine art shipping company strongly preferred; experience in production in the film industry, for trade shows, or in advertising welcomed
- Minimum five (5) years of professional experience working as an art handler, installation technician, and/or preparator preferred
- Hands-on experience using scissor lifts, forklifts, gantries, and large-scale rigging equipment strongly preferred
- Prior working relationships with multiple fine art shipping companies, framing studios, and conservators (particularly in the New York-area) welcomed
- Knowledge of various artwork media and fabrication materials and methods, as well as familiarity with general best practices in art handling and packing procedures
- Basic knowledge of contemporary art fairs and some experience of related logistics welcomed
- BA in Art History, BFA in Studio Art, or related field preferred, but consideration is given to candidates with related experience
- Skills in a Mac-based environment required, including: Google Suite (Gmail, Calendar, Sheets) and Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Familiarity with databases preferred; specific knowledge of ArtBase / FileMaker, Artlogic, The Museum System, Arternal, or related databases welcomed
- Fluency in multiple languages welcomed
- Preference is given to candidates with expert knowledge of global contemporary art, including art of the African Diaspora, Latin America, and Asia
- BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
Compensation & Benefits:
- This is a full-time salaried position at five days per week.
- The pay scale for this position will be shared at the time of an initial interview.
Benefits for full-time employees, following a waiting period, include:
- Premium medical insurance (partially subsidized, at minimal cost to employee)
- Vision insurance (fully subsidized, at no cost to employee)
- Dental and long-term disability insurance
- Paid personal and vacation days
- Paid sick time
- Paid holidays and floating holidays
- Paid gallery closures
- Paid family leave
- Participation in a 401k retirement plan (with employer contribution)
- This position is based in New York, NY.
- The gallery greatly values the health & safety of its employees, and is following all COVID-19 city, county, and state business guidelines for the pandemic.
- This position is primarily remote to start. When the gallery opens to the public, the work required of this position will be 100% in-person.
How to apply
Please submit the following via email with the subject line “DKG NY: Head Preparator” to email@example.com:
- a cover letter detailing your previous experience
- a resume
In your application, please note all relevant skills requested in the qualifications above.
BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants with most, if not all, of the requested qualifications are invited to apply. Submissions including the above items will be prioritized. No phone or walk-in inquiries, please.