Studio Coordinator: Photography, Drawing, and Painting Specialty

Studio Coordinator: Photography, Drawing, and Painting Specialty

Reports to:  Studio Operations Manager
Department: Programs
Employment Status: Full-time (35 hours weekly with flex up to 40 over the summer)
FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Start date: April 1, 2022
Last Updated:  November 23, 2021

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 423 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70 and serve 1500 students and 14,000 visitors annually. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $6.7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports individual and artistic growth through creative practice and discovery. 


Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. 


Position Summary

The photography & drawing/painting studio coordinator reports directly to the studio operations manager and provides specialized oversight for the photography studio and the drawing/painting studios. The coordinator works directly with the studio team and collaboratively across the organization to support all programming and studio use throughout the year by assuring that the facilities and equipment are in good working order, and by communicating with key staff, studio assistants and/or interns, and instructors to plan and support successful programming. The studio coordinator is also responsible for budget planning and tracking, inventory management, processing purchase orders for materials, tools, and equipment as it relates to programming, and communicating and facilitating safety guidelines and practices.  


This is a technical, administrative, and services-oriented position.



  • In-depth knowledge of the equipment and technical processes to be used in the studios, general understanding of the field of craft, and the ability to troubleshoot and repair, or facilitate service of, tools and equipment in the studios are required; note that the Penland photography program includes workshops in digital and analog photography, including black and white darkroom and 19th-century printing processes.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to health and safety as it applies to equipment operation and materials handling regulations
  • At least 2-3 years of relevant professional experience in a public or teaching studio; or equivalent combination of educational and professional experience
  • This position requires strong interpersonal and customer service skills in keeping with Penland’s commitment to generosity. The individual must have excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and be able and willing to handle sensitive and confidential situations. 
  • Ability to work independently, proactively, and also collaboratively
  • Organizational and task management skills are required; prior experience with budget and/or project management is desirable.
  • Experience and proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and proficiency with Epson printers and printer software; functional ease with Google Suite and Mac/Windows platforms
  • First Aid and CPR certifications are required and can be provided by Penland.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Manages the studio space and equipment throughout the year for programs such as spring, summer, and fall workshops; short-term residencies; demonstrations, lectures, special events; community education, staff access, and occasional rentals
  • Under the studio operations manager’s direction, works collaboratively with the studio team and facilities staff to maintain equipment and safety systems and manage hazardous waste disposal and materials storage and handling
  • Provides technical assistance and oversight to instructors, students, and staff as it relates to the demonstration and training in the safe operation of studio equipment and materials handling 
  • Supports the needs of instructors before and during programming, including: assures good working order of tools and equipment; configures studio space; orders and stocks supplies and materials as requested; researches and shares information about local resources, as needed; serves as the point person for all studio-related questions and concerns for the duration of programming
  • Coordinates and manages the workflow of programming changeovers (weekends), including reviewing and coordinating programming needs upon instructor arrival and conducting onboarding for, and assigning tasks to, studio assistants or interns
  • Trains and manages studio assistants and/or interns: establishes and enforces safety standards, operational procedures, equipment usage guidelines, and procedures for resale for materials; works with studio assistants and/or interns to establish studio safety guidelines; collaborates with studio operations manager to provide regular studio assistants check-ins for duration of programming
  • Works with studio operations manager to create an annual budget proposal for studio operating and capital budgets; monitors projects, maintenance, and inventory to remain within the approved annual budget
  • Supports the director of programs and programs manager as requested by providing instructor recommendations, offering input on course topics, and making recommendations about the studio’s capacity for enrollment and ability to support various types of activities 
  • Collaborates with and serves as a strong, effective member of the studio team to assure and uphold consistency of safety and administrative policies and procedures across all Penland studios 
  • Performs additional duties as required


Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, to work at a computer, and to perform repetitive tasks. The employee is frequently required to use hands to handle or touch objects, tools, or controls and to talk fluently, and hear. The employee is frequently required to stand,  walk, bend, and handle hazardous materials. The employee must regularly lift and/or move objects weighing up to 50 pounds or more, including delicate and expensive photo equipment, and remove trash and hazardous chemistry. Specific vision required by this job includes close vision. Evening and weekend work is sometimes required by studio programming.



This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position consisting of 35 hours per week over the course of the year with hours flexing up to 40 in the summer months. 


Compensation discussions are a part of the interviewing process, but the starting wage for this position is $16.00 per hour. At 1890 budgeted hours per year, the expected annual salary is $30,240. A higher salary will be considered for those with more experience. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, engaging benefits, and a lively, creative work environment. Studio staff also enjoy a limited studio access benefit. 


To Apply

The position will remain open until filled, however, our initial review will prioritize applications received by January 7, 2022.  The scheduled start date is April 1, 2022. Send résumé, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter addressing relevant experience and interest in the position to Please include photography & drawing/painting studio coordinator as the subject of your email.


We look forward to hearing from you!