Position: Director of Exhibitions (Full-Time)
Organization: The Portland Japanese Garden
Location: Portland, OR
Full details: https://japanesegarden.org/careers/
The Portland Japanese Garden seeks a Director of Exhibitions (hereinafter referred to as “The Director”) with enthusiasm, vision, and considerable experience with the curation, management, and organization of exhibitions of Japanese art, craft, and culture. The Director will oversee and manage the exhibitions and multi-disciplinary programs along with collections of the Garden and its newly expanded facilities. The Director of Exhibitions reports to the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education (Curator of CAE), and will be charged with the task of building their own team once hired.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden is requiring all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means 2 shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – plus 2 weeks after the final shot.
Responsible for overseeing and managing the Garden’s annual Art in the Garden exhibition series and collections program, in keeping with the Garden’s artistic vision and mission (i.e., to foster a deep Connection with Nature; celebrate the Art of Craft; provide an Experience of Peace).
In consultation with the Executive Office, and under the broad programmatic and conceptual directions from the Curator of CAE, develop international exhibitions, including annual regional and other themes in keeping with the mission, often with a view to crafting a format for international travelling exhibitions through partnerships with international arts and cultural institutions.
Responsible for coordinating, organizing, and implementing multiple (4-6) exhibitions annually in the Pavilion and Tanabe Galleries.
Responsible for assembling, cataloguing, and managing the Garden’s art collections of objects and artifacts, primarily in the categories of Japanese ceramics, photography, calligraphy, bamboo basketry, and netsuke. This involves arranging for the restoration of artifacts, identifying and recording items, organizing loans, and dealing with enquiries from artists, students, and outside entities.
Ensure professional handling of international shipping and appropriate logistical arrangements with the Art Department. The Director develops ways in which objects, archives and artworks are interpreted, through exhibitions, publications, and educational presentations, both digital and in-person.
Interact regularly with colleagues in other departments, including program planning, marketing, and development. Additionally, the Director will conduct research into the Garden’s collections and exhibition themes and may lecture on related subjects both internally and externally.
Participate in special projects including internal workgroups, artist-in-residencies, and artistic programs that advance the Garden’s creative leadership, multi-disciplinary mission, and commitment to nature and peace.
The Director currently has a staff of two: the Gallery Attendants (part-time). Further, the Director will oversee the hiring/coordination of essential staff, including Exhibition and Administrative Assistants, plus a Japan-based Curatorial Consultant, as well as a team of specialized contractors who assist with shipping, US Customs and Visa arrangements, art moving, lighting, graphic installation, art installers, and others as required.
Creates and oversees the annual Art Department budget, planning for exhibition logistics, and communications with artists in the US, Japan, and beyond.
Occasionally travels, primarily domestically, to research exhibition possibilities and network with other curators/directors and gallery owners to explore collaborative exhibition and traveling exhibition possibilities.
Provides content for the Docent Training and continuing Education programs, occasionally lecturing, and overseeing the Exhibition and Administrative Assistants, who coordinate the docent program in conjunction with the Volunteer Director and Volunteer Coordinator.
Oversees the collections management policy under broad direction from the Curator of CAE, as well as cataloguing and ongoing database management for the Garden’s collections.
As a multidisciplinary institution, the Garden supports opportunities to learn from and work with programmers and cultural professionals across disciplines throughout the organization.
Create and oversee written content related to exhibitions and Art Department for both print and online media.
Oversee graphic/didactic materials (wall panels, scrims, etc.) with the Marketing Department.
Maintain, promote, and create relationships with outside groups and persons.
Oversee artwork sales.
Provide artistic advice to the programs planned by other departments, especially donor events.
Program and policy development.
Relationship building with artists and arts organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.
Provide hospitality for visiting artists.
Lead tours of exhibitions, the Garden (as necessary), and special exhibitions to donors, touring groups, professionals, and special guests.
Research and present lectures for educators, potential funders, Board, or other groups.
Participate in donor and community relations through attendance at Garden events, including receptions, public programs, patron events, and openings.
Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook.
Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
Minimum Bachelor of Arts degree; graduate degree preferred
Minimum 5 years cross-cultural curatorial experience in the fields of Japanese art and craft
Broad familiarity with traditional Japanese art forms, including tea ceremony, ikebana, bonsai, performing arts, cuisine, and others
Demonstrated experience with public speaking/presentation in both digital and in-person formats
Proficiency in standard office technology (Microsoft Office Suite, including PPT)
Demonstrated ability to work with a growing team of colleagues in multiple departments, including Development, Marketing, Operations, Events, and Administration.
Demonstrated ability to manage a high level of change and growth as the Garden takes the world stage to lead the field in Japanese gardens, arts, and cultural education.
Conversational Japanese language skill preferred
Ability to accommodate changing Garden needs, including working occasional weekends and evenings
Must be comfortable with occasional light to medium lifting
Salary: $65,000 – $75,000 per year
This is a full-time, benefited, salary position with 40-45 hours per week, Monday-Friday
health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees)
401k plan (after 90 days, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
paid vacation, sick, and holiday time
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications. Submit application materials by Monday, August 30th, 2021.
About the Organization
Portland Japanese Garden is renowned as the most authentic and finest Japanese garden outside of Japan. The Garden typically has a year-round staff of 95+ FTE’s and 35+ seasonal staff, supplemented by over 200 volunteers. All of our staff play a vital role in helping our visitors experience the beauty and tranquility of the garden and expand their understanding of Japanese culture.
A few of the benefits our employees enjoy include:
• Working for a beautiful, authentic Japanese garden, overlooking the city
• Incentives for alternative transportation for your commute to work
• A workplace culture that prioritizes hiring and promoting from within
• Access to the Garden for you, your family, and your friends
• The opportunity to attend a variety of cultural events
• A 30% discount on most items in the gift shop
• Reciprocal access to other area attractions, such as the Portland Art Museum, OMSI, and the Oregon Zoo
Portland Japanese Garden is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, disability, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by law. It is also the policy of Portland Japanese Garden that all employees are entitled to a work environment free from all forms of discrimination. Discrimination or harassment based upon any of these factors is inconsistent with the policy and philosophy of Portland Japanese Garden and will not be tolerated at any time.