In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as an Art Curator.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I am a fan of art and I am inspired by the different creations. While applying for this position, I researched your organization and got to know a lot of opportunities that you can offer in this role for development. I am sure I will be able to learn a lot here and uplift the overall imagery of your organization with my experience in this field.
2. What Are The Roles Of An Art Curator?
As a Curator, There are a few major responsibilities involved in the role and may vary from place to place. The primary responsibilities include:
- Good researching regarding purchases,
- Involved in budgeting and marketing for all public events,
- Creating attractive displays for all exhibitions,
- Storing all the pieces that are not on display,
- Fundraising for the expansion and
- Keeping updated stock live on the website to gain attraction.
3. What Are The Qualities That An Art Curator Needs To Be Successful?
To perform well in this role, it is important to have good hands-on knowledge of using database applications. As a curator, understanding different collections is important too as you are the spokesperson for the piece of art. To have good communication, one must also have good verbal and written communication skills.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
One of the major challenges was COVID-19 which transformed the society overall. As the technology was being adopted in the world, the art organizations and museums had to rethink ways to engage people in art where public gatherings became very limited. To engage, I initiated the discussion at work to utilize this time and operate in a new manner according to new circumstances and rebrand ourselves. We launched digital websites for leading artists and new projects by the collectors.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As An Art Curator?
The daily activities depend on the type of place you are working at. I have worked in the contemporary art side and my day is always hectic as I am in charge of artists who are alive. My daily routine is involved several activities like checking to store all art pieces to ensure their quality. My day begins with communicating with artists and their managers regarding the planning of future exhibits and current displays. I enjoy having conversations with artists and preparing for new programs. When the exhibition is lined up, my days are spent in the installation of all work on display and receiving all shipments, and keeping a record so that everything is documented. My focus throughout the day is to take maximum advantage of the given area for exhibition and install art pieces that enhance the pieces of art.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
My last role was at ABC art center in XYZ Location. The center focuses on contemporary art and was open to the public. I have been working here for 3 years now and before this role, I was working at a museum at ABC City that focused on natural history. I started my career with an internship at a local museum and the rest is now history! In my study, I did my postgraduate degree in several subjects related to arts and history that developed my interest in this field.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
To excel in this role, the only strategy that is required is to take up challenges and research well which helps in critical analysis and later discovery too. As a curator, One should be involved in several exhibitions and collaborations with the artists to open a space for more artists to join you.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
The challenges are coming from the industry, I believe. In my experience, I have found very limited positions available because there is a shortage of restored arts in the museums as only big cities have this facility. As everything is going digital, there are very opportunities for exhibitions for artwork as people simply click a picture and upload it on their social profiles.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
I am a true fan of art and work produced by all artists. This keeps me motivated as I explore young and new talents and put them on display i.e. the radar! Every time there are new challenges and tasks to handle and with problem-solving skills, these new tasks keep me motivated in this role.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
I can’t remember a specific incident at the moment but there have been times when I have failed but I have managed to learn as well. With all the criticism and negative feedback received in the early years of my career, I have taught myself to never stop and keep myself updated with all sorts of relevant knowledge.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I am the whisperer of the art and I am well qualified for the job as I have management skills and artistic talent that help me in making decisions at work. I have years of experience in various museums and art centers where I have led great projects from time to time.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
I launched an online database for the museum in my previous role that helped in registering and cataloging all old and current exhibitions that have been held in the space. This worked as an inventory for everyone as everything was documented and teams were able to choose exhibition themes for future well.
13. In Your Point Of View, What Are The Components Of A Good Exhibit?
This is an interesting question because there is no definite formula! In my opinion, any piece of art that has a new thought process behind it or makes a viewer rethink it critically makes a good exhibit. As a curator myself, I need to make sure that the thought behind every piece of art is communicated through the display and makes the audience take interest in the work.
14. You Visit A New Museum, What Would You Be Taking Notice Of?
I am all about attention to detail since I am part of this field. As I have experience, I take notes of displays and how the floor is planned. As I move around, I will be paying attention to labels to understand the material used framing, and the colors used. If I know the artist, I pay attention to the exhibition layout and what sort of presentation style has been used. As I walk by, I will be keeping an eye on the type of audience that is visiting and how they are interacting with everything on display.
15. Share Your Thoughts Regarding History Preservation Via Your Role.
Preservation gives a character and uniqueness. There are various benefits when it comes to preservation including cultural, social, and economic. Historic preservation makes a community richer in terms of culture as it creates a tangible present. On the other hand, it also attracts visitors and creates tourism opportunities in an economic landscape.
