Gallery and Shop Maintenance job description
The Gallery area and the presence of artworks in the nursery are critical to the image of Bulleen Art & Garden. This is one area where we will differentiate ourselves from our competition. We want to be somewhere people enjoy visiting and will travel to see.
For this reason the gallery needs to be maintained to a higher standard than the rest of the shop. This is a place where artworks are displayed, and we need to give customers the idea that the work in here is special. We want the gallery area to be clean & tidy as well as interesting, and to present artists work to full advantage. You need to be VERY careful when working in the Gallery, as many of the works are expensive and/or breakable.
The “gift” area in the shop can take more product, but also needs to be well maintained, with all stock looking clean new & well displayed.
Gallery maintenance and cleanliness.
Concentrate specifically on the Bolin Bolin Gallery and the area of the shop next to it where Australian made Handcrafts/Art are stocked.
Work with Main Gallery Staff Member or follow any instructions on related work, help with restock and maintenance of outdoor art, water features etc. when needed.
Have a good look at the gallery gift shop area and see what you think needs to be done, and what priorities for the week should be in the time available.
Check with manager if there is anything in particular which needs to be done, such as new displays or special cleanup.
Check whether is any rubbish, or stock from other areas that should not be there and remove.
Report any breakages/chips you notice, or if pumps etc are not working. Do not leave broken stock on display, or reduce price appropriately if minor.
Let relevant staff know if you think we are running low on standard stock items.
Make sure displays are still looking good. Straighten pictures & check for gaps due to sales, and adjust display appropriately.
Try not to have things in regimented rows, or too even. Changes in levels, scale always adds interest. Generally work in the Gallery and shop area looks best when displayed in groups – same artist, colour etc. Be aware of display principles, such as pyramid displays etc.
Be conscious that there has often been thought put in to placement of work or plants, particularly when setting up exhibitions. So generally replace where was.
If you think a display needs a complete overhaul, and if you have any ideas for improvements, discuss with Merri or your manager.
We can’t sell expensive artwork from a dusty, dirty shop. We need to make efforts to keep the shop, particularly the galleries and areas stocking artwork looking clean and professional (difficult in our environment).
Make sure you get everything up to a minimal standard every week. For example get the surface dust off all areas, especially around artworks with a feather duster. Then, concentrate on specific areas each week, as time allows, and clean with a damp cloth.
All stock must be kept looking clean and new.
Dust everywhere each week.
Gallery floors need to be thoroughly vacuumed and mopped each week. Other shop floors should also be vacuumed regularly, and mopped periodically. Get into corners
Concentrate on some particular areas to clean more thoroughly with a cloth, including polishing glassware, cleaning birdbaths, sculptures, pottery and woodwork. Rotate your concentration each week so everything gets done.
Shelving must be kept clean, and damp mopped every 2 or 3 weeks.
Remove cobwebs from product, ceiling etc.
Windows need to be washed periodically.
Maintain the gift shop area, including small gift items, jams, sculpture, cards, furniture, art supplies and their shop fittings. Make sure items clean & in good order. Sort cards in to appealing display – ranges together, don’t have empty racks.
Work through the rest of the shop including irrigation and hardware as these areas tend to get neglected. Does not need to be the same level as gallery, but should look professional
Vacuum. Use large industrial vacuum where possible. Use nozzle alone to get in to corners. Regularly check if filter is getting clogged, particularly if cleaning up after limestone workshops. If clogged vacuum does not work nearly as well. Empty rubbish & wash filter regularly.
Plants should only be in the shop in designated areas, or to set off the artwork. It is generally better to have plants which are fairly simple, and non-flowering, as they are not meant to be the focus of most displays. They also need to fit in with the feel of the displays.
Sometimes plants are in shop just for somewhere to put them. Remove plants which are detracting from displays or may damage tables etc.
Water all plants with a watering can. If plants are drying out discuss with register staff during week.
Check that all plants are healthy. Plants must be regularly rotated with those in the nursery, before they become sick, so that they do not need to be specialled off. Replace any plants that have been in the gallery for a while, are not looking healthy or may have sold. Ask a nursery person for help selecting a plant. When selecting plants take from stock, rather than from end-cap displays
Shine leaves with Leaf Shine if necessary, dust on their leaves prevents them from photosynthesising. (Barbara Lord says a cloth dampened with milk will give shine to indoor plant leaves and protect them from dust???)
Check information in gallery – eg Valley of the Arts Maps (more in store), exhibition catalogues, workshop forms.
Make sure artist information is with the right artist’s work (ask if unsure).
Check works are clearly priced as you work. Reprice where necessary or let your manager know if you can’t find the price of something. Pricing is very important, as is often difficult to check price and customer will not make a buying decision if an item is unpriced. Use Handcrafted or Handcrafted in Australia labels, swing tags or stickers (which need permanent pens and are in the gallery drawer under counter), where appropriate. Attach stickers with Blue Tac to ceramics, to help them to stick. Make sure that you do not put prices on in a way that will damage or deter from the artwork.
Extra stock is stored in the gallery store. If there are gaps in the displays, you may find something suitable here.
Make sure this area is kept tidy; things are in their rightful place, items are safe from damage and the aisle is kept clear. Customer pick-up items should be easily seen & clearly labelled.
If there has been a delivery of new stock, check whether you can price & put into stock
Large bulky items should not be stored indoors.
Gallery maintenance should be done at a suitable time, preferably when not during the busy customer times. Thursday nights when there is a restock crew may be suitable. There are fewer customers then and you can vacuum/mop thoroughly and change displays with little disturbance. You will be needed for extra hours during the lead up to Christmas.
Familiarise yourself with the artists whose work we display, i.e.: their style, background and materials, processes or other points of interest. Regular exhibiters should have shelf talkers displayed with there work containing mush of this information. If you’d like to know more ask Merri or your manager. Then you’ll be able to help answer customer enquiries during the week.
Maintenance During the Week
If you are at the Nursery during the week, keep an eye on the Gallery – do a quick check as you go past e.g. if there are gaps in displays, or rubbish or stock from other areas; lights not on; dead plants etc. Use the white board in the office to order anything you need eg: dusters.
Environmental Policy and expectations of staff.
We acknowledge our role in maintaining a sustainable future and this extends to all areas of the business. Cleaning products can have a major impact on the environment, and will be unnecessary for the bulk of gallery cleaning. Hot water is sufficient to mop floors in gallery and shop. Vinegar can be used for more stubborn marks on shelves and as an addition to your mopping water when required.
Be proactive at finding green solutions for yourself and make a note of them here for the next person.
If you have any queries, call Merri on 9439 8750.