Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Director/Chief Curator, McIntosh Gallery

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, August 18. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The University of Western Ontario invites applications for the position of Director/Chief Curator, McIntosh Gallery. The McIntosh is a public gallery, located at the centre of The University of Western Ontario campus in London, Ontario, Canada, and serves the University and the broader arts community, linking regional, national, and international academic and public constituencies.

The Gallery is supported through The University of Western Ontario, with additional funding provided by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Arts Council and by the Canada Council for the Arts. The permanent collection includes over 3300 works in various media, dating primarily from the early 19th Century to the present. The collections mandate focuses on regional and national Canadian art. The McIntosh Gallery is a vital component of the University's teaching and research activity in the visual arts and media, providing a resource for scholarship and practice in art history, contemporary arts, and museology.

The Director/Chief Curator of the McIntosh Gallery reports directly to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) of The University of Western Ontario and exercises executive authority on behalf of the McIntosh Gallery Committee of the University's Board of Governors. Leading a staff comprised of a Curator, a Registrar & Installations Officer, Administrative Assistant and a strong group of work-study students and volunteers, the Director/Chief Curator is responsible for the artistic vision, leadership and management of the Gallery, including the setting of operational priorities, budget management, coordination of staff and volunteer activities, and promotion of the Gallery in its academic and public role as a cultural resource within the University and in the broader community. The Director/Chief Curator is also responsible for overseeing the development of the collections, planning exhibitions on the campus and in the community, and creating effective strategies for generating resources in support of Gallery activities and acquisitions.

The appointment, to be effective January 1, 2010, is for a period of five years, renewable. This challenging position demands superb interpersonal and communication skills and sound judgment to provide strategic leadership for the evolving role of the McIntosh Gallery in both its academic and public dimensions. A substantial background in visual arts and arts administration is essential, as is familiarity with the contemporary local, national and international contexts within which the Gallery operates. The successful candidate should hold a Masters degree or higher in Art History or Curatorial Studies – or equivalent experience – and possess a record of accomplishment documented through a strong publication and exhibition history. This position also requires deep familiarity with the theoretical, historical and intellectual contexts of contemporary art practices and a demonstrated ability to work effectively in an environment of research and scholarship.

The Selection Committee expects to begin its review of candidates in September. To receive consideration, applications or nominations should be received prior to September 10, 2009. The University of Western Ontario is committed to employment equity and welcomes applications from all qualified women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with disabilities.

Applications including an up-to-date curriculum vitae and a Statement of Curatorial Vision and Proposed Direction for the McIntosh Gallery (no more than 500 words) should be submitted in confidence to:

Chair, McIntosh Gallery Selection Committee, Office of the Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Room 119A, Natural Sciences Centre, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada, or electronically to: vpacademic -at-
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Job: Curator, Barbican

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, August 17. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a creative and dynamic curator to join Barbican Art Gallery, a leading London venue for the presentation of modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design exhibitions. Part of the Barbican Centre, Europe’s largest arts venue, the Gallery’s activities take place in the context of a widely acclaimed programme of international music, dance, theatre, visual arts and cinema.

As curator, you will work with the Head of Art Galleries and Senior Curator to deliver our world-class exhibition programme. You will contribute imaginative and innovative ideas to the Gallery’s programming discussions; you will have a flair for devising authoritative exhibitions which also appeal to wide audiences; and you will work to build the Gallery’s relationships with artists and institutions in Britain and abroad.

Barbican Art Gallery are looking for a curator with a thorough knowledge of 20th and 21st century art and/or design and architecture. You will have substantial experience curating and organising major loan-based exhibitions, in commissioning and editing publications, and in leading teams to deliver complex projects. Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

To apply online, please visit

Alternatively, please contact the Corporate Recruitment Unit on 020 7332 3978 (24hr answerphone) or email cru -at- quoting reference BC156.

Minicom service for the hearing impaired available on 020 7332 3732.

