Chief Exhibition Designer

As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, with one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through art from around the world via innovative collections, groundbreaking exhibitions, and riveting educational programs. The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood as the state’s first art museum. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion, European art, and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, visit mintmuseum.org

Job summary:
The Chief Exhibition Designer is a key team member of the Collections & Exhibitions Department responsible for the creative direction and development of innovative and engaging designs, implementing the Museum’s strategic priorities and aligning the Museum’s physical spaces with the curatorial vision and the institutional branding. The Chief Designer works collaboratively with the Curators, Director of Collections & Exhibitions, Marketing & Communication, Learning & Engagement, graphic designers, art services, registrars, and other staff members on research, concept development, design, production and installation phases in the execution of the Museum’s ambitious schedule of exhibitions, installations, and gallery rotations.

The Chief Designer is also responsible for managing the design and production of internal signage and wayfinding systems. The position provides leadership for cross-departmental collaboration to implement the highest stewardship standards for the Museum’s collections and exhibitions and plays key role in fostering an organizational culture that values positive leadership, innovation, and inclusion, and inspires excellence in the work environment.

Responsibilities:
• Serves on exhibition teams for both in-house and traveling exhibitions, working collaboratively with Curators to design exhibition layouts and environmental treatment that are respective of curatorial premise and interpretive strategies. Works with Registrars and Art Services to create layout observant of display guidelines and security-relevant to the artwork
• Organizing presentations, design briefs, identifying, and supporting initiatives for innovative implementation of designs for all exhibitions and permanent collection installations including, but not limited to, renderings, schematic designs, concept designs, and shop drawings, as needed, for review by internal staff and to inform RFP(s) for outside contractors
• Creative directs and supervises Exhibition Graphic Designer in the development of environmental graphics for exhibition spaces and galleries, museum stores, internal wayfinding and special event signage ensuring a consistent high-quality visitor experience
• Works closely with Curators and Exhibition Graphic Designer to design exhibition branding, coordinating with Advancement & Communications team members to ensure consistent application of established exhibition branding and graphic identity and compliance with donor and sponsor recognition commitments
• Consulting and advising other staff on aspects of design between the Uptown and Randolph facilities to ensure a consistent visual brand, style, and voice for the Museum; this includes collaborating on, advising and guiding design decision, working with the communications and marketing team, the Museum Store, and visitor gathering spaces, interior and exterior
• Works closely with key members of the Curatorial team and Learning & Engagement to ensure the appropriate delivery of curatorial concepts and interpretive methods and messages developing interactives and overseeing the design and integration of all interpretive elements
• Identifies exhibition furniture; design specifications, methods, materials and display techniques for museum casework, platforms, walls, partitions, fixtures and lighting associated with realizing the design and layout
• Works closely with Art Services and Registration to determine technology and equipment needs for the installation including digital and audio-visual equipment, lighting, and other electrical. Assists with maintaining inventory
• Coordinates with Art Services and Exhibition Graphic Designer to manage outside services as needed for the fabrication and construction associated with exhibitions and permanent collection installations
• Collaborates with Registrar and Art Services to manage the installation of art objects, exhibition materials and didactics, and lighting of the exhibition.
• Works with Exhibition Coordinator on exhibition graphic schedules and deadlines
• Develops and tracks the budget for the Design Department
• Participates in the installation of all designed projects, assisting with complicated graphics, casework, and art installations, adhering to best practices for handling, installation, and movement of objects; assists with the movement of art as needed
• Plays role in the planning and logistical support for capital projects
• Plays key role in the development of policies and procedures of the highest museum standards and best practices, coordinates with Registration and Art Services on materials and methods particular to a museum environment, to creatively work within requirements set down by contracts and copyright law
• Develops, implements, and supervises programs aligned with the Museum’s strategic priorities
• Maintains international, national, and regional network
• Participates in special projects as assigned by the President & CEO and Director of Collections & Exhibitions
• Other duties as assigned

Education:
B.A. in the arts or related field preferred. Alternative degree, credentials and/or experience may be considered for applicability.

Experience:
• Recommended five (5)-to seven (7) years of experience in a relevant design discipline and a portfolio demonstrating substantial experience leading collaborative design processes and producing highly creative and engaging design products that can be implemented within the budget and architectural confines
• Understanding of proper art handling and maintenance of museum objects
• Strong communication skills and proven familiarity with construction techniques, fabrication, lighting requirements, graphic design and production, maintenance, shipping, and de-installation
• Demonstrate mastery of project, task, and time management as well as budget forecasting, management and supervisory experience

Knowledge and skills:
• Ability to organize, represent, and communicate concepts effectively through design
• Strong knowledge of color utilization and design theory
• Excellent time management, planning, and organizational skills and the ability to work on multiple projects concurrently in a fast-paced environment
• Broad computer knowledge is essential including experience with Sketch Up, Adobe Creative Cloud, AUTOCAD or 3D design related software, and Microsoft Office
• Demonstrate ability to visualize in two and three dimensions
• Strong communication skills and the ability to work well collaboratively
• Strong enthusiasm and self-motivated
• Must be responsible, dependable, and able to work effectively in a team-based environment
• Working knowledge of best practices for art movement and installation
• Hands-on experience with construction as well as art museum-appropriate materials and fabrication techniques, shop drawings, fabrication, lighting design, and graphic production
• Hands-on experience with tools and equipment associated with woodworking, construction, lighting, electrical, and audio-visual / computer displays
• Must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work professionally and collaboratively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds in a team-oriented environment
• Must be able to lift more than 50 lbs., operate hand tools safely, and drive a van and box truck

Desirable qualifications:
Familiarity with museum best practices and trends in the field. Familiarity with OSHA standards. Strong supervisory skills and ability to set staff priorities and delegate responsibilities. A strong sense of maintaining confidentiality while exercising good judgment in the workplace is highly desirable.

Working conditions:
Normal office environment, periodic travel, night, or weekend work required. Physical ability for exhibition installations required. Must have the ability to bend, lift a minimum of 50 pounds without assistance, and climb stairs. Valid driver’s license.