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Temporary Preparator

Job Details

MOCA - Los Angeles, CA
$23.03 Hourly


Temporary Preparator I is an entry-level position and works onsite under the supervision of the Director of Exhibition Production, the Exhibition Production Managers, and/or Senior Preparators as assigned, to receive, mount, pack and disperse artworks in all exhibitions and the collection. These functions involve working closely with the Registration Department, Curatorial Department, and visiting artists and curators. Primary responsibility is the safe and careful handling of all objects placed within the Museum's care and overall collection stewardship and maintenance.

Because the scope of the MOCA's exhibition program incorporates conventional art forms as well as those which are more experimental in nature, Preparator I will have a variety of tasks and functions to perform, relating to all aspects of construction, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of exhibitions.


Essential Functions:

  • Work well as a team member and interact with a wide variety of staff and non-museum personnel.

  • Safely and carefully handle all objects placed within the museums care, using best practices.

  • Receive, release, load, and unload shipments of art as assigned.

  • Work in a precise and careful manner under stringent deadlines.

  • Display creativity in solving technical problems and flexibility in adapting to unusual circumstances.

  • Attend all mandatory safety and equipment training sessions. Comply with safety standards on all equipment use.

  • Help to foster a collegial and collaborative work environment, contributing to the development of department staff at all skill levels.

  • Maintain work spaces, gallery spaces, and artworks on display or in the collection according to standards set by Registrars, Exhibition Production Managers, and Senior Preparators.

  • Work closely with other departments, particularly Operations, Facilities, and Security staff as needed to provide continued support to the greater museum.



  • Minimum of two years experience working in museums, galleries, or professional artist studios. Contemporary art museum experience preferred.

  • Excellent manual dexterity and visual acuity skills.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Knowledge of the safe handling, care, and installation of all art objects, installation hardware, and movement techniques.

  • Safe use of tools and equipment including, but not limited to: ladders, pallet jacks, non-electrical hand tools, and various portable and stationary power tools.

  • Ability to multitask on a variety of concurrent projects.

  • Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.


Rate: $23.03 hourly

Covered by MOCA/AFSCME Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement: YES


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent must be able to do the following:

  • Stand for long periods.

  • Bend, stoop, reach, lift, and climb to move materials and carefully handle artwork.

  • Climb up and down stairs and ladders; comfortably work at heights.

  • Reach both above and below shoulder height.

  • Be able to lift up to 50 pounds individually.

  • Operate manually-controlled equipment and safely handle works of art.

  • Ability to visually inspect work; specific visual abilities include close vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, TMS, Sketchup and/or other relevant exhibition design software.

  • Experience with various fabrication, carpentry and construction techniques, and gallery lighting.

  • Experience using forklifts, aerial lifts and other motorized equipment.

  • Knowledge of contemporary art.

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this JD describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.