Southern Guild is looking to fill a senior gallery position. Reporting directly to Trevyn and Julian McGowan, the owners and co-founders of the gallery, the responsibilities of the role include sales and client liaison, curation, external liaison with fairs, partner galleries, museums, and institutions. The gallery is located in Cape Town’s Silo District.
Founded in 2008, Southern Guild pioneered the functional art and collectible design category on the African continent, propelling its artists and designers to make globally relevant, original work. The gallery’s rigorous curatorial programme shaped the world’s perceptions of African extraordinary design, forging a unique vernacular with strong narrative and substance, and Southern Guild is universally acknowledged as the leading authority in this category. Exploring traditional and uncommon techniques, unprecedented collaborations, contemporary craft, sustainability within luxury and the role of design for social impact, Southern Guild galvanized a movement within the industry.
In recent years, the gallery’s remit has evolved with a greater focus on three-dimensional, sculptural artforms, large-scale installations and fine art. The artists represented explore personal narratives, cultural structures and social change. A very important aspect of the work undertaken by the gallery – through its collaboration with imminent global institutions, foundations and museums – is to contribute to our deeper understanding of humanitarian, environmental and societal concerns with targeted projects, large-scale installations and immersive experiences.
Partnering with some of the most respected international galleries (Friedman Benda, R& Company) and auction houses (Christies London), work by Southern Guild artists is acquired by the world’s leading collectors and institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (NGV), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
For the role currently under consideration Principal Duties and Responsibilities include:
- Strategizing, developing and maintaining the gallery’s remit in collaboration with the gallery founders;
- Creative and curatorial direction;
- Liaising with clients and managing all aspects of sales;
- Managing and extending the client databases including leads administration and global research;
- Maintaining close working relationships with established artists from the gallery’s stable an developing relationships with new artists to the gallery;
- Working with international partners on exhibitions, manufacturing, shared artists;
- International fair applications, liaison and attendance;
- Curation and management of international online platforms;
- Assisting with the cataloguing of artworks and managing records and archives including working on the Art Galleria system;
- General administration, budgeting, finance and accounts in coordination with other departments;
- Managing any assistant staff, including scheduling and briefing on technical and artistic matters relating to programming.
Core requirements and skills:
- Creative vision and an understanding and first-hand experience of the art world;
- Excellent communications skills and the ability to engage authentically with clients and artists;
- Sales negotiation skills, in person and via email, including numeracy and analytical skills;
- Functional computer literacy including excel calculations and digital sales systems;
- Flexibility for travel, locally and internationally, with fair notice;
- Ability to problem solve, multi-task and work under pressure;
- Fastidious attention to detail, record keeping and accuracy;
- Independent working methods requiring decision-making, responsibility and accountability.