Information About Becoming a Curator
An art curator is an artist’s representative in the art world. A curator is typically a professional art dealer or administrator of an organization’s holdings and is involved in the management of art collections with an interest and involvement that range from advisory positions to managing contemporary art exhibitions. The term “curator” has become a common expression in the art world, but it is derived from the word” curator” in the field of curiosa, the term applied to an art collector. In recent years, “curator” has come to be used as a generic term for an art expert, even if he or she is not a museum professional.
An art curator performs many functions for his or her organization. As a leader, she or he acts as an interpreter for his or her audiences, often communicating messages regarding the culture, society, and history of their particular region, art historically, and/or in context to current events. A curator’s job is to interpret a collection of works for his or her patrons. This involves both planning and executing strategies to acquire and exhibit art pieces.
Art curators also organize and plan programming that highlights works by specific artists, themes, or areas of art. They may also coordinate and develop programs for community viewing that highlight the contributions of various types of art to the local, national, and international culture and art scene. Curators also organize speaking engagements at schools and other community gatherings that address the impact of art on the community and the value of creativity and innovation to students and the greater good. Another function of an art curator is to prepare and present programs and events that promote awareness and appreciation for the visual and performing arts. Several factors determine whether an individual is the right person to pursue this career path, including the talent, educational background, skills, and training, as well as connections to other professionals who can help one develop their career.
In the United States, there are currently no specific requirements for becoming an art curator. However, most institutions of higher learning that are involved with the art world usually require students to participate in a four-year bachelor’s degree program leading to a master’s degree. Students will have to undergo internship and apprenticeship within the art world after graduation, as well as take general education courses that usually range from arts and sciences to literature and history. Aspiring curators will have to participate in training programs that include professional development, marketing skills, communications skills, technical abilities, and working with a team of other professionals.
A career as an art curator requires extensive traveling and can be very demanding physically and mentally. Many curators work at museums, galleries, and research facilities, and are usually required to follow strict schedules. Most will have to spend at least eight hours per day, seven days per week in order to be properly occupied. In addition, an art curator must be highly organized and detail-oriented.
It is important to note that most curators have some type of specialization. The most common is a focus on one form of art, such as art conservation, pop culture, or contemporary arts. There are also curators who specialize in promoting and marketing arts, such as advertising and design. However, the primary focus of most art creations is on art, and it is the responsibility of the art curator to guide and support the artistic vision of the organization.