High Desert Test Sites is a nonprofit arts institution cofounded by Andrea Zittel in 2002. We support programs that intersect contemporary art with everyday life, creating intimate exchanges between individuals, artworks, landscape, and community, challenging art to be relevant both to our region and beyond. Programs take the shape of creative and research-based residencies, exhibitions and time-based performative events, workshops and classes, publications, and stewardship. Most recently HDTS expanded its operations by taking on the role of stewarding A-Z West—HDTS has always been inextricably linked with A-Z West, but the projects have now more cohesively merged into one project, with one mission—to provide access and opportunities for artists, our rural community, and general audiences through experimental arts programming.
A-Z West is an artwork by Andrea Zittel, located on eighty acres in the California high desert next to Joshua Tree National Park. Since its inception A-Z West has functioned as an evolving testing ground for living—a place in which spaces, objects and acts of living all intertwine into a single ongoing investigation into what it means to exist and participate in our culture today.
A key source of earned revenue for A-Z West and HDTS is West Works, a line of domestic objects designed by Andrea Zittel and produced at A-Z West for sale on our online platform, art museum gift shops, and occasional pop-ups. Our most popular object is the A-Z Container, a handmade ceramic bowl created in 6 sizes, and 4 different clay/glaze combinations. A-Z West produces approximately 100 bowls per month with assistance from work trade residents onsite for 2-4 weeks at a time.
The Production and Sales Manager works under the HDTS Director to strategize and plan production of West Works. This is largely a ceramics production role but has the capacity to expand into other production management for A-Z West and High Desert Test Sites.
Core day-to-day tasks include:
- Training work trade residents on making bowls
- Overseeing finishing of greenware, applying glaze treatments and running kiln firings, facility upkeep, ordering materials
- Maintaining general studio space, maintaining and basic kiln repairing, and troubleshooting techniques and ceramic materials
- Managing the online West Works store, fulfilling orders, including packing and shipping, for individuals, museum gift shops, and other resale orders, communicating with retailers and answering online sales inquiries
The person who will fill this position should be:
- Experienced in ceramics
- Detail and goal oriented
- Efficient with their time, organized, clean and tidy
- Capable of short- and long-term production planning
- Socially comfortable with overseeing others on production
- Independently able to exercise quality control
- Computer literate
- A proactive communicator
- Comfortable with rural, desert working and living
Areas for this position to expand entail:
- Assisting the Director with research for new resale and pop-up opportunities
- Managing the production of HDTS editions and additional A-Z West and HDTS merchandise
- Developing special editions for both West Works and HDTS
How to apply
This position is located in Joshua Tree, California, a rural town two hours east of Los Angeles. Joshua Tree is part of the Morongo Basin, a sprawling, economically diverse, and culturally and artistically rich area in the Mojave Desert. The A-Z West studio is situated at the base of Joshua Tree National Park.
Compensation: $25/hour, 21 hours per week ($28,000 annually)
Application deadline: February 11, 2022
Ideal start date: March 1, 2022
To apply please send one page cover letter, resume, and contact information for two references to email@example.com by February 11, 2022. BIPOC candidates and those from rural backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.