Position Title: Preparator

Reports to: Chief Curator

Classification: Part-Time or Full-Time, Depending on Candidate Qualifications; Exempt

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a leading nonprofit art museum and school. Since 1924, the institute has offered art classes, exhibitions, lectures, events, activities and a permanent collection. The KIA’s mission is to cultivate the creation and appreciation of the visual arts in West Michigan. We believe the visual arts are for everyone. They inspire, fulfill, and transform.

Summary of Position:

The Exhibitions Preparator prepares and installs artwork and related materials for both temporary, traveling, and permanent collection exhibitions, works with the Registrar to maintain order and security in permanent collection and other art storage, and prepares and installs signage as required for general KIA needs. The Exhibitions Preparator is responsible for documenting all exhibitions, as well as artworks in the permanent collection, via photography or other digital means.


  • Prepares art works for temporary and traveling permanent collection exhibitions, including
    lighting, framing, unframing, and mounting of works.
  • In conjunction with exhibition curators assists with the design and layout of exhibitions, including
    the creation of exhibition mock ups using exhibition design software.
  • Manages installation scheduling and remains flexible when schedules or designs change; keeps
    accurate and thorough records.
  • Installs in-house exhibitions; assists with occasional off-site installations related to KIA activities.
  • Prepares/installs signage as needed for exhibitions and KIA special events.
  • Fabricates all object labels and educational wall text for exhibitions.
  • Works with a wide range of artists in different media (including electronic media), internal and guest curators to resolve installation, construction, or design concerns in a timely and courteous manner.
  • Familiarity with best practices for the handling of art works including packing/unpacking, crating/uncrates artwork for maximum safety; moves art within building; transports artwork/exhibitions as required.
  • Designs, builds or directs construction of crates as required.
  • Maintains order and security within all art storage areas and the art preparation work shop/office.
  • Provides or upgrades archival matting and framing for the permanent collection; assists in maintaining sculpture and other works with 3-D elements.
  • Maintains equipment and installation supplies inventory as required to accomplish duties; works with Chief Curator to develop appropriate budget for department.
  • Provides high-quality photographic and digital documentation of all exhibitions and permanent
    collection objects.
  • Communicates effectively with team members.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Chief Curator.

Job Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred, with 5+ years of experience in a preparator position at this level. Or 10+ years of experience in a preparatory position at an AAM accredited organization.
  • Proven preparatory skills and familiarity with exhibition design software.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative, self-starter with initiative.
  • A collegial spirit and cooperative approach that facilitates working closely with others.

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.

Physical Job Requirements:

While performing this job, the employee will be required to sit, stand, walk, reach, lift/move up to 50 lbs occasionally, do close work with a computer monitor and perform repetitive hand movements. Employee required to be able to have written and verbal conversations. The KIA is an equal opportunity, equal access employer that is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Please fill out the form, and attach a cover letter and resume below to be considered.

Job Application
Maximum upload size: 516MB
Maximum upload size: 516MB
Maximum upload size: 516MB