Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Reports to: Executive Director
Status: Full-time / Exempt
Salary range: $75,000-90,000
Benefits: Healthcare (including vision and dental), vacation, sick leave, and paid holidays, following a probation period.
Working closely with the Executive Director, the Senior Curator will develop the curatorial vision
for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) and create a range of exhibitions
and related ancillary programs that further the mission, vision, and purpose of the organization.
The Senior Curator will also administratively manage the curatorial department and its staff.
• Lead the curatorial department, manage all departmental staff, and oversee
interdepartmental communications and duties.
• Create large-scale exhibitions and Project Room shows that align with the museum’s
mission and curatorial vision.
• Work with Executive Director and Finance to create exhibition budgets and annual
departmental budget. Oversee and implement the departmental budget for exhibitions,
department, and special projects.
• Work with the Advancement department to help secure funds for the exhibition program in
the form of grants and individual donations.
• Write gallery didactic texts and catalogue essays and participate and oversee the
development and production of online and print publications.
• Edit and manage the production of publications for exhibitions.
• Work with Executive Director and Director of Learning and Engagement to develop
interpretive and supplemental programming that enhances and contextualizes the works on
view for a diverse audience.
• Participate in public programs—talks, lectures, and panels.
• Function as an ambassador for ICA LA and cultivate relationships with local, regional,
national, and international artists, gallerists, arts professionals, collectors, current and
prospective supporters, and the general public.
• Oversee and assist in a wide variety of programmatic and administrative tasks.
Curatorial Responsibilities (60% time)
• Exhibition program strategy/vision: lead ICA LA’s efforts to create a distinctive exhibitions
program that contributes to the field and garners critical attention.
• Exhibition design and implementation: identify and recommend exhibition ideas; develop
exhibition plans and checklists; work closely with artists, their assistants and
representatives; manage exhibition details and timelines; and oversee registrar, installation
designer, and art handlers.
• Management and oversight: manage and lead curatorial staff. Lead staff in the
implementation of the exhibition and programmatic activities of the Museum.
• Communications: produce and share information about exhibitions and related programming
and make presentations to staff, board, funders, and the general public, as needed. Act as
the primary spokesperson for the curatorial vision and exhibitions program in general, as
well as individual exhibitions and projects, with the press, scholars, and peers.
• Writing: contribute texts for a range of materials in conjunction with the exhibition program,
including grant proposals, press releases, didactic and educational materials, and website
content; plan, write, edit, and oversee design and production of publications as appropriate.
Curatorial Administration (40% time)
• Fundraising: participate in fundraising efforts for the exhibition program, including the
identification and solicitation of individual and institutional donor prospects, development of
earned income opportunities, such as artist editions and traveling exhibitions, and grant
writing; assist as appropriate with major gift fundraising from individuals and foundations,
including solicitation and cultivation activities. Lead the Curator’s Council patron group,
including strategizing with the group’s co-chairs, organizing art viewing outings, and helping
to identify and cultivate new members.
• Budgeting: develop and oversee budgets for exhibitions, including expense and revenue
projections; create and update reports for Executive Director and Board of Directors.
• Advanced exhibition planning: work with Executive Director to plan short and long-term
exhibitions calendar and ancillary programs on and off site.
• Audience development: work collaboratively with other staff to maximize the outreach and
impact of exhibitions with diverse audiences, including the local community as well as
audiences nationally and internationally.
• Relationship development: help build mutually beneficial relationships between the ICA LA
and the wider local, national, and international art communities; develop and maintain
relationships with a broad group of artists, curators, collectors, donors, dealers, and
• Management: manage curatorial assistant, registrar, exhibition designer/production
manager, and other consultants and freelancers (as appropriate).
• Minimum MA in Art History, Curatorial Studies, or equivalent experience.
• A minimum of ten years’ experience in a contemporary art curatorial position.
• Highly skilled and effective communicator who can articulate the mission and goals of the
institution and its program, in written and verbal formats and in both formal and informal
• Strong ability to present information in a clear, confident fashion to a range of individuals
with varying levels of expertise.
• Highly developed leadership, strategic, decision-making, and people management skills;
ability to motivate others, foster trust, encourage collaboration, and build consensus among
team members and other stakeholders.
• Proven record of effective working relationships with a variety of representatives of public
and private organizations, Board members, vendors, and museum staff.
• Highly skilled problem-solver with excellent reasoning skills, the ability to understand and
deal with complexities with ease and creatively overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
• Proven ability to lead others and determine best course of action and to delegate authority,
combined with a willingness to work in a “hands-on” manner and as part of a team.
• Proven ability to prioritize and adjust heavy workload, manage a variety of tasks, and meet
• Active participant and viewer in the contemporary art world, closely monitoring the activities
of artists, museums, and arts organizations of all kinds, as well as the overlapping arenas of
criticism, pedagogy, and professional organizations. Keen awareness of best practices in
• Invested in understanding and anticipating trends in the museum world in order to identify
new and unique opportunities to serve the mission.
ICA LA is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration
for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status,
protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related
conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
About ICA LA
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) is an epicenter of artistic
experimentation and incubator of new ideas.
Founded in 1984 as the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) and reestablished in 2017 with
a new identity and home in Downtown Los Angeles, ICA LA builds upon a distinguished history
of bold curatorial vision and innovative programming to illuminate the important untold stories
and emerging voices in contemporary art and culture. The museum’s 12,700 square-foot
renovated industrial building—designed by wHY Architecture under the leadership of Kulapat
Yantrasast—features ample space for exhibitions, public programs, retail pop-ups, integrated
offices, and special projects.
ICA LA’s mission is to support art that sparks the pleasure of discovery and challenges the way
we see and experience the world, ourselves, and each other. ICA LA is committed to upending
hierarchies of race, class, gender, and culture. Through exhibitions, education programs, and
community partnerships, ICA LA fosters critique of the familiar and empathy with the different.
ICA LA is committed to making contemporary art relevant and accessible for all. Admission is
Please send a cover letter, CV, with at least two professional references, and writing samples to
[email protected], including the name of the position in the subject line by 3/01/22.
Please no calls or in-person unscheduled visits.