Career Profile of Art Center Studio Assistant

Painter Rafael Canogar in the studio. Photo by Rafa Samano/Cover/Getty Images

Job Description of an Art Center Studio Assistant

An Art Center Studio Assistant works in an art institution like a community art center, art gallery, artist residency, art museum or alternative cultural space.

A Studio Assistant may work full or part-time at the art center providing artistic expertise and teaching arts and crafts lessons, working with the community of students of all ages, and maintaining the art studios and the studios’ tools, and equipment.

Education Needed to Be an Art Center Studio Assistant

A Studio Assistant needs to have an overall knowledge and expertise in the fine arts and must be able to teach art techniques of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks.

Typically, a Studio Assistant is a professional artist, and has majored in studio art in art school or university, and has at least a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree.

Having a driver’s license may be required as part of the job, depending on location and the expected requirements for the position.

Since the nature of the job is studio art, the Studio Assistant must be able to lift and move heavy items such as containers of clay and paint, equipment like easels and works of art.

Duties Required to Be an Art Center Studio Assistant

A Studio Assistant may assist with the ceramics workshop, so needs to be knowledgeable in glazing techniques, hand-throwing and wheel works, and how to operate the kiln.

Knowing how to use sculpture, woodworking, and jewelry-making tools, plus having the ability to teach painting and drawing are other requirements.

A Studio Assistant needs to work with the staff and public to help design workshops and classes. Stocking and organizing the studios with the appropriate materials and equipment before classes begin is vital to ensure everything runs smoothly and that the classes and workshops are prepared to accept the new students.

Operating a technical studio such as the ceramics area requires the ability to load and fire the kilns, and help mix the glazes. In running a print-making studio, the Studio Assistant sets up the links, printmaking tools, the hand-press and the ventilation system to make sure the classes are prepped in time for the schedule.

A Studio Assistant oversees the management of all the studios and workshop areas, making sure the areas are clean, safe and secure.

Customer service is another major part of the job, so being friendly and welcoming to the novice art student is key. A Studio Assistant makes sure the public follows the art center’s rules, such as no smoking, in order to make a safe environment for all to work in.

Skills Required to Be an Art Center Studio Assistant

A Studio Assistant needs to be skilled in a wide range of visual arts disciplines and needs to know how to teach artistic skills to both children and adults. Being passionate in the arts is vital, as the Studio Assistant helps inspire the students to learn to paint, draw, create ceramics, do print-making, and make sculptures or jewelry.

Art centers are notoriously known as having limited budgets, so the studio assistant needs to monitor the inventory closely and order supplies according to the budget.

As classes are generally short-term (like from one to six months), a Studio Assistant must also continually promote classes in order to keep paying students to keep taking art lessons.

Besides having the art knowledge and experience, the Studio Assistant must be able to prioritize and do good time management, in addition to possessing professional administrative, communicative, and organizational skills.

Further Info on an Art Center Studio Assistant

Fine Art offers many articles on art careers.

Artists and art students typically want to work at being artists, rather than doing menial labor jobs in order to make a living. Working as a Studio Assistant in an art center is one way to maintain an artistic practice.

Art centers like an art museum offer a wide-range of jobs, with many of those jobs being perfect for an artist.

Is working in the visual arts a viable career choice for you? Learn more about art museum jobs and get started on your new art career:

Further Resources

The following web links are for online job listings for art related jobs such as an Art Center Studio Assistant.

Please note that these job listings have deadlines and that the data is constantly changing.