Lead Preparator of Exhibitions

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Job Description          

Job Title:  Lead Preparator  

Department: Exhibitions & Collections


Summary: Working with the Senior Curator and the Exhibitions department, the Lead Preparator will lead and implement all steps related to the planning, design, and implementation of exhibitions. Leading a small team of prep staff, the Lead Preparator is responsiblefor the installation of exhibitions, the packing and crating related to exhibitions and collections, and for transportation of works of art. This includes but is not limited to construction, cleaning, crating, painting, and planning.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. In collaboration with the Exhibitions department, the Lead Preparator is responsible for the planning and enacting of the following responsibilities:


  • Long- and short-term planning for exhibitions. This includes but is not limited to arranging for additional prep staff, budget planning, collaborating with the Senior Curator on exhibition design and scheduling de-installation and installation of exhibitions.
  • Preparing for all aspects of exhibitions at the Arts Center, as well as touring venues. This includes but is not limited to wall construction, wall painting and repairing, pedestal and/or mount construction.
  • Transporting works of art, related materials, and equipment for exhibitions and collections, internally and externally.
  • Managing the care, packing, and shipping of all works of art and related materials loaned to or owned by the Arts Center.
  • Responsible for coordination of, and installation for eight to ten exhibitions per year, including several site-specific installations.
  • Conduct training of staff members and security guards in the security of all exhibitions.
  • Research and coordination of major repairs and replacements in the galleries.
  • Ability to work directly with artists to install their works of art.
  • Supervises a team of permanent and temporary preparators.
  • Maintain the organization of the workshop; maintain inventory controls and tracking and oversee general maintenance of equipment.
  • Work collaboratively both within the Exhibitions department and with other departments in the Arts Center on special projects, as needed.
  • Maintains and instills a high level of standards related to exhibition preparation.
  • Work closely with the registrars to oversee the safety and movement of all artwork entering and leaving the facility.
Skills & Qualifications: 


To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:


Design—Generates creative solutions, translates concepts and information into images, uses feedback to modify designs, applies design principles, demonstrates attention to detail.


Problem Solving—Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner, gathers and analyzes information skillfully, develops alternative solutions, works well in group problem-solving situations, uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.


Technical Skills—Assesses own strengths and weaknesses, pursues training and development opportunities, strives to continuously build knowledge and skills, shares expertise with others.


Planning/Organizing—Prioritizes and plans work activities, uses time efficiently, plans for additional resources, sets goals and objectives, organizes or schedules other people and their tasks, develops realistic action plans.


Safety and Security—Observes safety and security procedures, determines appropriate action beyond guidelines, reports potentially unsafe conditions, uses equipment and materials properly.


EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE                                                     

Qualified candidates must have a BA or BFA, and a minimum of three years of experience handling and installing works of art. Experience in a museum preferred. MFA or arts background preferred.


Computer Skills                                               

To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Internet software including spreadsheet and word processing software. CAD knowledge and exhibition software knowledge preferred.


OTHER SKILLS AND ABILITIES                                                  

Knowledge and experience in carpentry, welding, construction, painting, matting and framing art, mount-making, rigging, mounting signs, and graphics.

Knowledge and experience in exhibition design programs.

Knowledge and experience with time-based media, including video and audio.

Operational knowledge and experience using a forklift, and general knowledge of how to use it to lift heavy and sometimes awkward loads.

Experience driving a 25 ft. truck.

Ability to think on the fly and solve installation and handling problems on a timely basis.

Heavy lifting, climbing, and strenuous physical activities are essential functions of the position.



A valid Wisconsin driver’s license is required of employees who drive Arts Center vehicles.

To Apply: 

Send cover letter, résumé, and professional references to:


John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Human Resources Manager

608 New York Avenue,

Sheboygan, WI 53081

Or email: HR@jmkac.org

Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Samantha Kluck
Contact Email: