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Roles and processes in galleries and exhibition spaces

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Gillian Crothers

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Roles and processes in galleries and exhibition spaces

The Exhibition Designer
The exhibition designer will assist in the design, planning and production of exhibitions. They need to know about conservation, lighting and have a general sense of how an exhibition space works. They need to consider a variety of audience - eg short tall, wheelchair, pram etc. They need to consider the colours in the spaces and how it compliments with the artwrks being displayed. Some of the exhibition designers responsibilites may be:
Professional Roles within
a Gallery or Museum
Roles within a gallery
The Curator
Although each staff member is assigned different responsibilities, museum/gallery work is collaborative and their roles often overlap.

The role of the curator and designers will vary according to the type and size of gallery. Large cultural galleries such as the NGV have a number of curators who are specialists in their fields.

The Graphic Designer
Multimedia and
Web Designer
The graphic designer will be responsible for the design and production of graphic material that supports and promotes and exhibition.
Promotional Methods and considerations in presenting artworks
The term 'promotional methods' refers to marketing and it includes external advertising on radio, television, in magazines, in newspapers features, articles and supplements, on banners, bus shelters at airports and posters on information booths. This range of advertising material may include postcards and special posters. Also, greeting cards and other merchandise may be developed and sold independantly.
Marketing and promotion of an exhibition is vital to ensure an audience. There is no point point in exhibiting artworks in a gallery if no one comes to see them. For commercial galleries, marketing and promotion is necessary to produce sales.
This role includes the responsibiltiy for all digitally related information,
The Role of the Conservator
It is important to acknowledge that the curator
does not
design the exhibition. The role of the curator is to research. Curators select the themes of the exhibitions, write the accompanying texts and blurbs that go with a particular show. Curators work collaboratively with an exhibition designer

Staff members at galleries and museums work very closely together to fulfill the various functions of a public art museum. These are;

* to develop varied exhibitions from the collection and other sources

* to present education and public programs

* to develop and care for the garden and heritage buildings

* to market and promote all its programs
* and to attract funding and sponsorship and develop partnerships to support all these activities.
* to acquire, care for and conserve works of art
For example, a public programs co-ordinator may work collaboratively with a curator, in consultation with a marketing manager, to create a feature event in conjunction with an exhibition opening.

Similarly, different staff members are involved in the preservation of artworks: the collection manager and curators are responsible for safe handling and storage practices, while visitor services officers monitor the daily security of artworks on display.

* Undertaking research and interpretation of the collection
* investigating and preparing aquisition proposals
* Planning the exhibition display concepts and themes in advance
* Liaising with the exhibition manager in scheduling the installation budgets and financial reporting
* Liaising with financial personnel on costing, prices and duration of the exhibition
* Liaising with the registration personnel on loan agreements
*Liaising with graphic designers and exhibition designers
* Liaising with risk and facilities personnel on the logisitcs of presentation. movement and handeling of artworks
* Liasing with specialists in lighting, painters, carpenters, technicians and art handlers
* Liaising with conservators on requirements or treatments needed
* Liaising with photographic services and copyright admissions personnel on the location of works
*Liaising with marketing and promotion, media, sponsorship, fundraising and events, education and public programs personel on the location of works .
* Identifying and writing didactic information required, interperative material, panels, lables, wall text, catalogues and media releases.

Designers include: exhibition designers,
graphic designers
and multimedia/web designers.
In a smaller gallery there may only be one curator. A commercial gallery may not have a curator but the director may have curatorial knowledge and experience.

Some of the reponsibilites of a curator include;
to prepare the visual elements of an exhibition or display, including layout designs, perspective sketches, scaling and detail
design work, labels, copy format, illustrative material, artwork and construction of exhibition/displays and related public and commercial environments.
The exhibtion designer will liaise with exteral contractors on all aspects of exhibtion design and prodution, including lighting and painting.
A good curator will be interested in showing off the strengths of the gallery they work for - eg, the NGV is known for it's Durer's and Goya's and the curator of the Death and Disaster show would have considered this.
promotional material, programs and educational brochures, merchandise, flyers, event invitations and publicity kits,
The types of material produced may include publications, exhibition catalogues,
produced in collaboration with in-house staff, editors and production companies.
including touch screens,
visual presentations of works,
CD Roms on specific artists or exhibitions and other interactive presentations.
The conservator will examine a part of the artwork and do any restoration which needs to be done (eg - take off varnish, apply new varnish etc.
Conservators make the judgement about how long the works of art are allowed to be displayed for (depending on the fragility of the works
The conservators will consider the visual nature of the space - books might need to go in perspex boxes etc.
When purchasing artworks the NGV has to consider the condition of the artworks because conserving and restoring artworks can take time and money.

* What is a gallery?
* What is the role of a gallery? Give specific examples of this.
* What are the different roles involved in the running of a gallery? Give an detiailed explanation of each, including specific examples from either the NGV or ACCA .

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