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Assistant Director of Exhibitions

Portland, OR, USA

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references through our online Career Center ( Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications.  Submit application materials by Monday, October 4th, 2021.

Portland Japanese Garden seeks an Assistant Director of Exhibitions (hereinafter referred to as "The Assistant Director") with enthusiasm and vision in line with the Garden's organizational mission (to foster a deep Connection with Nature; celebrate the Art of Craft; provide an Experience of Peace), along with considerable experience with administrative management and organization of exhibition of Japanese art, craft, and culture. The Assistant Director will support the Director of Exhibitions ("The Director"), and Curator of Culture, Art, & Education ("Curator of CAE") in the coordination, planning, and execution of the exhibitions and multi-disciplinary programs. This position requires someone who is organized, comfortable with budgeting and numbers, and a team player with superior inter-personal communication skills.

The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Exhibitions and will be partially responsible for building their team (Exhibition Assistants) once hired. The Assistant Director will work from either the primary Garden campus, located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue, or from our remote Sylvan Office, located off the Sylvan exit of Highway 26.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden is requiring all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means 2 shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – plus 2 weeks after the final shot.

Areas of Responsibility: 

Primary Duties 

  • Provide administrative and curatorial support to the Director and the wider department comprised of Culture and Education Teams.
  • Provide additional oversight for the admin team of the Art Department in scheduling the Director's travel and help maintain Director's calendar, contacts, and schedule, prepare materials for meetings, as well as screen incoming calls and emails.
  • Supervise the Exhibition Coordinator and Exhibition Administrative Assistant.
  • Coordinate with the Director and Art Department through all stages of the exhibition process (exhibition layout and conception, shipping logistics, insurance, artwork sales, installation and deinstallation, gallery management, etc.).
  • Assist Director of Exhibitions in managing the Garden’s art collections of objects and artifacts, primarily by keeping the database up-to-date.
  • Manage Department’s filing system, organization, and office supplies.
  • Work with the Director to develop and manage annual budget.
  • Monitor Art Department invoices, payments, and credit card reports and other aspects of financial management.
  • Manage hospitality for guests of the Curator and Art Department.
  • Coordinate artist/visitor travel arrangements and hospitality: Driving, arranging transportation, lodging, and meal accommodation.
  • Manage all aspects of visitor itineraries, including planning and creation.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Other Responsibilities  

  • Assist the Director in creating and overseeing written content related to exhibitions and Art Department for both print and online media.
  • Assist the Director in overseeing graphic/didactic materials (wall panels, scrims, etc.) with Marketing.
  • Provide additional oversight of the Gallery Attendants during exhibitions and assist with exhibition management and collections storage when needed.
  • Work closely with other teams within Culture, Art and Education (CAE) Department.
  • Work as a liaison between the Art Department and Japanese Garden staff, creating an atmosphere of trust, teamwork, and open communication.
  • Keep the inventory of local art-related vendors up-to-date (art installers, framers, shippers, etc.).
  • Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook
  • Get to know fellow staff members, developing trust, establishing credibility, encouraging teamwork, and creating an atmosphere of open, honest, two-way communication
  • Serve as a role model for Garden volunteers, providing support and encouragement to volunteers in their roles across the Garden
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
  • Adhere to Garden Dress Code (business casual)


Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for this role. 

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree is required
  • Experience and comfort in budgeting and working with numbers
  • Minimum 2 years of exhibition coordination/organization experience in museum/gallery setting is required
  • Familiarity with Japanese customs in a business setting is preferred
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Organized, detail oriented, and able to multi-task
  • Prior administration experience preferred
  • Valid Oregon Driver’s License and clean DMV record; capable of driving company car


Special Requirements

  • Flexibility to occasionally modify work schedule, able to work some weekends and evenings
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position and/or move about the Garden for several hours
  • Must be able to lift 40 lbs.
  • Salary: $47,500 - $52,500 per year
  • This is a full-time, benefited, salary position with 40-45 hours per week.
  • Benefits:
    • health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees)
    • 401k plan (after 90 days, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
    • flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
    • paid vacation, sick, and holiday time
    • free access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
How to Apply: 

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references through our online Career Center ( Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications.  Submit application materials by Monday, October 4th, 2021.

Additional Information: 

The Portland Japanese Garden is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, disability, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.

Organization Info

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland, OR, USA
51-200 employees
About Us

Our mission is to bring the ideals of Portland Japanese Garden to the world: art of craft, connection to nature, experience of peace.

Why Work For Us?: 

The Portland Japanese Garden is renowned as the most authentic and finest Japanese garden outside of Japan. The Garden typically has a year-round staff of 85+ FTE’s and 30+ seasonal staff, supplemented by over 200 volunteers. All of our staff play a vital role in helping our visitors experience the beauty and tranquility of the garden and expand their understanding of Japanese culture. 

A few of the benefits our employees enjoy include:

  • Working at a beautiful, authentic Japanese garden, overlooking the city
  • Incentives for alternative transportation for your commute to work
  • A workplace culture that prioritizes hiring and promoting from within
  • Access to the Garden for you, your family, and your friends
  • The opportunity to attend a variety of cultural events
  • Reciprocal access to other area attractions, such as the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Zoo
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Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Sep 15 2021
Active Until: 
Oct 14 2021
Hiring Organization: 
Portland Japanese Garden