Associate Curator / Curator

Associate Curator / Curator

University Overview

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Posted Job Title
Associate Curator / Curator

Job Profile Title
Associate Curator

Job Description Summary
The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania seeks a creative, self-motivated, and intellectually curious individual to join the curatorial team as an Associate Curator / Curator in service of ICA's mission to connect with diverse publics through the support of artists and ideas that explore, contextualize, and resonate with the socio-political conditions of our time.

Reporting to the Chief Curator and working closely with the Director of Curatorial Affairs, the Associate Curator / Curator is a key member of the curatorial team who works closely alongside colleagues across departments in ICA's dynamic and collaborative environment. In addition to generating original scholarship in the form of exhibitions (spanning group, thematic, and solo formats), programs, websites, and publications, the Associate Curator / Curator will propose projects that embrace different formats, platforms, perspectives, disciplines, and temporalities.

The ICA is a non-collecting laboratory of artistic experimentation that privileges polyvocality, collaboration, and interdisciplinarity. This work takes the form of exhibitions, commissions, performance, publications, and special projects that champion underrecognized artists and ideas.

The institution's mission is bolstered by its position as a center within the University of Pennsylvania. Working within a leading research university provides multiple opportunities to be in dialogue and to collaborate with colleagues and students across campus. ICA's location in University City also mandates that its work connect with its immediate neighbors in West Philadelphia while staying in dialogue with the concerns of a broader, international art community.

The successful candidate is a generous colleague and a good communicator. They have a passion for creative curatorial projects that prioritizes ICA's drive to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging a focus and understand it as key to advancing ICA's history of advocating for artists, research, and dialogues that encourage an exchange of ideas on art and society. They will be expected to center this work at every stage of the process--from incubation to realization--and to consider how their projects engage multiple perspectives and communities, as well as their immediate colleagues within the ICA.

The Associate Curator / Curator manages all aspects of curatorial project development including but not limited to: exhibition research, writing, exhibition credits, rights and reproductions, exhibition checklists, publications, and administrative duties, and they will work closely with ICA's Curatorial Project Manager and Administrative Coordinator on payments, budgets, and distribution of materials. The Associate Curator / Curator represents ICA within the wider community and contributes to ICA Development, Marketing, Public Engagement & Research, and Curatorial projects/events as determined by the Curatorial Department.

Job Description


Provide ICA with curatorial expertise within a collaborative and mission-focused environment that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Actively engage in original research and development of curatorial works spanning group, thematic, and solo exhibitions, as well as curatorial projects that are not limited to but include a focus on emergent artistic and cultural practices, bring to light overlooked artists and ideas, and explore issues that contextualize and resonate with the socio-political conditions of our time. Conduct studio visits and develop relationships with artists and thinkers. 25%

Conceive of original exhibitions including new research and proposal of artists and ideas, budgeting, and correspondence. Produce essays, exhibition checklists, develop audience-facing didactics, gallery tours, correspondence, manage publications, and other interpretive materials. Work collaboratively across teams, including working closely with Development on grant narratives and funding strategies; contributing to programming in tandem with Public Engagement and Research; and working with Marketing on outreach initiatives including press releases, ICA's online presence, and social media. Contribute to IDEA@ICA , a staff-led group focused on ensuring inclusion, diversity, equity, and access are centered in everything we do. 25%

Manage workflow and maintain aspects of their developed exhibitions and any related programs and publications. Duties include: coordination of budgeting with Director of Curatorial Affairs, maintenance of timelines and contributors with Chief Curator, liaise with outside vendors and suppliers, and miscellaneous administrative responsibilities. Works closely with ICA Curatorial Project Manager and Administrative Coordinator on payments and distribution of materials. Contribute productively to cross-department program meetings. Communicate across departments as exhibitions develop to maintain flow of communication and resource sharing. Mentor fellows, work-study students, and student board as applicable. 25%

Represent ICA within the University and the art community; attend ICA Development, Marketing, Public Engagement & Research, and Curatorial events including ICA co-produced events as necessary and attend outside art openings, programs, conferences, lectures, and meetings. Actively visit graduate departments, galleries, and nonprofit arts organizations. Participate in local and global art communities, and present new ideas from the field to the curatorial team. Develop original lectures for external venues. Contribute to identifying traveling exhibitions and venues for ICA exhibitions. 20%

Other duties and responsibilities as assigned. 5%


Associate Curator
  • Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts, Art History or related field is required, Master's Degree in Fine Arts or Art History is preferred, and 3 to 5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A passion for ICA's mission and belief in art as a powerful engine for positive social change.
  • A passion for supporting underrepresented artists and emerging ideas in contemporary culture.
  • Art-related experience in a gallery, presenting organization, or museum setting is essential.
  • Experience conducting original research to develop curatorial projects spanning group, thematic, and solo formats.
  • Must have excellent communication, writing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Must possess exceptional organizational skills, be detailed oriented and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • An interest in working collaboratively, mentoring staff, and contributing to a strong and inclusive work culture.
  • Ability to work evening hours for events and some weekends required.
  • Knowledge of art publishing production a plus.
  • Knowledge of Filemaker Pro, Adobe Suite, Powerpoint, and Excel a plus.

  • All qualifications above and a track record of developing original research, realizingcuratorial projects spanning group, thematic, and solo formats, as well as writing, editing, and producing publications.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Associate Curator Budgeted Pay Range:

$60K -- $65K commensurate with education and experience

Curator Budgeted Pay Range:

$70K -- $75K commensurate with education and experience

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Institute of Contemporary Art

Pay Range
$50,684.00 - $91,232.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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