Curator of Art and Community Engagement

Company Name: 

The High Desert Museum

Contact Name: 

Shannon Campbell


541.382.4754 ext. 391


Job Description: 

High Desert Museum – Organization Description

The High Desert Museum is a non-profit organization focused on the biotic and cultural elements of the High Desert region of the Western United States. Located near Bend, Oregon, on the edge of the beautiful Deschutes National Forest, the Museum melds the natural history of diverse habitat types with human history of the environment into a unique blend of indoor and outdoor exhibits, living history and both living and historic collections.


Job Summary – Curator of Art and Community Engagement

High Desert Museum seeks a Curator of Art and Community Engagement to provide all aspects of research, exhibition creation, program development, and oversight of the High Desert Museum’s art collection. The Curator of Art and Community Engagement will have the intellectual vision and practical skills necessary to present, interpret and build a vibrant collection of art of the American West that will be utilized in thought-provoking exhibitions and inspiring community programs. The Museum emphasizes scholarship: the qualified applicant will have a familiarity with the historic and contemporary literary works and academic journals that focus on art of the American West, and the Intermountain West in particular. The applicant must have a proven record of creating and effectively managing the production of exhibits on diverse art themes, including contemporary art works. We seek an individual with innovative programming concepts and delivery who applies their expertise to inspire our visitors to learn more about art of the American West, and the interdisciplinary relationship between people and the natural and cultural resources of the region. The successful candidate will create and conduct multigenerational public education programs that integrate STEAM concepts. The candidate must have excellent presentation and written skills. Teaching experience and experience working with collections is a plus.

A positive demeanor, high level of professionalism and the ability to learn new skills quickly are essential traits. We look at each candidate in terms of combined skills; different combinations of skills can serve to qualify for the position.



  • M.A. in Fine Art, Art History, Art Education or related field required; or combination of education and workexperience (BA, supplemented with 2 years curatorialexperience).
  • A thorough knowledge of art of the American West with interest in the High Desertand Intermountain Westregions.
  • Success in generating ambitious, creative and inspired programs to advance the arts.
  • Proven curatorial track record of creating compelling, interdisciplinary exhibitions.
  • Experience with best practices in museum education and curation.
  • Experience in effective and dynamic public speaking, educational programs andlectures, and creating and teaching standards-basedcurriculum.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively communicate, both verbally andin writing, the importance of art andartifacts.
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines andbudgets.
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team, establishing and maintaining effectiveworking relationships with fellow employees, volunteers and the public.
  • Strong commitment to collaboration and engaging the community in the arts.
  • Ability to work flexible hours and days asnecessary.


Responsibilities and Tasks


  • As a member of the Programs Department, collaborates with Museum curators to plan and lead lectures, trips, tours and interpretive programs with an emphasis on art of the American West, and integrating art with cultural and natural history, to diverse audiences.
  • Collaborates with the Education department to expand and enhance art of the American West programming. This includes providing expertise indeveloping, planning and implementing innovative school and publicprograms.
  • Develops and maintains partnerships with organizations and institutions throughout the region.


  • Plans and executes art and interdisciplinary exhibitions with the Exhibits Team. Provides curatorial content, research and planning for exhibit design, construction andrenovation, including participating in the Museum’s changing exhibition program and permanentexhibits.


  • In conjunction with the Collections Committee, adheres to the Museum’s CollectionManagement Policy and develops strategic, long range planning of thecollection.
  • Collects art pieces, objects and materials in accordance with the Museum’s Collections Management Policyand Strategic CollectingPlan.


  • Conducts training of education staff, interns, teen and adult volunteers. May supervise interns and volunteers as appropriate.
  • Complies with all Museum policies, procedures and safetyregulations.
  • Performs other tasks and duties as assigned by immediatesupervisor.



Please send resume and cover letter to the High Desert Museum,

Attention: Shannon Campbell