Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Curatorial Fellowship at The Kitchen

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, March 31. 2008 • Category: Announcements
Curatorial Fellowship
Sept. 2008 - May 2009
Application deadline: April 18, 2008

This nine-month fellowship at one of New York’s foremost non-profit interdisciplinary arts spaces provides the opportunity to work closely with The Kitchen’s curatorial staff as well as with a wide range of performing and visual artists. Founded in the early 1970s, The Kitchen identifies, supports, and presents emerging and under-recognized artists working in the areas of video, dance, music, performance art, media arts, and literature. This fellowship includes a $2,500 USD stipend and requires a time commitment of 24 hours per week, beginning in mid-September 2008 and ending in May 2009.

This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated individual who is either currently enrolled in or who recently completed a graduate program. At least one year of professional arts administration experience and a broad interest in experimental approaches to contemporary art practice across the disciplines is also important. The Curatorial Fellow works with Kitchen staff on all phases of the exhibition and presentation process, including researching new projects, writing brochure and educational copy, and assisting with the implementation of current exhibitions and performances. The Curatorial Fellow also develops crucial experience interacting with key staff in the development and communications departments at the institution.

Responsibilities may include: researching the work of emerging national and international artists for possible presentation at The Kitchen; corresponding with artists and guest curators; drafting press releases, wall texts, and project descriptions for the website; assisting with the logistical coordination of exhibitions, performances, and The Kitchen’s CD projects; serving as the liaison to dozens of artists participating in the annual benefit art auction; and assisting with the review and organization of artists’ submissions.

Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume by April 18, 2008 to Cody Trepte, The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011 or via email to cody -at- For more information, please contact Cody Trepte at 1-212-255-5793, ext. 28.
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Opportunity: Helsinki International Curatorial Programme

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, March 30. 2008 • Category: Announcements
The Helsinki International Curatorial Programme currently offers curatorial residencies in Helsinki for international visual arts curators. The aim of the programme is to provide curators with an opportunity to carry out research on Finnish fine art, to build contacts with Finnish art practitioners and cultural organisations and to develop international curatorial projects involving Finnish participants. The programme is open to curators worldwide with professional experience in organising visual arts projects.

Curatorial residencies include the cost of travel to and from Helsinki with a grant for living expenses provided by FRAME, studio accommodation and residency services provided by HIAP and administrative support and practical assistance for the participant's curatorial project provided jointly by FRAME and HIAP. A small public event (workshop, lecture, open meeting, etc) will also be organized during the residency. The length of the curatorial residency is usually one calendar month.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. The jury reviewing the applications meets at least twice a year. Applications should be received by May 1st or November 1st to qualify for review at the following meeting. Next deadline: 1 May 2008.

Further information on the HIAP website.
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Opportunity: Curator in Residence at LABoral

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, March 29. 2008 • Category: Announcements
LABoral Centro de Arte y Creacion Industrial is calling for proposals from curators and researchers to develop a research and production project at LABoral for two months during 2008.

LABoral Centro de Arte y Creacion Industrial is an interdisciplinary art centre created in Gijon, in the north of Spain, in the 2007. Its main objective is to become a research, educational, exhibition and production centre in the area of art, science and technology. As part of its educational programme LABoral is establishing a new programme of residency aimed to curators and researchers who are interested in developing research or production as part of the lines of work of the centre related to the exhibition and production area. The current topics of research of the centre are: media and visual arts in general, gaming, video, robotics, architecture, design, ecology, science, technology, interdisciplinary and emerging forms of art.

The objectives of the call for curators in residence are:
- to initiate dialogue with external curators that are developing projects within the areas of interest of the centre
- to promote research and curatorial projects at LABoral within the Asturian region context and the industrial north of Spain
- to open up new possibilities of curatorial practice in the convergence of art, science, technology and industrial creation

The call is open to curators interested in the area of art and industrial creation. It is especially aimed at curators whose current research and interest deals with notions of knowledge dissemination through the exploration of emergent practices in art, as part of a general trend towards development of hybrid formats and media. LABoral Centro de Arte y Creacion Industrial will support one curator in residence for two months which must be completed before January 2009. LABoral can offer financial and technical support as follows:
- Travel costs consisting of return airfare from the curator�s country of residency
- Apartment accommodation for the duration of the residency
- A monthly allowance of 1,500 euros (before taxes)
- Work studio at the art centre, as well as equipment and expertise to support the project

