Horticulturist, Exhibits

Requisition Number: 
930
Department: 
Display Gardens
Job Status: 
Year-Round
Hours: 
Full-time
Reports to: 
Senior Director, Horticulture
Supervises: 
Volunteers and Seasonals (occasionally)
Overview: 
Collaborate with various inter- and cross-departmental Garden teams to develop detailed, creative designs to support and enhance Garden activities, exhibitions, events, and indoor displays. Work along with staff to build and maintain the installations. This is a year-round, full-time position, working Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Purpose: 

Picture empty gallery spaces. Now imagine bringing them to life with the color, scent, and texture of thousands of blooming orchids. Interested? If you have a passion for plants and creative design in horticulture, come join our team as an exhibit horticulturist. You’ll create and implement horticultural designs for everything from the annual Orchid Show to art exhibitions to themed outdoor displays. The Chicago Botanic Garden is looking for a team-oriented, detail-focused designer with deep plant knowledge and hands-on skills; someone with the ability to stay on theme, on brand, on deadline, and on budget, as well as the motivation to create singular “wows”—moments of surprise and delight. As part of a creative team, you’ll design memorable experiences for our audience of one million-plus annual visitors, and help them cultivate a passion for plants and the natural world. *Apply today. https://www.chicagobotanic.org/jobs/apply

*In addition to the application, Illustrative examples of your original work (such as a creative portfolio or annotated slideshow) are required.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • In collaboration with in-house Garden teams and/or outside designers, develop detailed designs and budgets for exhibitions and displays, including both horticultural components and non-plant props, for Garden activities and events such as the Orchid Show.
  • Select and order plants, and other materials for props. Coordinate deliveries and receiving as needed.
  • Produce work orders for props to be built by the Construction and Maintenance division, and respond to questions regarding construction details.
  • Work as part of a team to coordinate exhibition and display installations, directing staff, volunteers, and outside labor as needed; actively participate in the build and maintenance of exhibitions and displays.
  • Design, install,  and maintain seasonal indoor plant displays in the Krehbiel Gallery and Garden View Café.
  • Work with Plant Production staff to develop plant production schedules and to procure plants for exhibitions, events and displays.
  • Provide design consultation to Horticulture staff for seasonal annual displays and design changes to gardens. Collaborate to design new garden areas and garden renovations.
  • Serve as a horticultural resource for the Garden by teaching for the School of the Botanic Garden, leading tours, writing articles, giving demonstrations and media interviews, answering visitor and staff questions and serving on planning teams.
  • Provide cost projections for budget needs and submit to the senior director, Horticulture. Work within approved budgets for purchasing tools and plant supplies.
  • Maintain a good level of computer literacy for purposes of internal and external documentation and communication, basic internet searches, etc.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.
Qualifications: 

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Associate's degree in horticulture or commensurate experience, as determined by the Garden.
  • Three years’ experience in garden or exhibition design and construction, especially in a public garden context, is desirable.
  • Broad working knowledge of ornamental plants, both hardy and tropical (greenhouse- and indoor-adaptable), including characteristics and cultural needs. Knowledge of orchids desirable.
  • A creative approach with attention to detail for creating innovative designs.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; especially the ability to communicate design concepts and ideas through sketching, drawing, or drafting, whether by hand or computer-based.
  • A valid driver’s license and be insurable by the Garden.
  • Ability to work and develop designs effectively alone, and in a collaborative, team-based environment.
  • Illustrative examples of your original work (such as a creative portfolio or annotated slideshow) are required.

*Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires post this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire.*

Physical Demands: 
Must be able to lift, push, pull and carry items up to 50 pounds. Frequent standing, walking, sitting, bending, listening, speaking. Some standing on step ladders and working on lifts. This position involves both indoor and outdoor work in all seasons.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.