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Dia Art Foundation: Part-Time Associate Administrator, The Lightning Field

 

Part-time position based in Quemado, New Mexico

Dia Art Foundation has an immediate opening for a part-time, year-round Associate Administrator of The Lightning Field. The successful applicant will work from home but must live in relatively close driving proximity to the site in Quemado, New Mexico. 

The Lightning Field (1977) by Walter De Maria is a work of art situated in a remote desert area of western New Mexico. Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late twentieth century’s most significant works of art. It exemplifies Dia’s commitment to supporting artists making work that could not exist within a traditional museum or gallery. The Lightning Field is comprised of 400 polished stainless-steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. A work to be walked through as well as viewed, De Maria carefully considered all aspects of visiting this site. The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time, and visitors may make reservations to stay overnight during the months of May through October.  

The Associate Administrator will report to Dia’s Curator in New York and work closely with the New Mexico site staff to facilitate the experience of The Lightning Field. This person will handle all aspects of visitor reservations, visitor experience, and related administrative functions.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Work with Dia’s curatorial and on-site staff to ensure the highest standards of visitor experience and respect for the artist’s vision in the presentation of this artwork
  • Handle all aspects of visitor reservations, including serving as the first and continued point of contact for visitors until their arrival in Quemado; responding in a timely way to requests for reservations, questions about the visiting process or special requests and circumstances; and soliciting feedback from visitors and sharing it with the curatorial and on-site staff in order to report on and improve operations  
  • Prepare and organize reservation operations for the visiting season, proposing improvements and updates for the website, reservation forms, procedures and payment options, and working with the Curator and Chief Operating Officer to institute them  
  • Keep the visitor database and administrative manual updated and maintained for accuracy 
  • Regularly communicate with on-site staff about the visitor schedule, unusual visitor requests, and other unforeseen circumstances 
  • Communicate and work with the Curator and on-site staff to help resolve problems that may occur with visiting operations or facilities
  • Assist with communication between the Quemado staff and New York office 
  • Field and respond to inquiries from the public or forward to appropriate Dia staff 
  • Provide brief weekly updates to the Curator during the season, prepare the year-end report at the end of the season, and any other reporting as required  
  • Assist in procurement of supplies and equipment as requested by on-site staff 
  • Assist with major equipment and vehicle purchases
  • Provide signage and other printed information for the Quemado office and visitors’ cabin  
  • Make deposits and visitor refunds; manage bank accounts, vendor accounts, bill payment, and leases with oversight from the Curator and Finance department 
  • Maintain post office box and receive mail deliveries of bills; check payments for visitor reservations 
  • Create timely and accurate monthly financial reports for the Curator and the Finance Department in New York; maintain paper and electronic records related to The Lightning Field operations
  • Make regular visits to the site

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in art or art history desirable 
  • Administrative experience and basic bookkeeping skills required 
  • Must have a good understanding of and commitment to Walter De Maria’s intentions for the presentation of The Lightning Field
  • Must be eager to learn the history and operations of The Lightning Field
  • Must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and self-directed 
  • Must have excellent communication skills and be friendly, open, and engaging with visitors and staff; the ability to quickly, enthusiastically, and knowledgably respond to visitor requests and questions is also required  
  • Basic financial and office management skills required
  • Must have working knowledge of Excel, Google Drive, Outlook, and Word
  • Prior reservations or similar system experience required to quickly learn the custom reservations process and system  
  • Some knowledge of rural land issues in New Mexico, specifically Catron and Cibola Counties and Quemado/Pie Town area desirable 
  •  

Working Conditions and Physical Demands: 

  • Work is primarily performed remotely or in a home office; will need to drive to the site as needed.
  • Requires the use of a phone, computers, and other equipment typical of an office environment and ability to solve minor technological issues independently 
  • Requires a driver’s license  
  • Hours vary throughout the year but require 8–10 hours per day during February, when most reservations are made. Hours in March and April average 30 hours per week. From May to October there is an average of 15–20 hours per week. During this time (the visiting seasons), the Associate Administrator is on call from 11–3 pm daily, seven days a week, to answer questions and help visitors trouble shoot as they travel to The Lightning Field

 

To apply, email a letter of interest and resume to hr@diaart.org with “Associate Administrator” as the subject heading. 

 

Benefits for part-time staff include paid sick leave, paid holidays, and eligibility to participate in a 401(k) savings plan with company match. Additionally, staff ID badges gain reduced or free admission to most American museums and arts organizations.

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.

 

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