Become an Art Curator
Become an Art Curator
Art curators work in various venues and serve many different functions in museums, galleries, schools, and private collections. They work with a number of different people from buyers, artists, staff, and others to help ensure the long-term success of the institution or collection. For this reason, it is helpful for potential curators to have a working knowledge of the different roles that a curator can fill. This short curriculum will give you a clear picture of what some of those roles are and help you determine whether or not you are suited to be an art curio.
One major function of a curio is to enhance the visitor experience through education. Curators often work with visiting curators, dealers, administrators, and others to provide information about the art that is being displayed and to present visitors with opportunities to see art in its various forms. While the ultimate goal is to enjoy the work of art, visiting the exhibitions, purchasing specific works, and other activities helps visitors develop an appreciation for it. A great deal of research goes into the decision to exhibit certain pieces, purchase certain pieces, or add other elements to the space. Being a part of such a crucial process requires art curators to have strong networking skills and understanding of the social media aspects of the internet as well as how to interpret and distribute this information.
Many art curators have specialized areas of expertise. The areas may include the following: installation, contemporary art, children’s art, music, political art, or theater. These spaces require specific skills and knowledge that are unique to the individual field. Art curators must be able to think critically about their own and their art’s place in the world and must have strong interpersonal skills in order to deal with difficult clients, deal with the business side of running an organization, and understand and use social media effectively.
The world of art curation can be very competitive, which is a good thing. This highly creative and emotional field means that a talented art curator can take an idea and turn it into a very lucrative career. Many art curators start out as artists themselves and work their way up through the ranks of this highly specialized profession. For those who do not want to spend years in the field, the option of becoming a staff writer for an online art publication may be an avenue to pursue for an art curator.
As an art curator, you are primarily responsible for the education and promotion of your artists. In this role, you will ensure that your artists have a place to display their work, making connections to people who are interested in what they create, and providing exposure for your artists in the market place. You may also be asked to coordinate art exhibits, both at local and nationwide venues. Your services as an art curator will extend far beyond these basic functions, however. A successful art curator will take the time to know his or her clients intimately, understand their tastes and preferences, be aware of and able to anticipate future needs, and be prepared to lead when the circumstances arise.
If you are interested in being involved in the world of art creation, but do not have a formal art curator training program, consider starting a degree in this field as an adjunct faculty member at a university or community college. There are many colleges and universities that offer various certificate or degree programs in contemporary and fine arts curation, including a Certificate in Social Media Analysis to a Masters in Arts in Visual Communication. An education through a traditional college or university will provide students with an excellent opportunity to gain extensive experience and learn all that they need to know about the field of art creation. This hands-on experience will prove invaluable to anyone looking to break into this highly competitive field. A certificate or degree program will also allow you to work in an environment that will allow you to grow professionally and meet other colleagues who share your passion for this fascinating and challenging field.