16. To Store Well, What Is The Criteria When It Comes To Choosing The Right Storage For Art?
In my experience, 3 factors play an important role in the requirement. First, having enough space is important because it will decrease the chances of damage. On the other hand, tight space isn’t a good choice either as there has to be breathing space between art pieces and items can be picked out easily without the damage of nearby items. Second, the area should be well controlled in terms of temperature as art pieces cannot stand fluctuations and extreme temperatures as well. It is wise to choose such storing option that won’t damage the art due to climate. If you are dealing with antique pieces, this factor is very important. Third, one of the major threats faced in this industry is theft loss. A security system should be installed to secure the place and avoid any incidents.
17. How Do You Make A Decision Of Buying An Art?
While making a purchase, I always ask myself if I am buying the right item at the right price? The major factor while buying art is to know who is spending the money. Sometimes, it’s an individual behind and sometimes it’s a partnership so a decision has to make based on it. If there are stakeholders involved, you are accountable for the purchase to every single member on board. Apart from money, another important factor is the size of the art piece and its usability. The environment plays an important role when making a purchase. One of the major problems faced by the art is the excessive light that damages the work. It will fade within a few weeks due to excessive light in the area so while choosing an art; you must look at such factors too.
18. What Are The Different Types Of Museums For Art?
The exhibitions of art can be held in private or in public. Several types of collections go into art museums like painting, sculptures, and illustration art. To showcase sculptures and textiles, art galleries can be used. Such art museums can host activities like musical concerts, poetry reading, and performance arts.
19. Why Should People Invest In Art?
To invest in the art, there are several factors involved like rate of return and risk involved. In art, it is difficult to calculate the rate of return. There are several risks involved in the art asset that reduces risk.
20. While Displaying The Art, How Do You Work With Your Team Or Do You Prefer Working Alone?
I have worked in both ways in my career and I do not have any preferences. When you are working with your team, there are fewer burdens on you but there is much greater responsibility as well. I do enjoy working with the team as there is a lot to learn from each other and there are aspects in every job where you can support each other easily. I do believe in the power of teamwork. While delegating work to my team, I always put a challenging task for them so that there is a learning opportunity for everyone. Day to day tasks become boring and staff loses interest in the work too. As a team lead, I need to motivate them!
21. How Do You Promote Events And Exhibitions?
Usually, I advertise in local newspapers and magazines to reach the target audience but as you know, the digital world has expanded a lot. With a minimum budget, I can reach a lot of audiences based on interests and specific keywords. I run a few social media pages and collaborate with online content creators to collaborate with me to advertise my exhibition. This helps in creating a great word of mouth in the market and footfall turns out to be amazing.
22. How Well You Do Handle Pressure At Work?
I don’t hesitate in taking up challenges because a challenge makes the work interesting. As I am dealing with a lot of different artists and exhibitions throughout the week, it becomes stressful to meet the budget and timeline requirements. I make sure that I am maintaining my mental health at work too because If I don’t, I will surely end up having a burnout soon. If I am having a rough day at work, I take a quick walk outside in the fresh air and this helps me in clearing my thought. After work, I usually end up going to hit the gym to be healthy.
23. An Artist Wants To Submit Her Work To Your Commercial Gallery. Guide Her Through The Process And Some Tips.
First, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the submission of any art piece. As per my experience, I would suggest a few steps that can help.
- Take clear photographs of the work that will be submitted. Avoid using flash or any side angles so that you have a clear image.
- The images can be edited and should look like they are ready to be put into the catalog of the gallery. While emailing, attach compressed versions instead of large versions. You can also add a link to the cloud storage that has high res image of your work.
- Before submitting, always research well about the website and niche of the gallery. Mostly all galleries have submission procedure mentioned on their website but if some gallery does not have them, simply call them up and inquire.
- Check if email submissions are open at the gallery. Through email, you can share a minimum of 4 images that are relevant to the theme along with your resume.
- Make sure all contact details are up to date on the resume so that they can contact you easily. If you do not get a response within a week or so, you can reach out to Them On Call And Inquire If They Have Received Your Email.
24. How Often Do You Visit Exhibitions Or Galleries?
I usually attend all exhibitions in the neighborhood as it’s my time to connect to my network. By visiting, I get a chance to know the latest trends in the market and how displays are being used for all sorts of art. If the exhibition is in a nearby city and I can manage some time away from work, I usually visit there for my research purpose. From time to time, I visit a variety of art exhibitions because sometimes an alternate resource can teach you differently. As a curator, it is essential to plan your visit to learn more about the methods and artists who might want to collaborate with you. I do plan my week around visiting the galleries.
25. Any Advice To Your Juniors In This Field?
I always tell young people to maintain their focus if they are planning to join this field. If you are planning to get started in this field, choose cities that are not urban because there are more opportunities. One can easily start working at institutions that are partners with large organizations. Explore your options at the start of your career and learn as much as you can so that you can pick your line easily.
These 25 questions are surely going to help in acing the first round of interviews as An Art Curator. Good luck! Here is a small tip from us: Wear a nice shirt or dress and walk into the room with confidence. Also, take your updated resume in a hard copy with you. Don’t forget to smile!