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Become A Gallery Director

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Working As A Gallery Director

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $92,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Gallery Director Do

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.

Duties

Art directors typically do the following: 

  • Determine how best to represent a concept visually
  • Determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use
  • Develop the overall look or style of a publication, an advertising campaign, or a theater, television, or film set
  • Lead graphic designers, set and exhibit designers, or other design staff
  • Review and approve designs, artwork, photography, and graphics developed by other staff members 
  • Talk to clients to develop an artistic approach and style
  • Coordinate activities with other artistic and creative departments
  • Develop detailed budgets and timelines
  • Present designs to clients for approval

Art directors typically oversee the work of other designers and artists who produce images for television, film, live performances, advertisements, or video games. They determine the overall style in which a message is communicated visually to its audience. For each project, they articulate their vision to artists. The artists then create images, such as illustrations, graphics, photographs, or charts and graphs, or design stage and movie sets, according to the art director’s vision.

Art directors work with art and design staffs in advertising agencies, public relations firms, and book, magazine, or newspaper publishers to create designs and layouts. They also work with producers and directors of theater, television, or movie productions to oversee set designs. Their work requires them to understand the design elements of projects, inspire other creative workers, and keep projects on budget and on time. Sometimes they are responsible for developing budgets and timelines. 

The following are some specifics of what art directors do in different industries:

In publishing, art directors typically oversee the page layout of catalogs, newspapers, or magazines. They also choose the cover art for books and periodicals. Often, this work includes publications for the Internet, so art directors oversee production of the websites used for publication.

In advertising and public relations, art directors ensure that their clients’ desired message and image are conveyed to consumers. Art directors are responsible for the overall visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and coordinate the work of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers.

In movie production, art directors collaborate with directors to determine what sets will be needed for the film and what style or look the sets should have. They hire and supervise a staff of assistant art directors or set designers to complete designs.

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How To Become A Gallery Director

Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and previous work experience. Depending on the industry, they may have worked as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, or photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors. 

Education

Many art directors start out in another art-related occupation, such as fine artists or photographers. Work experience in art or design occupations develops an art director’s ability to visually communicate to a specific audience creatively and effectively. They gain the appropriate education for that occupation, usually by earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

To supplement their work experience in those occupations and show their ability to take on a more creative or a more managerial role, some complete a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most art directors work 5 years or more in another occupation before becoming art directors. Depending upon the industry, they may work as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors.

For many artists, including art directors, developing a portfolio—a collection of an artist’s work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities—is essential. Managers, clients, and others look at artists’ portfolios when they are deciding whether to hire an employee or contract for an art project.

Important Qualities 

Communication skills. Art directors must be able to listen to and speak with staff and clients to ensure that they understand employees’ ideas and clients’ desires for advertisements, publications, or movie sets.

Creativity. Art directors must be able to come up with interesting and innovative ideas to develop advertising campaigns, set designs, or layout options.

Leadership skills. Art directors must be able to organize, direct, and motivate other artists. They need to articulate their visions to artists and oversee the work as it progresses.

Resourcefulness. Art directors must be able to adapt their latest designs to the changing technology used in their industry.

Time-management skills. Balancing competing priorities and multiple projects while meeting strict deadlines is critical for art directors.

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Gallery Director Demographics

Gender

Female

58.3%

Male

32.7%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

30.9%

Spanish

29.1%

Italian

9.1%

Russian

7.3%

Japanese

5.5%

Portuguese

3.6%

Greek

3.6%

German

3.6%

Chinese

1.8%

Albanian

1.8%

Hebrew

1.8%

Mandarin

1.8%
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Gallery Director Education

Schools

New York University

9.8%

Savannah College of Art and Design

8.2%

Maryland Institute College of Art

7.4%

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

6.6%

Arizona State University

6.6%

University of Oregon

5.7%

College of Charleston

4.9%

University of Florida

4.9%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.9%

University of New Mexico

4.9%

Temple University

4.1%

Florida Atlantic University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.1%

