Gallery Assistant: Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities
Gallery assistants aid staff members with administrative and creative tasks. Their duties range from managing correspondence to monitoring visitors. They are typically responsible for special events, the safety of the gallery's collection and the gallery's computer systems.
Job Description for a Gallery Assistant
Aiding curators and staff members with administrative and organizational tasks is a primary function gallery assistants. They also manage communication with visitors and other outside parties, help setup and breakdown exhibits and coordinate on and off-site events. Gallery assistants are generally extremely organized, detail oriented and highly educated, often possessing at least a bachelor's degree in art history or a related area. They may work in private galleries or large, public facilities.
Gallery Assistant Job Duties
Gallery assistants handle phone traffic, prepare purchase orders and coordinate events and exhibits. During regular hours and special events, gallery assistants ensure that the gallery is clean and that visitors follow the rules. They are responsible for monitoring and keeping artwork safe while the gallery is open.
Assistants often staff the front desk at their galleries. They greet visitors, answer questions and field sales inquiries. Because they are often the first people visitors encounter at a gallery, assistants must be personable, knowledgeable about artists and exhibits and have the ability to remember names and faces. They promote current and upcoming exhibits and ensure that visitors do not damage any works in the gallery.
Gallery assistants typically help with the physical installation of exhibits. This may include painting or repairing walls and pedestals, allocating display materials and removing artwork when an exhibit is over. They may also operate audio-visual equipment and keep the gallery's website and social media outlets up to date.
Job Responsibilities for a Gallery Assistant
Generally, gallery assistant are responsible for managing a gallery's information technology and computer systems. They must be proficient in the software that is used at their gallery. This may include photo-editing programs.
If gallery staff members conduct research projects, assistants help coordinate resources and maintain information. They need strong communication skills to work with gallery staff and outside parties on long-term projects.
Many galleries participate in art fairs and attend or host special events. Gallery assistants are required to manage applications and logistical matters associated with off-site events. They may be responsible for coordinating and mailing invitations or assisting with publicity for events at their gallery.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), gallery assistants fulfill many duties attached to both exhibit designers and administrative assistants. In 2012, set and exhibit designers earned an annual median salary of $50,300, while secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding legal, medical and executive, brought home $32,410. From 2010-2020, jobs for set and exhibit designers working mainly in museums were expected to increase by 17%, per the BLS. During that same decade, overall employment for secretaries and administrative assistants was predicted to grow by 12%.
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