Exhibition Preparator/Audio-Visual Technician

Company Name: 

Whatcom Museum


121 Prospect St
Whatcom Museum
Bellingham, WA 98225



Job Description: 

The Whatcom Museum is currently accepting applications for an Exhibition Preparator/Audio-Visual Technician.  This full-time position works directly with museum Director of Exhibitions and Curator(s) to install and maintain permanent and temporary Museum exhibitions both onsite and off; develops, installs, and maintains exhibition audio-visual installations. Requires significant technical knowledge and independent judgment to coordinate activities related to the Museum’s collections and exhibitions.


  1. Works with the Director of Exhibitions and exhibition team in the planning, scheduling, and implementation of temporary and permanent art and history exhibits. Works with the Director of Exhibitions and/or exhibition Curator(s) in the review of the exhibit layout to include traffic flow, spatial alterations, wall texture and coloration, artifact props, lighting, special effects, signage, photographic/graphic support materials, labeling, etc.; assists Curator(s) in researching exhibition expenses for budget preparation; researches online and orders required materials and supplies; determines and monitors appropriate security levels; and, when appropriate, prepares and solicits bids and arranges for contractor fabrication of exhibition support materials.
  2. Works closely with Director of Exhibitions and Curator(s) to develop, create, install, troubleshoot, and maintain audio-visual components in galleries, lobbies, and other museum areas. At direction of Director of Exhibitions, researches equipment and costs to create high-quality audio-visual experiences.
  3. Designs, fabricates, and installs artifact mounts for 3D object installations and props.Assists with fabrication of custom-sized vitrines and pedestals. Designs and fabricates crates/packing materials for traveling exhibitions. Performs construction and installation duties associated with exhibition preparation.
  4. Assists with design and fabrication of prototypes for interactive components of permanent and temporary exhibitions, and Family Interactive Gallery. Finalizes interactives for installation based on visitor and staff reviews.
  5. Supervised by the Director of Exhibitions, coordinates the work of exhibition staff, interns, and volunteers assigned to installations. Participates in the installation activities with other designated Museum staff as assigned. Provides technical support to the Collections Manager in the packing and unpacking of artifacts and/or artworks for temporary exhibitions.
  6. At the request of the Director of Exhibitions and/or Curator(s), may perform some curatorial duties for select exhibitions, including assistance in researching and developing exhibition themes, interactive components, and/or audio-video components.
  7. Transports equipment, supplies, and artifacts in and between Museum buildings. Drives rental vehicles for pick-up and deliveries of exhibition crates, furniture, and surplus equipment. Uses forklift for exhibit crate relocation and other requirements. In conjunction with Curator(s) and the Director of Exhibitions, oversee the coordination and planning of installation and deinstallation activities in the galleries including creating workflows with clear prioritization of tasks. Manage workflow on the floor and assign tasks as needed.
  8. Coordinate dock and freight elevator use with other areas of the museum in advance of artwork delivery and installations/deinstallations. Communicate using email and shared calendar to avoid conflicting uses of spaces. 
  9. Prior to installation and deinstallation, plan and prepare pathways and storage areas for object movement including artwork, crates, packing materials, pedestals/vitrines, and construction materials
  10. Regularly review supplies, materials and tools needed for installation/deinstallation; order supplies and clean/launder materials as needed in advance of installation and deinstallation.


  1. Installation and maintenance of exhibition lighting and performs gallery maintenance duties.
  2. Performs other duties as assigned.


PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities):

  • Ability to work as part of a team and contribute to the effectiveness of team effort by working collaboratively and cooperatively with others.
  • Skills including leadership and supervisory ability; problem analysis and decisiveness; planning and organization; interpersonal sensitivity; time management; adaptability, flexibility, and stress tolerance.
  • Ability to effectively oversee and coordinate the work of other persons on assigned projects.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrates courtesy, tact, and good judgement in working with staff and the public.
  • Ability to maintain attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of City of Bellingham and Museum policies and procedures.
  • Proficiency in audio and video editing software and recording and videotaping equipment; knowledge in social media applications in an exhibition setting.
  • Office and computer skills sufficient to function in a professional role; proficient in online research and ordering.
  • Professional knowledge of two- and three-dimensional design concepts, graphic design and layout, and related procedures.
  • Experience in design and fabrication of artifact mounts, acrylic vitrines, and interactive prototypes.
  • Knowledge of methods and materials used in exhibition installations and sources in the field.
  • Working knowledge of art, artifact care and handling, and proper installation methods.
  • Ability to light exhibition based on curatorial requirements.
  • Skills in and knowledge of general and finish carpentry standards and practices, methods and materials.
  • Ability to safely use and maintain hand and power tools, paints and chemicals, graphic-fabrication equipment, forklift, and scissor lift.
  • Physical ability to perform all required duties including climbing ladders and scaffolding, and the moving of art, artifacts, and equipment safely and effectively.
  • Willingness and ability to potentially work an occasional alternate work schedule due to deinstallation / installation deadlines.
  • Ability and willingness to demonstrate the Public Service Competencies of Service Orientation, Results Orientation, and Teamwork and Cooperation.



Primary work locations are the Museum exhibit spaces in various buildings and exhibit support facilities (shop areas).  May work in awkward positions, on ladders and scaffolding to prepare and/or install exhibits.  Requires some lifting of heavy equipment and supplies.



  • Experience in all facets of museum exhibition fabrication; audio-visual experience in recording, editing, installation, and maintenance; and interactives design and fabrication.
  • Three years full time responsible experience with museum exhibits.
  • Valid Washington State driver’s license by time of hire.
  • Candidate will be asked to provide abstract showing proof of a good driving record prior to hire.
  • Employment contingent upon passing a criminal convictions check, child and adult abuse records check and local background check.


If you meet the above qualifications and are ready to apply, please send cover letter which incudes salary history and requirements, and resume to museuminfo@cob.org

Position is open until filled.