Head Preparator

For most of us, we see artworks installed at the AGA and are moved by them. But it's Dani Rice and her team doing the moving, working behind the scenes to carefully install all artwork in the three weeks between exhibitions.

Since joining the AGA in 2009, Dani has dealt with a lot of questions: "I often explain what a preparator does because it's specific to museums and galleries." More often though, she's the one asking. "As a preparator, I see the exhibitions and the building differently. I'm always having to ask, 'How can we get this into the building?' or 'How are we going to install this?' I have a different perspective and I love to problem-solve and challenge myself."

Dani says her team "lives and breathes each show for three to six months" before each 3-week install. "It's a lot of time to concentrate on one thing and hard to see what the larger picture is—we're so consumed with the details."

"But there's this perfect moment, usually on the last day right before an exhibition opening, when I can take it all in. I see all the work we put into getting the exhibition together—and I can let it go. To have that quiet hour on the last day, to be able to reflect on our accomplishment—that is the most fulfilling."

June 19, 2017