California Arts Council

State of California

Arts Jobs - Detail

Exhibition Manager
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

POSITION: Exhibition Manager


REPORTS TO: Executive Director and Chief Curator


Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) seeks an Exhibition Manager to assist with exhibition planning and realization. As the leading contemporary arts space in Central California, MCASB presents approximately six exhibitions each year, in addition to an annual exhibition at MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara.

The position, which reports to the Executive Director and Chief Curator, prepares for each exhibition in a range of duties that include scheduling, budget upkeep, preparing contracts and condition reports, coordinating art transport, organizing photo documentation, general correspondence, and other administrative and registrarial tasks, ensuring exhibitions open on time, on budget, and at the highest possible quality.

The Manager works closely with MCASB’s senior staff and support staff to develop cross-departmental meetings, ensuring smooth communication between all those involved in exhibition production; and also work closely with the art preparator team, contractors, and vendors to assure art handling/transport and installation adheres to the highest museum standards.

This position supervises two employees, a part-time Lead Preparator and full-time Exhibition Coordinator.


  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred

  • 2 years background in exhibition coordination

  • 3-5 years background working in a museum administrative support role

  • Registrarial experience necessary

  • Meticulous attention to detail

  • Experience in budgeting, project coordination, care and handling of fragile objects

  • Well-organized work style

  • Ability to multi-task

  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal)

  • An interest and appreciation for contemporary art from diverse perspectives

  • Fluency in Microsoft Office Suite

  • Successful applicants will possess maturity regarding artistic content that may be difficult for certain audiences

  • A graduate degree in art administration or library science is a plus

  • Strong command of the English language

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

  • Availability to work occasional evenings/weekends 


  • Create, update, and monitor daily and annual exhibition schedules and deadlines; liaise between departments to assure timely execution of projects, alerting curators to upcoming deadlines and supporting the department for keeping on schedule

  • Execute and monitor exhibition contracts, loan forms, waivers

  • Track and upkeep exhibition budget; review and reconcile monthly budget reports; alert curators to overages or changes to budgets

  • Arrange art transport (including packing), and incoming and outgoing registrarial processes and paperwork including condition reports

  • Develop and update exhibition checklists according to museum template, including a version to be used for gallery attendants logging condition notes

  • Coordinate travel arrangements, logistics, hospitality, and update itineraries for exhibition artists and guests

  • Confer with preparator staff in planning for exhibition installs, preparing install schedule; providing and upkeep of exhibition budget; and assessing resource needs, recommending adjustments if necessary

  • Procure install/deinstall equipment and materials—obtaining estimates, negotiating costs with vendors, and ordering, as needed

  • Monitor exhibition install activity, troubleshooting problems that arise and alerting senior staff to issues compromising an exhibition’s on-time and on-budget execution

  • Ensure adherence to safe workplace practices and procedures in the work of preparator staff and visiting exhibition guests

  • Oversee monitoring of environmental conditions in galleries and storage areas, providing recommendations for improvement to Director of Operations when necessary

  • Schedule exhibition photography, file images, and compose accurate captions; send images to artists, galleries and lenders

  • Provide Marketing department images and captions for press-related needs

  • Send letters to unsolicited exhibition proposals

  • Coordinate mailing of traveling exhibition packets and arrange tour logistics

  • Update and maintain exhibition-related contact database

  • The position is responsible for obtaining knowledge and familiarity with Association of Art Museum (AAM) standards and best practices, and also laws and obligations regarding incoming and outgoing loans.

  • The position may require occasional domestic and international travel. An international passport is required.

  • Support special events as required

  • Supervise and evaluate direct reports, including managing schedule, approving time sheets and paid time off requests, and providing guidance in support of their professional development

  • As a member of the senior management team, participate in development and implementation of policies and procedures

  • Attend Senior Staff meetings as required

  • Attend board committee meetings as needed

  • Participate in regular staff meetings and other interdepartmental meetings

  • Regular attendance and working in the office is an essential function of this position

  • Other administrative duties as needed

Compensation: $35,500 annual salary with  competitive benefits. Benefits include prorated paid sick time, vacation time, and 11 holidays; health, vision, dental, and life benefits; and the opportunity to contribute to retirement program after one year, with matching. 

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, two references, and availability to hello at mcasantabarbara dot org, with the subject line “Exhibition Manager”.

About Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) is a non-profit, non-collecting art museum that advances creativity and inspires critical thinking through meaning engagement with the art of our time. The MCASB is the premier venue for contemporary art between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

MCASB is committed to providing superior quality and unparalleled customer service in all aspects of our work. We believe each employee contributes to the success and growth of our organization. MCASB is proud of the professional qualifications of the members of its staff. The ambitious goals and many accomplishments of MCASB are due to a large extent to the commitments, talents, devotion to high standards and effective work of its staff.  MCASB takes great pride in its cooperative culture and embraces it as one of our fundamental strengths. MCASB constantly seeks to maintain an atmosphere of open dialogue that promotes interaction and the exchange of ideas among employees. Effective teamwork is a core MCASB value. In addition, MCASB embraces individual thinking and creativity.

MCASB provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. MCASB complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Address: 653 Paseo Nuevo

Deadline: 05-31-2017

Return to Arts Jobs