California Arts Council

State of California

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Preparator, full-time
San Jose Museum of Art

San Jose, CA

Job Title: Preparator
Department: Exhibitions
Reports to: Chief of Design and Installation
Status: Full-time


Working with the Museum’s Chief of Design and Installation and Associate Exhibition Designer, the Preparator is responsible for many aspects of the planning, preparation, installation, and maintenance of the Museum’s exhibitions and related production areas. As a member of the Exhibitions Department, the Preparator also serves as a lead Installation Crew member during periods of exhibition rotation.


  • Assisting the Chief of Design and Installation and Associate Exhibition Designer with the planning, development, production, and installation of museum exhibition components.  
  • Primary duties include the installation, handling, packing, wrapping, and crating of exhibition artwork, fixtures, and related components.
  • Preparation of gallery and exhibition spaces, including, but not limited to, wall painting, wall preparation, construction, framing, drywall installation, and general light carpentry.
  • Lead builder / fabricator in the production and fabrication of exhibition furniture.
  • Maintain, supply, inventory, and further develop and expand upon the areas related to exhibition production, with an emphasis on the museum’s carpentry areas.
  • Serve as one of two lead installation crew members during periods of exhibition rotation, helping to manage, while working alongside, the part-time installation staff.
  • Maintain gallery spaces and adjacent public areas.
  • Assist with the production of exhibition graphics.
  • Various ongoing tasks related to the Museum’s art storage and exhibition furniture storage facilities.
  • Assist Registrar with wrapping/storage of SJMA’s Permanent Collection objects as well as ongoing organization of Permanent Collection on-site and off-site storage areas.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum three years’ experience as a gallery or museum exhibition crew member, art handler, or preparator. Candidates should possess strong organizational, leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as proven ability to manage multiple timelines. Knowledge of carpentry shop equipment, safety standards, and wide range of tools and related supplies required. Extensive professional experience with the set-up installation, and maintenance of AV and Digital Media required. Strong computer skills in both Mac and PC based applications, with a focus on design programs and applications (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Sketch-Up, Flexi-Sign, Excel) required. Serious candidates should also have a valid California driver’s license, the ability to load and drive a 24-foot box truck, and prior experience with high-reach (scissor-lift) equipment. Bachelor of Arts or Science, with a focus on Art, Industrial Design, Architecture, or Engineering preferred.


Ability to work evenings and weekends as necessary


Please send your resume and cover letter to

Deadline: 03-31-2017

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