Founded in South Africa, the gallery represents contemporary artist practices from the African continent and diaspora. The gallery’s rigorous curatorial programme pivots on unprecedented modes of making, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and the ingenuity of the human hand. Cultivating new forms of expression, that disrupt the hierarchies between functionality and fine art, the programme traces its roots to the utilitarian and socially embedded role that African art has played historically.
A very important aspect of the work undertaken by the gallery – through its collaborations with eminent global institutions, foundations and museums – is to contribute to a deeper understanding of humanitarian, environmental and societal concerns with targeted projects, large-scale installations and immersive experiences. The artists represented explore personal narratives, cultural structures and social change.
In Feb 2024, our client will open a new US based gallery, in LA, and are seeking for a full time Director, Sales and Management. The candidate should have a minimum of 6 years of art sales and gallery experience, a strong knowledge of contemporary art, and excellent managerial, organizational, and communication skills.
The director will work with a small team at the LA gallery, reporting to the founders, and working collaboratively with the gallery based in South Africa.
This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for an ambitious individual, with a passion for contemporary art and design, to work closely with artists and colleagues to bring a dynamic international gallery programme to the US.
The primary functions of the position, include, but are not limited to:
Supervising all Gallery operations including sales, artists, exhibitions, art fairs and team management.
- Strategizing, fostering and preserving the gallery’s curatorial and artistic vision and driving commercial growth including meeting sales targets, in collaboration with the gallery founders.
- Sales strategy, outreach, and any pre-and post-sale liaison with clients; promoting and selling artists’ work, through the gallery, exhibitions, and fairs.
Creating and developing client and potential client presentations via viewing rooms, private rooms, studio visits, and physical and PDF presentations.
- Researching and cultivating prospective clients and nourishing relationships with established clients.
- Developing new relationships with potential partner galleries, museums, institutional leaders, art advisors and industry clients.
- Facilitating representation of new artists to the gallery and nurturing relationships with established artists, including any visiting artists or US residencies.
- Maintaining on-going promotion through gallery openings, events and potential sponsor activations, working alongside the communications department and PR companies, including external collaborative events.
- Attending other gallery openings, art events and fairs and researching artists and curatorial directions to keep abreast of industry developments.
- Assisting with preparing international and domestic art fair applications and strategizing with senior staff on sales objective and programme goals.
- Supervising logistics for art fairs: shipments of art, travel, installation, and support materials and professionally representing the gallery on the booth.
- Overseeing the day-to-day operations in the gallery.
- Planning and overseeing installation and deinstallation and photography of exhibitions.
- Working with the Registrar to manage inventory, consignments, and loan agreements.
- Helping to develop a robust, agile and inquisitive US gallery team, and overseeing gallery operational systems, streamlining processes and increasing efficiencies.
- Collaborating with other members of the organisation based in South Africa, across departments and with guest curators, to extend and continue meaningful programming.
- General administration, budgeting, finance and accounts in coordination with other departments.
This is a broad overview of duties and responsibilities, however additional specific needs directly related to the position will arise and these would be included in the job requirement.
Our client is supportive, collaborative, has a commitment to fairness and transparency, and undertakes operating with etiquette and integrity – these are all qualities that they hold in the highest regard.
This role would require the following skillset:
- Ideally, a B.A. from four-year college or university, arts related field a preference but not essential.
- A minimum of 6 years in the art industry with a proven track record in sales and other aspects of gallery management.
- Sales negotiation skills, in person and via email, including financial and analytical skills.
- An in-depth understanding and experience of the structures, language, and culture within the art world.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to engage authentically with clients and artists.
- Computer literacy including Adobe Suite, Excel, digital sales systems (ideally Arternal) and robust digital filing.
- Research and industry strategy capabilities.
- A professional demeanour with strong organizational skills.
- Self-motivation and the ability to work equally well collaboratively and independently with accountability.
- Teamworking skills and the ability to plan, lead and motivate.
- Physical stamina for organising, travel, setting up exhibitions and participating at fairs.
- Flexibility for travel, locally and internationally, with notice.
- Nimble and adaptive thinking with a positive outlook and fastidious attention to detail, record keeping and accuracy.
- A commitment to confidentiality at all times, both within the organisation and outside of it, in perpetuity.
- Big picture thinking with an understanding of the overall brand identities and objectives and a strong desire to continue to grow personally and build on the gallery goals.
** You may be required to work overtime depending on the needs of the gallery, you’ll be given fair notice and this requirement will be reasonable.
** Domestic and International travel may be required, and fair notice will be given of all schedules.
Working Hours: Tues – Sat 10am – 6pm
Start Date: 15 Jan 2024
Location: Los Angeles
Salary: $70k+ flexible DOE – Health benefits included