The curator in residence will have the opportunity and will be encouraged to participate in the development of LABterritorial, an on-going project that deals with notions of territory from a contemporary perspective, within the context of industrial heritage and regeneration strategies. The submitted proposals must include a description of motivation and interest, proposed activities and objectives, biography and cv of the curator, as well as a description of how the project relates to LABoral. This material should not exceed 6 pages. The proposals must be sent by email. The submission will be reviewed by a committee of experts from LABoral. The contact email for queries is: education -at-

Important dates:
- Deadline for applications: 30th May 2008
- Communication of selected curator: 20nd June 2008
- The residency must be completed before January 2009
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Opportunity: Banff Centre for the Arts

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 25. 2008 • Category: Announcements
Work Study: Curatorial/Educational Outreach
Program dates: April 01, 2008 - March 27, 2009
Application deadline: March 28, 2008

This work study participant works closely with the senior curator and other members of the Walter Phillips Gallery team. This work study program with the Walter Phillips Gallery is designed for emerging curators who also have an interest in developing skills relating to educational outreach. This is a hands-on opportunity that allows the participant to work on projects with direct mentorship and support in a multitude of areas focusing on their learning objectives. Learning opportunities may be formal sessions, workshops, or informal opportunities arising out of daily situations. The work portion of the experience will primarily focus on activities that complement the participant’s learning objectives as the work relates to the real and ongoing activities of the Walter Phillips Gallery.

For more information, visit the Banff Centre's website.
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Opportunity: Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, March 20. 2008 • Category: Announcements
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop's Artistic Programme Committee (APC) invites notes of interest from curators who wish to be considered for the planning and delivery of the cross-disciplinary exhibition MAGAZINE.

Now in its fifth year, MAGAZINE takes place during the Edinburgh Festivals and has established itself as a highlight in Edinburgh's artistic calendar. Set in the building, grounds and surrounding areas of ESW, the exhibition offers a unique experience to participating artists and audiences alike, presenting contemporary sculptural practice in its widest and most engaging sense.

The APC are interested in receiving submissions from all interested parties including those with no previous curatorial experience. The selected party or group will be responsible for the development of an overall exhibition structure including selection of artists, development of a programme of related events (talks, performances, screenings etc.), commissioning of critical writing, publication and publicity. ESW staff and the APC will be on hand to assist and advise throughout the planning and installation of the exhibition.The curator/curatorial team will receive a fee of £3,000 and funding has been secured for artist fees and materials.

Proposals to be received no later than the 22nd April 2008. For more information, please visit the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop website.
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Job: Curator at FACT

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, March 17. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
FACT is the UK's leading organisation for commissioning, exhibiting, promoting and supporting artists’ work and innovation in the fields of film, video, and new media. Housed in the iconic FACT building in the historic Ropewalks area of Liverpool, two galleries, a Media Lounge and state-of-the-art cinemas invite visitors to experience a range of FACT activities from exhibitions and live web casts, to training and conferences; and finding new and interactive ways to encourage engagement throughout its programming spaces and in partnership with a broad range of participants, organisations and audiences.

The Curator will have the vision and determination to plan and effect the continuing transformation of the organisation, deploying resources creatively and to deliver the FACT’s creative vision and widen appeal to engage existing and developing audiences. We expect our curators to have in-depth knowledge and passion for international contemporary art, the moving image and new media with the skills to deliver to international curating standards. The post-holder will work to continually deliver excellence and will look to continually improve their reputation for delivering excellence within an international critical context.

Salary: circa £22k/pa. dependent on experience
Deadline: 11 April 2008

For more information and an application pack, please email recruitment -at-
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Job: Two Curatorial positions at the Power Plant

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, March 12. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is Canada's leading public gallery devoted exclusively to the art of our time and is recognized as an important centre for contemporary art in North America. Presenting contemporary art by practitioners of local, national, and international stature, The Power Plant's mission is to present and disseminate the best contemporary art in all and any media. Currently employment opportunities exist at The Power Plant for a full time Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, and for a full time Assistant Curator of Public Programs.

