Part-Time Ceramics Instructor

The Des Moines Art Center is a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest. With a focus on contemporary art, it has amassed an important collection exhibited in three major buildings, on the grounds, and downtown in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. In addition, the Art Center presents thought-provoking exhibitions, educational programs and hands-on studio art classes.


The Ceramics Instructor develops and teaches quality, hands on art education classes for children and adults. This position teaches both fundamental and advanced clay techniques while fostering creativity, experimentation, and enthusiasm for art making. 

Essential Functions

  • Researches, plans and develops class content and related materials
  • Teaches classes as scheduled
  • Creates a positive, high quality learning experience for all students
  • Maintains regular correspondence with Studio Education Manager to communicate supply needs, maintenance issues, and related matters

Other Responsibilities

  • Prepares studio space before class and ensures a tidy studio following class
  • Secures substitutes for planned absences
  • Attends faculty meetings and trainings
  • Acts in ways that reflect favorably on the Art Center and maintains professional standards in the quality of performance and demonstration of concern for the Art Center’s collection, programs, and facilities.  Adheres to Des Moines Art Center Code of Ethics, Employee Handbook and other organizational policies.


  • Able to develop ceramics curriculum to engage students of all ages and skill levels
  • Able to effectively teach ceramics skills including: hand building, sculpture, wheel, casting, finishing and glazing, safe firing techniques and care of tools and equipment
  • Knowledge of current/contemporary ceramics techniques
  • Working knowledge of ceramic chemistry, firing processes and options including firing temperatures, oxidation, reduction and alternative firing methods
  • Experienced in loading, unloading and operating both electric and gas kilns
  • Able to follow written and oral instructions
  • Approachability, and the capacity to establish and maintain positive working relationships with supervisors, peers, students, parents, studio attendants and studio monitors is required
  • BFA required
  • One to three years of experience teaching in a studio setting and working as a practicing ceramic artist preferred
  • Must have strong portfolio demonstrating a mastery of ceramic techniques

Decision Making

  • Regularly exercises judgement and discretion in matters related to class content, materials and equipment usage, and classroom management.


  • The Ceramics Instructor reports to the Studio Education Manager and acts as a resource for the Ceramics Studio Attendants. This position has constant contact with students of all ages and frequently interacts with studio monitors, peers, and education department staff. 

Special Considerations

  • Most work is performed in the Art Center’s ceramics studio
  • Exposure to environmental conditions such as heat, fumes, dirt, water, and noise occurs frequently
  • Classes are generally scheduled on weekday afternoons, weeknights, Saturday mornings and/or Saturday afternoons 

Physical Factors

  • The ability to lift or move 5 – 95 pounds is frequently required to move student artwork, studio equipment, clay and supplies
  • The ability to finger and grasp objects is required to demonstrate techniques and assist students
  • Must be able to kneel, crouch, and bend at the waist to assist children and retrieve supplies from storage
  • Must be able to stand and walk for sustained periods of time

Ceramics Instructor is a part-time position, regularly scheduled to work between 5 – 20 hours per week. 

Starting wage based on skill and experience.

This position will remain open until filled.

Equal Employment Statement

The Art Center is dedicated to equal employment and advancement opportunities. It is the Art Center’s policy to hire and promote qualified individuals on the basis of their qualifications, interest and aptitude, without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected group under applicable state, federal or local law.

To be considered for this position, please fill out the application below.

Upload your portfolio below as a PDF using the "Additional Application Materials" button. Please include five student works and five personal works in your portfolio.

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Personal Information


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Application Materials


Unless otherwise stated, I voluntarily give the Des Moines Art Center the right to make a thorough investigation of my past employment and activities. I agree to cooperate in such investigation, and release from all liability all persons, companies, or corporations supplying such information. If an offer of employment is given, I understand I must successfully complete a pre-employment criminal background check. I am also aware that I will be required to provide proof/identification that I am eligible to work in the United States. I certify that information given in this application is accurate and complete, and understand that inaccurate information may be cause for termination if discovered after employment begins.

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