Dia Art Foundation: Curator
Dia Art Foundation was established in 1974 for the purpose of commissioning, collecting, and presenting major works of art made in the 1960s onwards. Today it consists of eight permanent sites across the United States and Germany, as well as three (soon to be four) changing exhibition spaces in New York State: Dia Chelsea in New York City, Dia Beacon in the Hudson Valley, and Dia Bridgehampton in eastern Long Island. Dia is taken from the Greek word for “through” and conveys the foundation’s role as a facilitator of meaningful artistic experiences that can be encountered in single and repeated visits.
Dia is an atypical institution in that its Curatorial department focuses on a relatively small number of projects and artists in order to commit resources for the long term. As such, projects are conceptualized and implemented in conversation with all departments, the artists, and with our communities in mind.
Reporting to the Deputy Director of Programs, the Curator is responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and delivering groundbreaking project-based presentations of contemporary art. This includes organizing monographic exhibitions, presentations of Dia’s collection, live sound and performance-based commissions, and developing new collaborative modes to help advance Dia’s mission. The Curator will cultivate close relationships with artists and support the development of their work. They will provide creative and administrative co-leadership for the Curatorial department. In close collaboration with the rest of the department, the Curator will recommend potential acquisitions and contribute expertise to Dia’s collection and program through research and writing. As a member of the cross-departmental programming team, the Curator will also work closely with the Learning and Engagement and Publications departments.
Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:
- Draw upon innovative models of curatorial thinking, research, and collaboration to develop new concepts for long-term, project-based presentations
- Co-manage the Curatorial department’s activities; oversee live commissions, born-digital projects, and public programs across Dia’s sites and locations
- Lead the Curatorial team in commissions of performance works
- Serve as the point person for Dia’s online projects; work closely with the Director of Information Technology to maintain past Artist Web Projects; envision new online exhibitions and programs
- Refine and improve planning and administrative procedures to ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of programs; oversee and take on administrative-related tasks and projects, when required
- Negotiate loans and liaise with artists, collectors, and institutions
- Initiate conversations with venues for future tours of exhibitions
- Manage and maintain Dia’s relationships with its Utah partners (including the Holt/Smithson Foundation, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Great Salt Lake Institute, and Center for Land Use Interpretation) as well as local authorities and landowners; work with Dia’s in-house Legal Counsel, Learning and Engagement department, and the Senior Registrar to ensure ongoing accessibility, maintenance, research, safety, and conservation of Utah sites
- Work closely with Learning and Engagement and Curatorial to conceive public programs
- Work with the Publications team to conceptualize, edit, and oversee the production of publications which will accompany Dia’s projects and exhibitions
- Provide guidance on and written contributions to digital and printed exhibition materials, with attention to accessibility
- Supervise direct reports, including two Curatorial Assistants and an Exhibitions Associate, assigning duties and responsibilities equitably; execute performance evaluations; mentor and support the reports, encouraging growth and development
- With the Manager of Exhibitions, manage project expenditure within approved limits, without compromising high presentation standards
- Work closely with the Communications department on publicity campaigns for exhibitions and programs
- Act as spokesperson for Dia when dealing with inquiries, giving press interviews and talks as required, and receiving special visitors
- Work closely with the Director, Deputy Directors, and Director of Development on sponsorship and fundraising strategies for exhibitions and programs; take on aspects of fundraising as appropriate, including writing narratives for grants
- Lead tours, presentations, and events for Dia’s Board of Trustees, councils, and members, as well as internally for Dia guides, teaching artists, and other members of the Learning and Engagement team as appropriate, providing imaginative and stimulating entry points to programs and the collection
- Attend Dia events; develop relationships with current and potential funders
- Ensure that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are essential considerations across all work
General/Other Responsibilities and Duties
- Maintain a complex knowledge of contemporary art and critical thinking with particular emphasis on emerging artists from across the globe; a willingness and availability to travel internationally is key
- Maintain and develop a relevant network of contacts among artists, artists’ estates, gallerists, critics, scholars, and writers
- Attend exhibition openings and lectures in support of Dia programming and research
- MA in art history or other relevant subject or an equivalent level of education
- At least seven years of work experience in an art museum, performing arts organization, or other arts nonprofit in a relevant capacity
- Demonstrable knowledge of and involvement in international contemporary art
- Excellent organization, planning, and administrative skills; able to prioritize and coordinate multiple activities to meet deadlines
- Able to work well within a team and collaboratively across Dia’s departments
- Excellent written communication skills; able to write well-researched texts for a specialist readership as well as accessible texts for the general public
- Experience supervising, managing, and developing staff in a collaborative team environment
- Sociopolitical awareness about the intersections of cultural diversity and equity and art institutions
- Understanding of issues involved in the display of works of art
- Experience in staging displays, exhibitions, and related events, including managing related budgets
- Able and willing to travel and attend out-of-hours functions, as required, to meet Dia’s objectives
- Proficiency in Spanish, German, Korean, and/or French is a plus
- Established network of contacts in the field of contemporary art
- Experience with grant writing or other forms of fundraising
- Knowledge of computer databases and MS Office software
Qualified candidates are invited to apply by emailing a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Curator” as the subject line.
Dia provides a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package with significant employer contributions to cover healthcare premiums. The 401(k) plan provides 100% employer match up to 4% of the employee’s deferral and immediate vesting. Paid time‐off benefits include three weeks of vacation, ten days of sick leave, thirteen holidays, and a generous parental leave program. Work-related travel expenses are fully covered.
Dia Art Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, citizenship status, disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in its employment policies. In addition, Dia will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.