The new exhibit in your town!
February 8, 2009 11:12 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend would like to work in the business of art exhibit production. She's got a Master's in Art History and has taught art history at a number of schools and has worked in museums. But she's not sure how exactly she could get into the field of art exhibit production. Does anyone have any experiences in this field that may help her figure out a place to start?

I'm specifically talking about the big art exhibits that move from Museum to Museum across the country and the globe.
posted by aburd to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Times recently ran an article on a young art director and her recent exhibit at Art Basel Miami Beach. It's part of a series of articles looking at how people break into careers in the arts.
posted by Tufa at 11:46 AM on February 8, 2009

Best answer: Here are links to many organizations (some private sector, some not-for-profit) that mount traveling exhibits:

SITES (Smithsonian's traveling exhibit arm
Arts and Exhibitions International
Trust for Museum Exhibitions
Smith Kramer
ICI Exhibitions
Exhibits USA
Curatorial Assistance
American Federation of the Arts
California Exhibition Resources

If she's near you in Nashville, then she probably knows that the Frist Center for the Visual Arts relies entirely on traveling exhibits. Working/volunteering there would introduce her to the field as well.
posted by carmicha at 1:25 PM on February 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you head to the library and look through back issues of Museum News, you'll see ads for many such companies throughout the magazine. That is probably the very shortest route to identifying exhibit design firms to submit resumes to. However, it's advisable to start getting to know more about the field. Informational interviewing will help greatly. Identify some firms you can travel to easily, and then call them with a quick speech about how you're exploring the field and would like to know about how to get involved, what the trade journals and associations are, etc.

Also, consider going to the American Association of Museums annual meeting. The expo hall contains dozens of these companies showing off their skills and wares. Dropping cards there and chatting with the reps is a good way to make contacts. It would be an excellent association to be in, anyway - attending the sessions on exhibit planning and design will be incredibly valuable in udnerstanding approaches and customer needs.

There are art-museum-specific associations but I'm not well informed about them. Keep in mind that the field of exhibit design expands far beyond the classic 'art' museum, and she might not want to rule out designing for history, science, or children's museums or even designing exhibitry for the corporate market or for events. It's a big field.
posted by Miko at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2009

Best answer: A close relation organizes a major international art fair...mefi-message me if you wish.
posted by Grimble at 7:02 PM on February 8, 2009

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