Employment Opportunities

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey continually works to enrich, amaze and inspire all who pass through our doors. The Art Center provides an opportunity for employees to deepen their love of art while contributing their skills and talents. Throughout the year a variety of opportunities may become available.

The Art Center provides a competitive benefits package for full-time employees.

Position:  Curator

Salary Range: $73,000-$75,000, plus benefits

Position Type: Full time, exempt; weekend and evening work, as required (approximately 2-3 times per month).

Overview
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) seeks a contemporary art curator with a commitment to the transformational potential of the visual arts and arts programming. Located in Summit, NJ, our mission is to nurture the capacity for personal expression, expand the creative experience, and foster stronger communities by empowering people to see, make, and learn about art.

The ideal curator will have experience organizing contemporary art exhibitions, enjoys working with artists, collectors, and galleries, and is eager to assume a leadership role in our accredited museum program.

Reports to the executive director; supervises the exhibitions manager and contract installers and registrars.

Essential Functions

  • Exhibition Planning and Development
    • Oversees the organization of all exhibitions for the Art Center’s Main Gallery, Eisenberg Gallery, Strolling Galleries, as well as virtual and satellite exhibitions.
    • Develops and maintains exhibition schedules for 3 years forward, which will drive funding initiatives, and assures the highest level of artistic excellence, expanding our base and enhancing our institutional credibility.
    • Coordinates the creation of exhibition catalogues, including writing introductory statements, essays, interviews, and all other parts of catalogue that are not written by paid contributors; including image captions, checklists, opening credits, etc.
    • Oversees the development and editing of brochures, wall labels and texts.
    • Oversees the design and installation of all exhibitions, including placement of objects and wall texts.
    • Plans curatorial and artists’ talks to accompany exhibitions.
    • Visits artists’ studios, galleries and museums to stay current with events in the art community.
    • Oversees the management of curatorial contracts with artists, transportation and insurance companies.
    • Gives exhibition tours, as needed.
  • Development/Fundraising
    • Provides relevant exhibition information to the Director of Development & Communications for grant writing and fundraising.
    • Aids in fundraising for exhibitions through donor relations at gallery openings and special events.
  • Marketing and Promotion
    • Works with the Communications Department in the creation of all Curatorial Department published materials, providing the Communications Department with all scheduled exhibition information including images and captions.
    • Represents the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey to the highest professional standards with its various stakeholders (volunteers, artists, students, members, trustees, community members) and other public groups (business and government agencies, art organizations) when necessary.
    • Maintains a statewide presence for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey exhibitions by participation with other arts affiliated organizations when possible.
    • Maintains a national presence for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey by participating in national arts and professional organizations.
  • Fiscal
    • With Exhibitions Manager develops and manages Curatorial Department budgets and provide all budget information necessary for grant submission and reporting.
    • Reviews and approves all Curatorial Department expenditures.
  • Personnel
    • Hires and supervises the efforts of the Exhibitions Manager.
    • Evaluates and assesses Curatorial Department staff annually.

Personal Qualities

  • Passionate about contemporary art with strong relationships within a broad network of artists, galleries, curators, and collectors.
  • Proven track record of successful curatorial projects in contemporary art.
  • Effective leadership and management skills.
  • Highly organized and conscientious with the ability to prioritize effectively, handle multiple responsibilities, and meet deadlines.
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial while being a team player.
  • Committed to fostering an environment of trust, transparency, and mutual respect.
  • Dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in museum spaces.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Art History, Curatorial Studies, or other art-related fields with a strong knowledge of contemporary art history.
  • At least 5 years of curatorial experience, including the curation of both solo and group contemporary art exhibitions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and manage budgets.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in museum practices.

Physical and Mental Demands

  • The position frequently requires mental demands of reading/writing, interpreting data, supervising employees, making decisions, and problem solving. This position requires frequent use of computer and telephone.

Work Environment

  • The position is frequently indoors in an office environment. This position allows flexibility for 20% of time (1 day in a 5 day work week) working from home.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We value diversity and seek actively to build an inclusive applicant pool and pursue a thoughtful hiring process, including a diverse hiring committee, carefully designed interview questions, and mindfulness about unconscious biases.

To Apply
Applicants are asked to please provide a cover letter in addition to your resume, expressing your interest in the position. Applications should be sent to Melanie Cohn, Executive Director, mcohn@artcenternj.org.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

About Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
VACNJ was founded in 1933 as the Summit Art Association by seven local artists to foster the appreciation, enjoyment, and practice of art. We have grown steadily into a leading contemporary arts institution in the tri-state region serving the public through contemporary exhibitions, Studio School classes, and community engagement programs. Our vision is to create an inclusive and welcoming community where lives are transformed and enriched through the shared experience of art. The Art Center comprises 23,000 square feet, with five galleries, ten studios, and an outdoor sculpture garden. We are open to the public seven days a week, exhibiting works by nationally and internationally recognized artists.

We are one of nine American Alliance of Museums accredited museums in New Jersey and are the state’s leading institution dedicated to contemporary art. Our exhibitions, are viewed by 30,000+ visitors each year, feature artistically and culturally diverse works. Through our Studio School, we offer 400+ classes and workshops serving 4,500+ children, teens, and adults, as well as an outdoor summer art camp for children and teens. We serve an additional 1,100 people through our community engagement and education programs. Our educational and visual arts experiences are available to the public, including those who are underserved and economically disadvantaged including at-risk youth, veterans, the elderly, disabled individuals, immigrant populations, English-language learners, and individuals from low-income households.

