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What Do Art Curators Do?

For any art exhibitions to be successful there are certain people who are actually involved and responsible. Whether it is a painting show, installation or sculptures or even digital art show, a curator is important to ensure the smooth flow of the event apart from the gallery owner who has to fund and provide the space.

An art curator is basically known as the event manager of the show. The main difference here is that an art curator is very much a specialized job. Apart from ensuring the logistics of the show, the art curator must have an in-depth knowledge of art in order for the show to succeed.

The art curator could sometimes be the gallery owner themselves if they are well versed with art, the artist and the environments surrounding the show while occasionally; a professional art curator who could or could not be an artist is engaged to run the show.

The modern art curator has changed in its role since the early ages where they are expected to not only put out a good show while they would also need to network, sell the art as well as not being overly zealous in the selling.

Typically, art curators do this job for a living where they are paid a certain fee to manage the exhibition. There are instances where there are special arrangements with the gallery where a certain portion of the sale of the art are offered to the art curator, thereby giving them more incentives to try and strike a deal.

An interesting aspect about this expertise is that an art curator becomes known for a certain type of show they have been engaged in and that becomes the basis of them being selected to curate a future show. One can specialise as an art curator in photography exhibitions which means that they know the best methods to showcase photographs in a specific space because they have done that numerous times.

In situations like these, the art curator would have an ‘eye’ for photography while they are also in the know of where to find the best spaces to hold such an exhibition, selecting the appropriate gallery for the show.

This means that the art curator is involved with every single aspect of the particular art exhibition. Typically, when a show involves a certain artist that the gallery might not be familiar with or instances when the artist request that a particular art curator be involved, then these experts are called in to ensure everything is in order.

Among the specific skills that the art curator must have include knowledge of art and the current art scene both locally and internationally, organizing skills, managing of contacts and art collectors and very importantly, be able to conduct research and write press releases.
Apart from that, the art curator must also be able to work out budgeting and costing because running an art exhibition involves a lot of money and time. Marketing, public relations and fundraising are also essential skills that the art curator would need in order to run the show.