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Gallery Attendant, The New York Earth Room

Application deadline: Open until filled

Part-time position based in New York, New York
$18 per hour

About Dia Art Foundation 

Dia Art Foundation was established in 1974 for the purpose of collecting, commissioning, and presenting major works of art made in the 1960s onward. Today it consists of nine permanent sites across the United States and Germany, as well as three changing exhibition spaces in New York State: Dia Chelsea in New York City, Dia Beacon in the Hudson Valley, and Dia Bridgehampton on Long Island. Dia is taken from the Greek word for “through” and conveys the foundation’s role as a facilitator of meaningful artistic experiences that can be encountered in single and repeated visits.  

About The New York Earth Room

Walter de Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977), an interior earth sculpture, is located at 141 Wooster Street in New York. This is the third Earth Room sculpture executed by the artist, the first being in Munich in 1968 and the second at the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt in West Germany in 1974. In 1977 Dia co-founder Heiner Friedrich invited De Maria to restage an Earth Room at his New York gallery. Thereafter it was determined that the work should remain on permanent view as a Dia site. Since then, The New York Earth Room has been maintained by Dia. The first two works no longer exist. 

Position summary

The Earth Room (ER) Gallery Attendant (GA) is a customer service–oriented individual who serves once a week as a knowledgeable, public-facing representative of Walter de Maria’s original work of art. The ER GA must be available for work on Sundays from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, with the flexibility to occasionally cover shifts for colleagues. They serve the important role of making the space available to the public, providing a positive experience for visitors, and safeguarding and performing light maintenance to the artwork. As the sole staff member on-site, the ER GA must work well autonomously, communicate effectively with staff, and be responsive to regular managerial outreach.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Open and close The Earth Room during scheduled visiting hours
  • Greet visitors to The Earth Room, responding to their queries, and ensure they have a positive experience while at the site; providing information about the collection as well as Dia’s history, mission, and sites
  • Monitor all safety regulations and demonstrate the ability to assist in case of an emergency
  • Perform light maintenance of the building prior to, during, and after public hours; this may include sweeping, cleaning surfaces, and disposing of garbage
  • Periodically water and rake the soil comprising the sculpture and clean and repair the walls surrounding the artwork
  • Inform supervisors of necessary repairs to the building and artwork; call attention to other issues and questions as appropriate
  • Act as backup on-site presence for Caretaker as needed
  • Participate in Visitor Services department trainings and other cross-site meetings
  • Provide assistance at Dia’s other NYC sites (Dia Chelsea and The Broken Kilometer) on an occasional and as-needed basis

Education, certifications, and experience

  • Experience in a customer-facing role, training in or knowledge of contemporary art preferred
  • Experience with light building maintenance

Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Interest in and ability to gain extensive knowledge of Walter De Maria, the history of The Earth Room, and Dia Art Foundation
  • Excellent customer-service skills to assist with visitor questions
  • Must be proficient in digital communications (email, virtual conferencing, etc.)
  • Ability to complete all essential job duties listed above

Working conditions and physical demands

  • The attendant is stationed at a desk with prolonged periods of sitting and visitor interaction
  • Must be comfortable working alone in the gallery space
  • Must be able to lift, carry, or move up to 30 lbs.
  • Must be capable of performing light maintenance, as listed in above duties

Part-time employees are eligible for paid sick days, holiday pay, and participation in the 401(k) savings program with employer match. Employees have the opportunity to learn about the collections through presentations by curators, artists, writers, and historians. Staff ID badges gain reduced or free admission to most American museums and arts organizations.  

This position is represented by the Technical, Office & Professional Union, Local 2110, UAW, AFL-CIO. 

Please note that to provide a safe workplace free of recognized hazards and to take every possible step to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 among our employees, Dia Art Foundation requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, except for those who obtain an exemption due to a medical condition, a religious belief, or pregnancy. 
Qualified candidates are invited to apply by completing the online Job Application, linked here, and attaching a resume and letter of interest. No phone calls or e-mails to addresses other than the one specified. Previous applicants need not apply as we keep resumes on file. 

Dia Art Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, citizenship status, disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in its employment policies. In addition, Dia will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. 

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