Assistant Curator of Exhibitions:
Reporting to the Senior Curator of Programs, the primary function of this position is to assist in the development and administration of innovative exhibitions, offsite projects, editions and publications. Responsibilities include helping to research and coordinate an international program that encompasses solo and group exhibitions, offsite projects, travelling shows, and public art. The Assistant Curator of Exhibitions will also work closely on The Power Plant's catalogues, helping to coordinate content, commission writers, and liaise with editorial, design and production colleagues, and coordinates catalogue sales and distribution.

Assistant Curator of Public Programs:
Reporting to the Senior Curator of Programs, the primary function of this position is to assist in the development and administration of innovative public programs, education initiatives, and publishing projects. This position will coordinate an ambitious series of audience development programs that range from lectures, panel discussions and film screenings to youth activities and outreach events, as well as administer and contribute towards members' newsletters and magazines.

Qualified applicants for either position must apply by March 26, 2008. For detailed information on both posts and how to apply check the online job posting.
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Job: Creative Director (maternity cover)

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, March 12. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
folly is a leading digital arts organisation, based in the North West of England. A temporary post is required to cover maternity leave cover for Kathryn Lambert, Creative Director of folly. Key responsibility will be to oversee the delivery of this years programme and to put into place plans for 2009. You will bring extensive experience of working in the media arts sector and in developing online audiences. You will be a proactive fundraiser and will strengthen our collaborative partnerships nationally and internationally.

Job Title: Creative Director, Maternity Cover (part time)
Terms: 0.6 fixed term freelance contract for 9 months
Salary: £25,000 to £28,000 pro rata
Closing date: 20th March 2008
Reports to folly Chief Executive, Taylor Nuttall

Request an application pack by emailing: brigit.colton at
For further information please refer to the folly website.
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Job: Head of Curatorial at the British Film Institute

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, March 9. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Title: Head of Curatorial
Salary: c.£51k

The BFI is the national body charged with the care of one of the world's foremost collections of moving image and related materials, the BFI National Archive. The BFI is seeking an individual to take forward the plans for developing and interpreting these collections. In this high-profile and demanding role you will be closely involved in the detailed management of the acquisition process and care of our moving image collections. You will also develop your team to deliver a programme of world class interpretation and documentation, ensuring the highest standards of scholarship in promoting the collections, and working to create a collection which can be accessed by all.

Further details about the post and the BFI can be obtained by visiting Closing date for applications is 24 March 2008. Interviews will be held on 28 March 2008.
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Podcast roundup

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, March 8. 2008 • Category: Reviews & Resources
I listen to a lot of podcasts, mostly while I am walking around the city. I have come across some real gems in a number of subject areas, and thought I would share a few of the recent ones I've listened to that are relevant to curators with you.

Bad at Sports with Hou Hanru:
Hou Hanru is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute, and he is also a renowned curator who has curated numerous major international shows. Starting at approximately the 10 minute mark, the interview with Hou Hanru begins with a discussion of his education and how he came to be a curator. Other topics discussed include how self-organisation is a hallmark of both his career and of contemporary times, the relationship between artist and curator, and the "voice" of the curator.

Yale University with Robert Storr: (apologies for the indirect link -- scroll down the page to access the podcast with Storr)
Robert Storr is interviewed about his latest appointment, as Dean of the School of Art at Yale University. He discusses how his work as a curator and critic impacts his thinking in his current role. There are many pearls of wisdom in this podcast, one of my favourites being this statement: "...a career is not how many shows you have on your resume, it is what happens between one work of art and the next." Here Storr is referring to an artist's career, but I think the sentiment also applies to curators.

Bad at Sports with Stephanie Smith:
In this podcast, Stephanie Smith, Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum in Chicago, speaks eloquently about the works in the current exhibition on at the Smart, Adaptation. The podcast focuses quite intently on the exhibition itself, rather than Smith's practice as a curator generally. However, it is a very intelligent and interesting discussion of the work, and the conversation does touch on Smith's curatorial intentions, and on how she had to consider the way the work was presented in the Museum.

blogTO with Jacob Korczynski:
At around the 21 minute mark, curator Jacob Korczynski talks about his experiences in the Curatorial Incubator programme at Vtape, a centre for artist's video in Toronto. Jacob talks about how he researched and selected the video artists he selected for his programme.

