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If you're an artist or contemporary artist and love travelling the world, you need to look at available English-speaking art jobs in Germany. Working as a musician, actor, designer, writer, or other creative job for some exciting German companies is a great way to get hired and experience another culture.
I want to make it clear that this information is NOT intended for people who speak fluent German. If you already know the language well and plan on moving there, I suggest looking up "job vacancies" on one of the local sites (google: Kunst Markt etc.) or doing your search using google/site: de + [your profession]. That should reveal many opportunities in your field if you already have a solid knowledge of the language.
The purpose of this page is to help those responsible for hiring translators and other creative jobs, as well as foreign companies that want to attract more international talent. Since German artists can not apply for art jobs in English, most of these opportunities will be non-existent if you cannot speak German.
If you're looking at ways to improve your skills in Germany or want to take some workshops while working there (I know I would), check out the English Speaking Art Jobs Berlin website as they have quite a few courses available. The curriculum includes basic EFL (English For Learners) study skills combined with specific artistic practices: drawing, painting & photography, and new media/digital technology to dance, theatre, and music lessons. The courses are recognized by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and have a high acceptance rate as German universities accept them as qualifications.
So if you're an artist of nearly any kind just starting or someone who is already established (but not fluent in German), this list could be your ticket to Germany! It will help avoid those pesky rejection letters you'll inevitably get when applying from abroad since it shows potential employers that you can speak their language fluently. Here's my version of the top art jobs available for English speakers:
1) Art Agent/Sales Representative
There are many successful international art galleries with offices in Berlin these days, such as GV Art. Most of these galleries are looking for people who can be the "face" of their company in Germany, meaning that they need someone with an excellent drive to sell and promote their artworks and speak German fluently to do so. Since there is still a small market for contemporary art here, you should expect that most (if not all) of these companies will have full-time employment opportunities available. Still, they will not specify it on their website since you have to meet them in person to find out about the position. Some other galleries provide sales/representative jobs looking for English speakers only, so check google for "galerien berlin jobs" and the like if you're interested in this type of position.
2) Art Dealer
Many of these companies will not be willing to pay your travel expenses (if they do at all), especially if you haven't proven yourself as a great asset to their company yet. Still, Berlin has quite a few opportunities available for creative job seekers, including art dealerships. These positions require highly driven individuals who will take advantage of any opportunity possible and can build strong relationships with clients and artists. With years of experience in the art field, a good knowledge of German and English (and maybe even French), you should have no problem landing yourself one of these jobs.
While researching this article, I was shocked to see how many companies were looking for people who speak English as their native language for sales positions in Berlin – such as at Artway Galerie by Frau Hübsch or König Galerie. The interviews mention that they're only interested in candidates who are fluent in German, though. Hence, it's essential to be upfront about your abilities instead of trying to take advantage of them if you can't do what they're asking for!
3) Gallery Owner/DirectorCurator
I've found that gallery owners are very open to hiring English speaking art professionals. The galleries with international artists are more likely to hire an English speaker than otherwise since they want to reach out to a worldwide audience and build interest from abroad (to bring in the customers). It's also essential for them to act as interpreters for their clients to communicate directly with the artist about pricing, shipping and other details regarding their work. These jobs are usually available since many artists would rather have someone else handle that side of things!
4) Art Curator
If you want full-time employment, then look no further. I could only find one company in Berlin looking for an Art Historian who could speak German and English. Still, I've made it my job to see as many of these positions as possible for other aspiring artists, so expect an updated list soon.
5) Art Critic/Writer
There are quite a few magazines and newspapers with art-related articles, reviews, or editorials about works from Berlin. They need native speakers who can help them with research and publishing their pieces online. It's also widespread for small-time Berlin artists to post writing jobs on craigslist if they're currently working on a project or something significant to promote their work or open up the floor to brainstorming sessions. The one downside is that you'll most likely be required to have your website where you can publish your pieces (since nobody wants to post them for you), but if you already have one, then this job is perfect.
6) Art Writer/Editor/Curator
If you don't want to be stuck in a cubicle, many non-profit organizations need people to help them run events and galleries, such as the Galerie im Körnerpark. Suppose you have some experience in design or anything like that. In that case, these jobs will usually go towards the person with the most artistic drive since private donations fund them, so they need to maintain a good appearance. The hours aren't very stable either, but your work will show through when all is said and done!
Art Jobs have been growing over the years, so it's not unusual to see many art organizations looking for people who speak more than one language. With that being said, most of these work contracts are still only available to those with solid experience or formal qualifications, which is why it's important to know what you're getting yourself into before applying.
If this is your first step towards a career in the art world, I'm here to help by showing you some of the different available jobs! The Berlin Art Scene has become one of the most popular areas for artists, galleries and museums to collaborate through renting space or sharing staff.
This means that if you're willing to work unpaid internships with organizations such as Galerie Eigen+Art kunstRaum, Fotogalerie Collectors Room and Mies van der Rohe Haus, it's straightforward to sneak your way up into an active position just by knowing how to talk with people properly. After working with them for a few months, companies such as Deutsche Bank have even hired German art students into full-time contracts. This is one of the best ways to find an English-speaking art job in Germany since most positions will require you to have some formal art education or a lot of experience in your field of expertise. It's also essential to prove that you're not just good at what you do but that you can also work well with others, unless, of course, it's something like art writing that doesn't necessarily need people skills!
Germany is filled with opportunities to pursue a career in art regardless of where you're from or how much experience you have. From museums and galleries to freelance writing, many positions can give you the right amount of exposure while still allowing your voice to be heard! Suppose you're looking for an English speaking Art Job. In that case, I hope my tips will help you find one. If not, make sure that whatever job takes your fancy doesn't hinder your growth as a professional either, whether it's helping out at a publishing house or gallery curator or something completely different. Best of luck!