My experience as art handler / Art preparator
How I became an art handler and grew and developed my career as Art preparatory:
It all started when I was studied my MFA ( master of fine Art) at California College of Art in San Francisco. I was a student, and because of sanction, I didn’t have family financial support. I believe many lives are compacted by this political term such as sanction or Travel ban.
I didn’t have any siblings in the USA, so the only option that I had was to work and study at the same time.
As an artist, I wanted to work in the gallery and stay connected to the art world. So I started a student job in CCA as a Gallery Assistant. My job was welcoming guests, taking attendance, providing helpful information regarding exhibitions such as flyers and programs to visitors, and opening and closing the galleries, maintaining artworks that need technical support, such as works with video or sound.
While I was gallery assistance, I started my art preparator in CCA while I was an MFA candidate.
I worked for two years in CCA as an Art handler, and I was able to help students to display their works in the gallery space. It was terrific because the student always came with exciting Ideas out of the gallery norm. It was challenging some times, but it helps me to think out of the box regarding displaying artworks. I get confident in working with tools and understanding how to hang Artworks, Lighting, etc.
After my graduation, I applied for a job in the Bedford gallery as an art preparator in Walnut creek.
Working in Bedford gallery took my career to another level. I had the honor of working with amazing international artists such as Patrick Dougherty, Portia Munson, and Ned khan and learning from them and applying them in my art practice.
I also worked with other galleries and art institutions like Palo alto art center, Gallery Wendi Norris, and Museum of the African Diaspora. I learned a lot from each of them. It helps me to make a relationship with artists and curators.
After working five years as an art preparator, I was eligible to work in the Asian Art Museum, and I was so excited to work in the museum.
The place that I always wanted to work there. The area that I cried when I saw ancient Iranian artifacts, and I was proud of my Iranian heritage. It was the place that The Cyrus Cylinder exhibited. The cylinder is a document issued by Cyrus the Great, consisting of a cylinder of clay inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform script. The cylinder was created in 539 BCE, by order of Cyrus the Great. A symbol of tolerance and freedom. Cyrus, the great, decided to break the tradition and allowed deported peoples to return home. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their religion, and established racial equality.
And I remember I was so emotional during my interview. And when the interviewer asked me why do you want to work here, I said I want to connect to my roots. I want to remember every day who we are as Iranian.
Working in the Asian art museum helps me to learn :
-Lighting for light-sensitive object
-Pedestal & Vitrine Fabrication
-I learned more about Asian art history and ancient Art
It is one of the best experiences that I had in my job career was working in the Asian art museum.