Ohio University -

3.3%

Bard College

3.3%

Wayne State University

3.3%

University of New Orleans

3.3%

University of Rhode Island

3.3%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.3%
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Majors

Fine Arts

44.8%

Business

10.0%

Graphic Design

8.6%

Photography

5.4%

Marketing

4.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.2%

Entertainment Business

2.5%

Communication

2.5%

Elementary Education

2.1%

Interior Design

1.9%

English

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Political Science

1.8%

Education

1.6%

Management

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%

Anthropology

1.4%

Journalism

1.4%

Real Estate

1.2%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

25.4%

Other

18.9%

Associate

4.5%

Certificate

3.1%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$92,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$189,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
New York University
Highest Paying City
Charlotte, NC
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Gallery Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Gallery Director in the United States is $92,299 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $189,000.

Real Gallery Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Gallery Director Helly Nahmad Gallery Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $232,200
Gallery Director Helly Nahmad Gallery New York, NY Sep 21, 2012 $223,200
Gallery Director Arario Gallery New York, NY Nov 18, 2009 $150,000
Gallery Director Untitled, LP New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $80,500
Gallery Director New York University New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $80,000
Gallery Director MacCarone Gallery LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $80,000
Gallery Director Nykulturist Inc. New York, NY Sep 28, 2013 $78,033
Gallery Director Nykulturist Inc. New York, NY Sep 05, 2014 $76,405
Gallery Director-Curator 303 Gallery, Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2013 $75,000
Gallery Director Peter Freeman, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $75,000
Gallery Director de Re Gallery LLC Los Angeles, CA Jul 10, 2015 $70,000
Gallery Director/Curator Luxembourg Dayan, LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $65,000
Gallery Director Exclusive European Antiques Inc. West Palm Beach, FL Dec 01, 2014 $62,610
Gallery Director/Curator MMFA, LLC Palm Desert, CA Sep 19, 2014 $60,000 -
$80,000
Gallery Director French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Sep 27, 2011 $56,000
Gallery Director Luxembourg Dayan LLC New York, NY Sep 17, 2014 $55,000
Gallery Director Garis & Hahn LLC New York, NY Jun 11, 2014 $55,000
Gallery Director VOX Populi Inc. Philadelphia, PA Aug 18, 2014 $48,600
Gallery Director Barakat Gallery Ltd. Beverly Hills, CA Aug 27, 2013 $46,018 -
$50,088
Gallery Director Barakat Gallery Ltd. Beverly Hills, CA Aug 22, 2013 $45,914 -
$50,088
Gallery Director (Administrator) The Guild Art USA, Inc. New York, NY Dec 10, 2009 $45,300
Gallery Director (Administrator) The Guild Art USA, Inc. New York, NY Dec 14, 2009 $45,300
Gallery Director (Administrator) The Guild Art USA, Inc. New York, NY Dec 21, 2009 $45,300
Assistant Gallery Director About Glamour Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2014 $44,453
Gallery Director Barry Friedman Ltd. New York, NY Aug 25, 2014 $44,304
Gallery Director About Glamour Inc. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $43,618

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Top Skills for A Gallery Director

  1. Local Businesses
  2. Gallery Exhibitions
  3. Art Direction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed public lectures and workshops in conjunction with gallery exhibitions and regional events.
  • Developed and maintained the gallery website.
  • Revised employee handbook and instituted personalized customer service program to improve client loyalty and increase referral business.
  • Write and distribute press releases; develop and maintain relationships with contacts in print, radio, internet and television markets.
  • Conducted gallery special events including caterer supervision, menu selection, seating arrangements, and catering staff payroll.

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Top 10 Best States for Gallery Directors

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. Georgia
  5. New Mexico
  6. Oregon
  7. Maine
  8. Illinois
  9. Utah
  10. New Jersey
  • (251 jobs)
  • (367 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (97 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)

Top Gallery Director Employers

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Jobs From Top Gallery Director Employers

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