Job Overview and Requirements
Hyde Park Art Center seeks a full-time Ceramics Department Head to oversee all aspects of its dynamic ceramics programming, including the management of day-to-day operations of the ceramics program and facilities, strategizing long-term vision and growth opportunities, and implementing high quality instruction for a diverse community of makers. In this capacity, the successful candidate will embrace a range of essential instructional and operational responsibilities.
Key elements of the ceramics department include:
- The largest department within the Art Center’s Oakman Clinton School and Studios, with over 500 adult and 200 youth enrollments annually.
- A diverse population of class-takers including functional potters, experimental sculptors, young people, first-timers, and professional artists.
- Program offerings that include multi-level throwing and handbuilding, figurative sculpture, majolica, surface design, youth and summer camp programs.
This position is supported by a skilled, collaborative team that includes:
- A part-time (approx. 20 hours per week) dedicated Ceramics Studio Assistant who supports firing, glaze mixing, studio organization, and other studio-related tasks.
- A School and Studio Coordinator who creates quarterly studio schedules, places and tracks supply orders, coordinates clay shipments and equipment repairs, and offers additional studio-related support.
- A Ceramics Studio Resident who supports bisque firing, clay reclamation, and miscellaneous studio maintenance.
- Ceramics Studio Monitors who offer student support and assist with general studio upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance.
- 2-3 Student Volunteers who assist with general studio upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance.
Studio Operations and Maintenance (40%)
- Implement a timely and transparent schedule of cone 10 reduction and oxidation firing.
- Oversee the upkeep of glaze mixing; formulate and test new glazes.
- Oversee a studio maintenance team, including part-time assistant(s), studio monitors, and volunteers.
- Ensure the instruction and oversight of safety procedures involved in all aspects of the ceramics studio.
- Oversee the coordination of studio scheduling, in collaboration with the School and Studio Coordinator
- Create and maintain transparent and user-friendly organizational systems for students, teaching artists, and the ceramics studio team.
- Oversee clay distribution; track supply inventory; maintain and acquire equipment; and responsibly manage the department budget, in collaboration with the School and Studio Coordinator.
- Communicate studio policies, updates, and feedback loops professionally and regularly with the ceramics team, staff, teaching artists, and students.
- Organize and lead regular department meetings.
- Work with the ceramics team, staff, teaching artists, and students to address studio needs and challenges proactively and as they arise.
Teaching and Mentorship (40%)
- Teach 3 - 5 courses per term, including advanced practice and specialty workshops. Option to teach youth, but not required.
- Provide instructional, technical, and administrative support to teaching artists, students, and staff.
- Manage and formalize a yearlong ceramics residency apprenticeship program.
- Mentor the studio assistant(s) to develop leadership skills, confidence, and technical expertise.
- Oversee studio monitor program, in collaboration with the School and Studio Coordinator.
- Collaborate with the Director of School and Studio Programs to identify, recruit, hire, onboard, and supervise new part-time teaching artists and visiting artists.
Strategic Planning and Long-term Visioning (20%)
- Collaborate on creative and practical solutions for long-term program growth and changes in studio usage, with a focus on increased equity and access.
- Develop and implement a robust ceramics curriculum that caters to a diverse set of skills, needs, and goals – both attracting new students and nurturing an existing and long-time clay community.
- Collaborate with Art Center staff and external partners to create alignment and cross-pollination between and among Art Center departments, creative disciplines, and the wider arts communities.