Position: Grants Manager
Reports to the Director of Development and Communications

Position Type: Part-time (20-25 hours/week), nonexempt
Pay: $28-35/hour, based on experience

Summary: The Grants Manager is primarily responsible for developing and writing grant proposals to foundations, corporations, and other grant-making organizations, and will persuasively communicate VACNJ’s mission and programs to potential funders. The Grants Manager will assemble and submit grant requests, establish, and maintain personal contact and relationships with foundation contacts, conduct prospect research, and maintain a calendar of submissions and other deadlines.

Essential Functions

  • Develops and writes grant proposals to foundations and other grant-making organizations, persuasively communicating the organization’s mission and programs to potential funders;
  • Assembles and submits grant requests, including letters, proposals, budgets, and presentations;
  • Establishes and maintains personal contacts and relationships with foundation and program officers;
  • Ensures prompt acknowledgement of grant awards;
  • Maintains grant calendar to ensure timely submission of letters of inquiry, proposal deadlines, and reports;
  • Performs prospect research on foundations and corporations to evaluate prospects for corporate and foundation grants;
  • Project manages multiple grant projects to ensure they are completed in a timely manner, meeting deadlines, managing staff contributions, and gathering supplemental materials required for proposals;
  • Provides writing and editing support for other development communications, such as major donor and individual contributions letters and acknowledgements;
  • Complies with all grant reporting as required by foundation/corporate donors; and
  • Works with finance to gather budget information necessary to report to corporate/foundation funders on grant programs.

Qualifications
At least three years of grant writing experience is required. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, English, or nonprofit management is desired. Demonstration of excellent spoken and written communication skills is required. Familiarity with New Jersey state and national funding sources is desired. A familiarity with visual arts nonprofits is desired.

Physical and Mental Demands
The position frequently requires mental demands of reading/writing, planning/organizing, and interpreting data. The position requires frequent use of computer and telephone.

Work Environment
The position is frequently indoors in an office environment. This position allows flexibility for up to 25% of time working from home with supervisor approval.

Application Instructions
Please send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample (successful grant application preferred) to resumes@artcenternj.org, with “GRANTS MANAGER” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Due to a high volume of applications received, we are unable to contact each applicant individually regarding the status of their application. No phone calls please. All Art Center hires are required to undergo a background check.

Customer Relations Associate
Now hiring at $17/hr

This is a part-time position of 12–14 hours per week. Shifts are morning to early afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hours are on regular weekly schedule, but flexibility to substitute and/or add other shifts as needed is a plus. Reports to the Customer Relations Manager.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
For more than 90 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been dedicated to the vision of creating an inclusive and welcoming community – where lives are transformed and enriched through the shared experience of art. This vision is fulfilled by the best in contemporary art exhibitions; a robust four-semester Studio School serving about 4,500 students per year; public programming that allows the public to interact with exhibiting artists; and in-community programs for seniors, at-risk youth and children, and adults with disabilities.

Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Customer Relations Manager and the Director of the Studio School, the Customer Relations Associate provides excellent customer service for all Art Center constituents and contributes to the smooth running of all Art Center programs. The primary responsibilities are covering the reception desk, greeting the public, answering questions, and processing all Studio School registrations. This position answers and directs incoming phone calls and emails. In addition, this position completes data entry and administrative tasks which include using Google Apps, Microsoft Office, and the Lumens registration database. The ability to interact with diverse constituencies in a pleasant and supportive manner is critical for success in this position. Work will primarily take place at the Art Center. Other duties as required.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate for this position will:

  • enjoy working with the public, and ensure friendly and professional interactions;
  • have excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills;
  • be able to multi-task and balance competing priorities with ease;
  • work well as a member of a small and dedicated team;
  • have solid computer proficiency including Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word), Google Apps, Slack, and experience with databases. Be able to do all required transactions for the operation of the Studio School, Museum, and Membership departments. Some of these programs will be specific to your role and training will be provided;
  • possess at least one year of customer service/visitor services experience;
  • associate level education preferred;
  • knowledge of arts/culture audiences a plus.

Part Time: 12–14 hours per week. $17/hr. Hours are on regular weekly schedule, but flexibility to substitute other shifts is a plus. Reports to the Customer Relations Manager. Fully paid training period included. Employees are eligible for discounts towards Art Center classes and workshops.

As part of VACNJ’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion, we aim to amplify traditionally underrepresented voices. Although not required in the application, VACNJ encourages applicants to share their experience with DEAI initiatives. VACNJ is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Applications
Please email a resume, cover letter and the contact information for 2-3 references to jdoninger@artcenternj.org, with “CUSTOMER RELATIONS ASSOCIATE” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Deadline to apply is 3/25/24. Anticipated start date 4/23/24. No phone calls please. All hires are required to successfully pass a background check.

Position: Summer Art Camp Volunteer

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey offers high-quality in-person art camps for students ages 5-18. Volunteers must be patient, enjoy working with children, have confidence in their ability to motivate and assist campers, and have an interest in or appreciation for art. A volunteer’s role includes being an extra set of hands and eyes for teachers before, during, and after each camp session, as well as supervising the campers in assigned groups. While each teacher will provide direction, the main duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting up classrooms
  • Gathering and preparing art materials before each camp session
  • Assisting students with projects during camp
  • Helping teachers during camp as needed (making copies, getting supplies from other rooms, escorting students to restrooms, etc.)
  • Helping students and teacher clean up and sanitize after each camp session
  • Supervising campers
  • Returning supplies to the appropriate place
  • Making sure storage areas are kept well maintained and orderly
  • Serving as a positive role model for students
  • Other duties as requested

Physical and Mental Demands
This position frequently requires mental demands of making decisions, problem solving, and supervising students. This position requires the ability to frequently stand, sit, walk, squat, and climb stairs. These positions occasionally require the ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs.

Work Environment
This position is frequently indoors in a studio environment and are occasionally exposed to potentially hazardous art materials. This position will work both indoors and outdoors in summer weather.

Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older and need to complete this Google form.