Art Commissioning Associate

Hyde Park Art Center is seeking a contract worker to support the planning and implementation of Not Just Another Pretty Face, a triennial art-commissioning project. This employment will start September 2018 and conclude October 2019 (14 months). This support staff will report to the Art Center’s Director of Development.

Not Just Another Pretty Face (NJAPF) is the Art Center’s matchmaking-commissioning program for artists and potential art buyers that facilitates lasting relationships between artists and patrons, a new base of support for artists, and investment in the vitality of Chicago’s cultural community. The program occurs every three years, and involves a broad range of patrons and artists, with commissions ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands of dollars. To date, the Art Center has raised nearly $1,000,000—half of which goes directly into the hands of artists, with the other half going to support Art Center programs. The project culminates in an exhibition of the original works of art, a catalog documenting the process, and a lively event to unveil the finished pieces, which the patrons take home following the exhibition. 


  • Contact participating artists (approximately 90) to collect bios, work samples, price range, artist statements, and goals for a commission
  • Collate all materials collected from artists into two binders and the Art Center’s website for external viewing and create price lists and other support materials
  • Attend two artist information sessions
  • Practice presenting the project publically and speaking intelligently about all participating artists and their practices
  • Attend salons around the city (approximately 20 – 25) to give presentations and discuss potential commissions with individuals
  • Strategize with Art Center staff about how to develop commissions
  • Contact potential commissioning patrons to learn about their interests
  • Arrange meetings and studio visits with potential patrons and artists
  • Support patrons in commissioning artists, including providing options, exploring price ranges, making suggestions, and helping them navigate the process
  • Arrange contracts between patrons and artists, clearly communicating the expectations of all three parties (artists, patrons, and Hyde Park Art Center)
  • Communicate with artists to ensure that the art is delivered to the Art Center by the deadline
  • Collect artwork information (title, size, medium, etc.) and artist statement from artists for catalog
  • Collect patron statements from patrons for catalog
  • Other duties related to NJAPF as needed


Compensation & Benefits:

The NJAPF Associate is a contract position with a stipend of $1,100 per month for a 14-month term beginning in September 2018 and concluding in October 2019. The NJAPF Associate will report to the Director of Development and collaborate with all departments. The associate should expect to work an average of 10 to 15 hours a week, with certain weeks being more or less depending on needs. An estimated 40% of the work can be done remotely while 10% of the work will be at Hyde Park Art Center, and about 50% of the work will done at homes and studios around Chicago. Travel is required for home and studio visits, and hours will vary, but will include many evenings and a few weekends.

Organizational Culture:

Hyde Park Art Center promotes and develops a culture within its staff that reflects the values and core principles of equity, inclusion, and access. We understand that these have become buzzwords but we believe deeply in the responsibility we have to change the inequitable landscape of the arts, and we’re committed to the hard work it takes to make it better. We believe in intentional risk-taking and experimentation for good and thoughtful reasons, and work collaboratively with one another to ensure alignment and dynamism throughout all we do.

Skills & Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate will have a strong desire to learn and grow with the organization. S/he/they have:

  • Experience working with Artists 
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including public speaking
  • Critical thinking skills and creativity, particularly with matching artists with patrons
  • The ability to work as part of a team in a unique, fast-paced, and dynamic environment.
  • Broad understanding of, and commitment to, the development and support of Chicago artists
  • Interest in social practice, art and social interaction, and social justice practice, as it relates to community projects
  • Experience with PowerPoint
  • Advanced skills in WordPress and web editing software – preferred
To Apply: 

To apply, please send cover letter, and resume to Aaron Rodgers, Director of Development, at Deadline is July 31, 2018. No applicant for employment with Hyde Park Art Center shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, reprisal for engaging in anti-discrimination activities, sexual orientation, or parental status.

Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Aaron Rodgers
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone Number: