Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Competition: UK's Next Top Curator

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, October 21. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Salon Contemporary, located in London's Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, is hosting a competition for aspiring curators. This competition will feature a series of pop-up galleries across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), each lasting 1 week to 2 months. These pop-ups will take place in sites left empty by the recession, and each will combine different elements of art and lifestyle – Art & Design, Art & Fashion, Art & Music, Art & Environment, Art & Food, and so on.

Six contestants will be chosen to each run a gallery. Each competitor will have the opportunity to pitch a pop-up gallery theme, help select artists, curate a show, and run the gallery for the length of its operation. Once all of the shows have been launched, a panel of renowned figures within the art world (to be announced next month) will judge the galleries and select the two best curators. The new top curator will be chosen from these two by a public vote run through Salon Contemporary's website.

This competition provides a huge opportunity for any art student with a talent for curating, and any business student with an interest in applying his or her skills to the art market. It will be the experience of running a small business (with the support of a parent organization), of interacting with renowned art-world figures, of dealing with artists and collectors, and of branding/marketing an operation. Additionally, the winner of the competition will receive a £5,000 bursary (full tuition) for the Salon Contemporary apprenticeship program – the most promising curator will get a chance to build on his or her skills and gain the education necessary to run a fully-independent art dealership.

To enter, please submit your CV and a cover letter (of no more than 500 words) to curator -at- Only current students and graduates of the last two years are eligible to apply. Please note this is an ongoing competition.
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Job: University Curator – Emerging Artists

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, October 17. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

University Curator – Emerging Artists

£34,030 – £40,858 (potential for contribution pay up to £44,245)

Department of Communications and Development,

Our Emerging Artists’ Programme supports and promotes the work of recent alumni, who are among the most promising young artists in the UK. You will strategically manage, develop and promote this undeniably exciting programme. This will include overseeing an exhibition programme, the University Art Collection, and the Artist and Collectors Exchange.

Along with a degree, or equivalent, in curation / arts administration, you will need proven experience of working with young artists and established art collectors. You are certainly eager to work with the next generation of artistic practitioners – something that is reflected in your strong understanding of the contemporary art world, and your exceptional organisational, networking, promotional and people skills.

In return, we offer a competitive employment package including a salary that reflects working in London; a generous annual leave; a final salary pension; and a commitment to your continuing personal and career development in an environment that encourages creativity, diversity and excellence. Relocation assistance is also available.

Closing date: 30th October 2009

Please visit to download an application form or alternatively please contact, Recruitment Administrator, Department of Communications and Development, telephone: 020 7514 8144, email: h.wigginton -at-

University of the Arts London aims to be an equal opportunities employer embracing diversity in all areas of activity.
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Pick 'N Mix - October 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, October 5. 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.

- A great interview with Mary Jane Jacob is available over at the always interesting Bad at Sports podcast/blog. Jacob is currently Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, and former Chief Curator at the MCA Chicago and LA MoCA.

- Some ruminations over at the New York Times on the use and abuse of the term curator. They don't seem too worried about this trend. I guess I'm really old fashioned (or think there has to be a better word for what they describe).

- This article, that describes how famous curator Klaus Biesenbach decorates his home, starts with an excellent anecdote about how he "transformed" a hotel room he stayed in a few years back. The article is a fascinating glimpse into Mr Biesenbach's life, an easy read, and it's in a fashion magazine (so you can mull over the context whilst you read)!

- I'm nearly finished my book review of A Brief History of Curating, by Hans Ulrich Obrist. The book features eleven interviews with key curators in the field and it is a really fun read so far, I have to say. A review soon, I promise!

- has a Facebook page, and of course many of you read this site by subscribing on e-mail or via RSS feeds. I thought I'd throw one more thing into the mix: a Twitter feed! The Twitter feed works just like RSS or the e-mail subscription: whenever I post something new here, you are notified. That's all! I'm not sure if it will be popular or if it is even necessary, but it's not much effort on my part to try it out. If you are interested in a Twitter feed with a bit more going on, feel free to follow my own Twitter profile.

- Speaking of book reviews, and of Twitter feeds, I notice that N. Elizabeth Schlatter has a great page devoted to books for curators, and she also has an interesting Twitter feed.

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Opportunity: Curatorial Work Study, Banff Centre

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, October 5. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Program dates: January 04, 2010 - July 02, 2010 (Successful applicants will initially be offered a 6 month contract but this may be extended with the approval of the participant and The Banff Centre. )

Application deadline: October 30, 2009

The curatorial work study program with the Walter Phillips Gallery is designed for emerging curators. This is a hands-on opportunity that allow individuals to work on projects with direct mentorship and support in a multitude of areas focusing on the participants learning objectives, and may include curatorial studies and arts management and administration. Learning opportunities may be formal sessions and/or 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.

Work study placements are appropriate for individuals wishing to leave their work worlds or formal advanced studies for a period of time to expand their careers, professional experience, and capabilities.These programs require full-time commitment and independent thinking. All participants sign a learning contract that assists in the evaluation of their work study experience.

Applicants or leaders from professional arts organizations, cultural and technology industries, other training organizations, colleges and universities, research centres, and labour and government agencies are encouraged to approach Visual Arts to create work study partnerships.

For more information, and to apply, visit the Banff Centre for the Arts website.
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