Closing date: 5pm, 7th September 2009. Late applications will not be accepted. Interviews to be held week commencing 21 September 2009

Salary: £32,510 - £38,880 pa inc. depending on experience/performance

The Barbican is committed to Equal Opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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Job: Curator, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, August 16. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Job Title: Curator, Contemporary

Institution / Organization: Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery

Closing Date: August 28, 2009

The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery is looking for a Curator who will invest in the mission and mandate of the Gallery and support the Gallery with artistic vision and leadership. The Curator will possess a deep, engaged knowledge of and curiosity about the critical issues related to contemporary art and craft. The Curator will also serve as a strong advocate for the Gallery in local, national and international communities.

CCGG’s curator will implement and bring to full fruition existing planned programming for a period of three years. Concurrent with this activity the curator will conceptualize, design and implement future exhibition programs that build upon the Gallery’s successful history.

The Curator will:

- Plan, design and install exhibitions of contemporary art and co-ordinate related programmes; research and co-ordinate production of related print and promotional materials.
- Provide strong artistic leadership to assist the Director in establishing policy and priority related to long-range goals and the solicitation of outside funding from government, foundation, and private sources.
- Maintain the Gallery’s permanent collection and oversee the strategic growth of the collection with a focus on acquiring works of national significance
- Possess strong writing skills and be responsible for catalogues essays and grants.
- Possess strong verbal communication skills for the delivery of exhibition orientation lectures to education support staff, other staff members and volunteers.
- Work closely and collaboratively with the Director of Education to: supervise and administer the Contemporary Gallery Context and Docent programmes.
- Participate in and/or organize symposia related to contemporary art and fine craft and serve as a positive presence in the Canadian art scene.
- Build strong liaisons and partnerships with other regional, national and international galleries.
- Develop programming with senior, mid-career and emerging artists.

The ideal candidate will have:

- A Masters or Ph.D. in art history (contemporary art/fine craft preferred), studio art or related discipline 

- Evidence of significant curatorial achievement (research, publication, exhibitions, and collections management)
with minimum of seven years of professional experience
- Knowledge of museum standards and collections management practices
- Excellent skills in project management, written and oral presentations, staff and volunteer supervision
- Demonstrated success in grant writing

Mission: The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery fosters interaction among artworks, artists and community. Our exhibitions challenge ideas and perceptions of the definitions of art, craft and design today, as well as concepts of ethnicity and contemporary culture providing meaningful and enriching cultural experiences for a diverse audience and opportunities for the development of philanthropy.

This full time position and offers a benefits package.
Applications must include: CV, curatorial philosophy and salary expectations

Send to:
Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery
25 Caroline Street North
Waterloo, ON
N2L 2Y5

Or email to: info -at-

Review of applications will begin August 28, 2009.
The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
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Pick 'N Mix - August 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, August 2. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to this month's Pick 'N Mix, a selection of interesting tidbits about curators that I spotted on the web over the past few weeks.

- Interesting material on the use of "slack spaces" for art in the recession continues to accumulate: The San Francisco Sentinel had an article recently, and the recent launch of the "No Longer Empty" initiative in New York City highlights the opportunity that the economic crisis presents for curators and artists interested in transforming spaces in their cities and in remaining active despite the lack of jobs, downturn in sales, and an overall grim outlook.

- Venice Biennale curator Daniel Birnbaum spoke at TED Global and there are some notes from his presentation here. I think it's interesting that he starts from the very basic question of what is a curator, and works from there. TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is known as a high-profile series of conferences that invites household names (and soon-to-be household names) to expound upon their most cutting-edge theories to an elite audience. It's nice to see contemporary artists and curators start to gain more traction on the TED roster. The notes on Birnbaum's session at TED held my interest because for me it is always fascinating to see how people write and speak about the work of curators for a general, non-artworld audience. Give it a read and see what you think of it.

- This article on "The Digital Curator" describes how curators (including emerging and aspiring ones) are using curating virtual exhibitions to kickstart their careers. The article notes how curators can use blogs and online exhibitions to enhance their reputations and gain projects in the "real" world from these efforts, with some interesting examples.

- And last but not least, in this short video, (crank up the speakers, the sound is a bit quiet) curator Stephanie Rosenthal describes the premise behind the "Walking in my Mind" exhibition that she curated at the Hayward Gallery.

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