small project jobs

Ok so I know I have already talked about finding big jobs through the employment section, but how can we even be considered for those big ones without experience.  I want to share with you the importance of arts experience…not just for your resume but also for our studio practice.  Beyond academia, there are other ways to find yourself a place in the arts.  Here are some other ideas to help you out and why these types of opportunities can be helpful.


1.  museum/gallery internships – So some of these don’t pay, but the benefit is that you are now an in-house employee.  If you do a good job, when something opens up you will be notified first and will also have a better chance of getting the job (since they know you).  Also these types of positions put you in contact with important people who can help you find work or give you advice.  Apply for a position that interests you and can make you more marketable for future jobs (e.g. education, public relations, docent, grant funding).  These types of experiences can be invaluable.

2.  art handler/preparator – This job usually pays hourly amount that ranges from $10-25 depending on where you live.  Every gallery, art space, and museum has a crew who hangs work and prepares the gallery space.  These types of positions typically open up at random and do not get posted.  My suggestion is that you contact bigger arts institutions directly asking about this type of work.  Make sure you are contacting the right person (e.g. do not email/call the education department asking about prep work).  If you can’t find a head preparator, contact the director and/or HR.  This type of work helps you get to know important people too, but it also gives you insight to what these types of spaces want to show.  Thus it helps you become more conscious of display and craft in your studio practice.

3.  artist assistant – Even if the position is not in a medium you work with, if you are reliable and willing to learn artists will hire you.  These jobs sometimes come up through word of mouth (e.g. a former professor or one of their friends needs help) but also you can find these listed in local newspapers and on craigslist.  I know what you’re thinking…old school…but yes these two classifieds do post some good things.  This type of job has a similar pay as art handler, but is usually paid under the table….meaning no taxes.  In this position you learn how a professional artist organizes their studio and potentially new techniques for making.  Also you can develop a mentoring relationship, where the artist is helping you become more successful.


While non of these positions pay well, they do allow your creative mind to think.  Working any of these jobs will help you get recognition in your art community.  In the art world, it takes a while to get anywhere and anything you can do to set yourself apart from others is good…remember all the little things count.


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