Joanna Bird is an international Gallery owner, Curator and Consultant with over thirty years’ experience in the art world as a practitioner, agent and commentator. She has built a reputation as an expert in the field, seeking out works which have been acquired by Museums and collectors worldwide. Joanna originally trained as a potter with Michael Cardew and practiced in her own right before setting up a contemporary ceramics gallery in 1994. Her passion for ceramics has been a guiding light in developing the business.

For her many distinguished clients, Joanna acts as an agent for commissioning the best of contemporary art. She specializes in site-specific displays of ceramics and glass in particular architectural settings, frequently using works of the masters to illustrate the creative roots and context of more modern pieces. She enjoys working in buildings of historic and architectural interest, embracing the ambience of ancient objects juxtaposed with the contemporary.

The Joanna Bird Foundation was established in 2012 with a mission to raise awareness of the Decorative Arts; by nurturing projects focusing on education and by exploring new concepts within the wider field of art. The Foundation aims to encourage emerging and established artists to share knowledge and experiences. These projects take the form of exhibitions, seminars, lectures, films and publications. Marking the Line, Ceramics and Architecture was the first life specific exhibition in response to Sir John Soane which involved four ceramic artists. This collaboration with Sir John Soane’s Museum then toured to Port Eliot, Cornwall and Pitzhanger Manor, London. This was the Foundation’s inaugural touring exhibition, followed recently by the film Richard Batterham, Master Potter.

Job Description

The ideal candidate would be highly organised, flexible in their approach to prioritisation of tasks, and a conscientious approach to clients and working within a small team. The applicant should have a positive attitude, able to work on their own initiative with a methodical and concise approach.

This position would suit someone with at least 18 months previous administration experience with a background in finance / HR, who has worked in the role of, or similar to, executive assistant in a gallery setting or in arts management. An interest in decorative arts and a keen eye for detail and design would be advantageous.

Key Responsibilities:

  • General administration tasks – filing, data entry, database management
  • Art handling – packing, handling, organising shipping and delivery arrangements
  • Diary management and PA responsibilities, including travel arrangements
  • Coordinating social media and marketing activities
  • Stock management, both digital and physical
  • Maintaining and building good relationships with clients, artists, press contacts
  • Meeting deadlines in a sometimes time pressured environment
  • Project management – producing and maintaining project plans
  • Minutes and agendas for both the Gallery and the Foundation
  • Copywriting – press releases, newsletters, blog posts for the Gallery and Foundation website
  • Accounting – invoicing clients, issuing statement of sales to artists, booking keeping, budget management, VAT returns
  • HR – processing payroll, pensions
  • Some minor evening work for support with exhibition events and additional hours for off-site exhibition builds and dismantling same

Key creative projects the selected candidate will be involved in:

  • A major art project for the charitable Joanna Bird Foundation, set to culminate over a 5-year period
  • COLLECT 2020; Joanna has exhibited at COLLECT for 15 years, this year is especially prestigious as it will be held for the first time in Somerset House with the Gallery’s stand in a prominent position
  • Bi-annual London showroom exhibitions in Chiswick

Essential Requirements:

  • Minimum of 18 months experience in arts administration at mid-to-senior level
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office programs primarily Excel and Word
  • Experience using Adobe Photoshop, and Sage software
  • Good sense of layout and design, graphic design and creative ideas
  • Bookkeeping and accounting knowledge and experience
  • Experience using social media platforms for marketing, WordPress for website updates
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Copywriting experience, a high degree of literacy is important for letters to clients, writing up exhibition catalogues and advertising
  • Ability to plan and execute all details pertaining to managing exhibition projects from start to finish

Desired Requirements:

  • Full clean driver’s license
  • Working experience of WordPress
  • iMac literate
  • Photography

Employee Benefits

  • Time off in lieu is given for the small amount of evening work required to support with exhibition events and any additional hours needed for off-site exhibition builds and dismantling
  • Lunches are supplied
  • Nest pensions scheme is offered at 3% employer contribution

To apply

Submit your CV and covering letter outlining why you are suitable for the role to

Closing date: 7th October at 5.30 pm

Joanna Bird is an equal opportunity employer.