Founded in 1952 on Seattle’s historic First Hill, Frye Art Museum showcases local and global artists who are exploring the issues of our time, as well as contemporary scholarship on historical subject matter. A catalyst for our engagement with contemporary art and artists is the Founding Collection of Charles and Emma Frye, prominent turn-of-the-century Seattle business leaders who sought to promote international understanding through the arts and culture of their time. The Fryes envisioned a museum for everyone, where the community comes together and where all people are welcome, regardless of their socioeconomic background. More than six decades into our evolution, we continue to honor our founders’ visionary legacy by providing free access to art and ideas.
At the heart of the Frye’s mission is a deep commitment to serving the extraordinarily diverse communities that make Seattle and the Pacific Northwest such a vibrant locale. Our goal is to stay relevant to the citizens of this landscape and to evolve as our communities evolve, by giving voice and space to a broad range of artists, by continuously cultivating new audiences and by creating an environment in which multiple identities, perspectives, and forms of expression are shared and valued.
THE POSITION: Associate Curator
REPORTS TO: Chief Curator
SUPERVISES: Curatorial Interns & Volunteers
FISA STATUS: Exempt
BENEFITS: Medical, dental, 403(b), paid vacation and sick time, and more
The Associate Curator will provide essential support in the planning and implementation of an ambitious program of exhibitions and publications, generating original presentations of both contemporary and historical artworks, overseeing guest curated projects, and organizing select traveling shows. The position is expected to be highly engaged in the regional arts scene and to propose contemporary exhibitions that highlight a diversity of visual artists and interdisciplinary practitioners from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Exhibitions of historical works will bring fresh perspectives to the Museum’s collection or explore related artists, movements, and themes through strategic loans. The successful candidate will be highly organized and self-motivated, have exceptional research, writing, and interpersonal skills, and be committed to continuing and enhancing the artistic excellence of an institution on the leading edge of arts programming. This position will work under the supervision of the chief curator and collaborate closely with the manager of exhibitions and publications, head of collections/chief registrar, and manager of exhibition design and production, and other museum staff.
- Assist the chief curator in the development and implementation of a dynamic multi-year exhibitions and publications program.
- Conceive and organize select contemporary exhibitions and serve as lead curator of the biannual Boren Banner Series public art initiative.
- Oversee select traveling exhibitions and manage relationships with external guest curators as needed.
- Conduct scholarly research on artists and artworks as needed for exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications.
- Draft, edit, and proofread wall, web, and publication texts.
- Develop collegial relationships in the arts/museum field and identify potential partnerships and collaborations.
- Draft loan inquiries and request letters.
- Collaborate closely with the exhibition management, registration, and design/production teams to support the implementation of exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and related projects.
- Adhere to production deadlines and budgets set by the manager of exhibitions and publications and director/CEO to ensure successful completion of all projects.
- Develop and lead presentations and exhibition walkthroughs for internal staff, volunteers, and gallery guides as well as the press, key stakeholders, and the general public.
- Collaborate with the education team to develop exhibition-related public programs and tours, and to identify and cultivate community partnerships.
- Collaborate with the development team on grant applications and other fundraising activities, including participation in donor events as needed.
- Collaborate with the communications team to strategically promote exhibitions and curatorial content through social media, marketing, and the Museum website.
- Other administrative and curatorial tasks as assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES REQUIRED
- Demonstrated research capabilities and strong record of organizing compelling exhibitions.
- Knowledge of late 19th and early 20th century Western art as well as modern and contemporary arts and culture.
- Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.
- Excellent organizational and project management skills, including ability to work independently and prioritize multiple projects with competing deadlines.
- Strong writing, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills.
- Knowledge of the curatorial field and best museum practices.
- Professional demeanor and demonstrated ability to work well with internal colleagues and external stakeholders including artists, gallery representatives, donors, colleagues in the museum field, and the general public.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, in particular Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, and understanding of current social media and communication platforms.
- Proficiency in foreign language(s) is an advantage.
- M.A. in Art History, Curatorial Studies, Arts Administration or equivalent preferred
- At least 3 years curatorial or project management experience