What Does an Art Curator do?
What exactly does an art curator do? The definition of an art curator can be quite vague and more often than not, depends on whether you are referring to a school or museum. Generally, an art curator of an art institution is either a media specialist or supervisor charged with the management of the holdings and conservation of a collection of art and/or cultural value. In some cases, these positions are held by curators who work within a specific institution, but most often their responsibilities revolve around the regional or international community. Most curators also conduct research in the field of art and culture.
In terms of curriculum and training, most art curators are expected to have a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Fine Arts from an accredited college or university. There are also professional art colleges and universities that offer certification programs for those interested in becoming art curators. The majority of art museums and galleries as well as educational institutions require a specified number of hours on the job experience and training prior to applying for the position of art curator. These professional credentials will then be reviewed by the institution to see if you are eligible for the position.
An art curator will normally need to be involved in the various activities of administration such as budgeting, risk analysis, and strategic planning, as well as marketing and public relations. They are usually consulted on a regular basis on any new projects and are expected to be highly organized, detail oriented and passionate about their work. The career of art curators often involves working with non-artists to coordinate public programming and events, such as music festivals. Many curators work with companies or corporations to exhibit and promote their clients art and curios.
The art curator’s job description and responsibilities are quite diverse. Some curators are responsible for overseeing the organization of travel itinerary, delegations and appointments, the preparation and presentation of program and sales presentations, the programming and marketing of the museum or gallery, and the coordination of related departments, such as communications and community relations. Other art curators may oversee the organization of scheduled shows and exhibitions. Others still may conduct special projects or research, as ordered by their client.
Some art curators will take on additional responsibilities when additional funds are required. This could mean an expansion of research or artistic duties, or it could mean a change in the concentration of the art curator’s work. The art curator must have knowledge of the different areas of art and must be capable of working with various types of artists, collectors and dealers.
If you are interested in being a qualified art curator, there are several different professional organizations that help to train, support and market curators. There are also private organizations that you can become a member of, if you are interested in becoming an art curator in anyway. Curators need to be highly skilled, artistic and knowledgeable, and have a passion for the art. They must be willing to develop relationships with all types of people, both those within the institution and those from the community. Curators have a unique opportunity to help bring about change, by being involved in the creation of visual art.