More of these to come as I get through my playlists. Happy listening!
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Job: Lecturer in Curatorial & Professional Practice

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, March 6. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Lecturer in Curatorial & Professional Practice
Edinburgh College of Art
£29,138 - £35,858 Ref: NG-LCPP

You will co-ordinate and contribute to the teaching of the newly formed MA and MFA programmes, including co-ordination of the annual postgraduate MA and MFA Degree Shows, in addition to other interim exhibitions and public events. Experience in curating exhibitions and other events and working with a range of artists and designers is required. You will also have a relevant postgraduate degree and a comprehensive understanding of Contemporary Art, Design, Visual Communication and Applied Arts practice and a strong research profile or evidence of the potential to develop this. For an application pack (including full job description) please see recruitment at Closing date for applications: 4 April 2008. Interviews expected to be held 2 May 2008.
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Job: Senior Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 4. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG), part of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), houses the nation's collection of portraits. Its primary function is to acquire, display and interpret the portraits of the Scottish men and women whose lives and achievements helped shape Scotland and the wider world. The NGS has recently embarked on an ambitious project to redefine the SNPG for the 21st century. This multi-million pound Lottery and Government funded project encompasses a major refurbishment of the SNPG building and a radical reinterpretation of the collection through new displays.

The NGS is seeking an exceptional individual with excellent communication skills to join the curatorial team and to play a significant and creative part in redevelopment plans. They will lead in their area of expertise as well as contributing to the project more widely. NGS welcomes applications from candidates with a good degree in the history of art or equivalent and a track record of scholarship in a relevant subject area.

Title: Senior Curator
Salary: £29,699 - £36,784
3 Years Fixed Term

Closing date for applications is 30 March 2008 and it is anticipated that interviews will be held on 1 May. Application packs are available from
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Pick 'N Mix - March 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, March 1. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
First of the month again... even with an extra day, February seemed short! Here's the March '08 edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of little news items in the realm of curating.

  • A fascinating article on the state of museums and galleries in China on ARTnews notes that a concern in the face of explosive growth "...has been the absence of training programs for museum professionals in China, a country where the term "curator" did not exist ten years ago. Even now, there is only one program in curatorial studies, run by the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, which is graduating its first class this year. "In China, we didn't have degrees such as arts management or curatorial studies, so most of the museum directors were originally artists," says Fan Di'an, who like many directors in China got his position through political appointment." The artist/curator model is well-established, particularly in North America, and so the reaction to a similar model emerging (albeit under quite different circumstances) is one to keep an eye on.

  • If new media, Internet art and networked art are your thing, there's lots of good reading at this page at the BAM website, with several downloadable documents detailing conversations and interviews with curators, artists and directors by Karen Annemie Verschooren. The interview with Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney, is particularly fascinating and candid in its description of the early days of exhibiting new media artwork in a prominent museum.

  • Thomas Krens is leaving the Guggenheim, and this act has sparked a lot of reflection on his years at the helm. Charlie Finch on characterizes the influence of Krens on curatorial practice as "...turning everything into an art that was at once contemporary and exchangeable in ever increasing increments of value." It's a very critical standpoint that also claims that "...the land of Krens evoked the carnival and the circus. Whether showing Spanish painting gems, Aztec war toys, garments or bikes, Krens' vision included the kitchen sink, the golden bidet and everything in between." From that statement out of the USA, let's jump (gently) across the pond for a moment. The new Director of the National Gallery, Nicholas Penny, made a statement saying that as far as he was concerned, the era of the big, sexy blockbuster is over, and Guardian writer Jonathan Jones discusses how the blockbuster itself is not to blame, but that one should blame "sloppy curating - curating that is addicted to short cuts, allergic to the years of research and negotiations it takes to put on a really good exhibition." Food for thought.

  • Finally, the New York Times reports that "nine months after taking over, Jeffrey Weiss has resigned as director of the Dia Art Foundation, saying he had realized he was not cut out for the job." Mr Weiss says: "It took me too far away from curatorial and scholarly work [...] I had an idea that being director of Dia would be different because it is such a small place. [...] My hope is to return to curatorial and scholarly work, but right now I'm taking a breath." It'll be interesting to see both who Dia hires next and what Mr Weiss does next, and serves as a point of reflection on where a curatorial career can be said to "terminate" -- does a curator need to stay in jobs expressly about curating, and leave museum/gallery direction to those with deeper interests in business/administration?
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