Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Curator, Palo Alto Art Center

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, January 31. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Curator, Palo Alto Art Center
Deadline: March 9, 2011

The Palo Alto Art Center seeks a dynamic, visionary, and energetic arts professional to serve as Curator (Producer Arts or Science Programs) during a pivotal point in our organization’s history. Since 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center has provided quality arts experiences to more than 70,000 people annually. With a closure for a much-needed renovation planned for spring 2011 and a subsequent reopening in a transformed facility, the Art Center is faced with a unique opportunity to expand and enrich our programs and outreach to new audiences.

The Palo Art Center provides opportunities for the artist in everyone and our nationally recognized exhibition program is intended to connect people to art, making art accessible to broad audiences. The mission of the Center is to foster creative process and thought by forging a greater appreciation and understanding of the arts through exhibitions, studio experiences, and related educational programming. We believe our mission is best achieved by connecting the experience of viewing art to the experience of making art. The Curator plays an essential role in generating exhibitions that inspire audiences to observe, to discuss, to learn, and to create. The resulting exhibitions form the basis of our successful education programs, such as Project LOOK!

Reporting to the Art Center Director, the Curator will be responsible for developing innovative and diverse thematic and solo exhibitions that will engage existing and target audiences. Secondary duties include the development of promotional and interpretive materials and public programs. The Curator also provides leadership for the exhibitions team, including a Curatorial Assistant, Registrar, and Preparator, along with an installation crew. The Curator promotes and raises support for exhibition programs with the Art Center Director and Art Center Foundation staff and board, by participating in the development of grants and the cultivation of donors. This position maintains active relationships with artists, community members, lenders, donors, and professional colleagues. The Curator is also responsible for managing the exhibitions program budget.

The ideal candidate will possess a significant breadth of knowledge and experience in the field of contemporary art. Background in a broad range of artistic practices, including work in diverse media (particularly media represented in the Art Center’s studio program), historical periods, and cultural traditions, is preferred. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated creativity and innovation in developing quality exhibitions and public programs. Strong writing and gallery presentation skills are also essential, as this position must communicate about art to volunteers, donors, staff, and community members. Excellent organization and project management skills are preferred. This position also requires the ability to successfully collaborate with other program staff, artists, lenders, volunteers, and community members.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s Degree in art, art history, museum studies, or related discipline and at least two years of professional experience.

Writing Sample Required:

Provide two writing samples: a) an example of a writing for a publication and b) an example of a writing for an interpretive text or label. Please submit your writing samples to sha[email protected] before the posting closing date.

Supplemental questions:
Considering the demographics of the Palo Alto area, propose an exhibition and related programs that you believe would be successful in engaging our audiences.

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

Work in an office environment in a publicly accessible building, answering of phones and sustained posture in a seated position for prolonged periods of time, ability to do some heavy lifting.

Special Requirements:

Possession of a driver’s license.

Work Hours and Schedule:

Full time, non-exempt position. This is a Service Employee International Union (SEIU) position with full benefits. Compensation: $29.75-$36.53 hourly

Application procedure:

Apply online at the City of Palo Alto website:

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of online applications.
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Job: Curator, Exhibitions: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, January 26. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Curator - Exhibitions
Faculty / Portfolio: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
Location: Caulfield campus
Employment Type: Full-time
Duration: Continuing appointment
Remuneration: $61,728 - $70,904 pa HEW Level 5 (includes 17% employer superannuation)

Monash is a dynamic university with a reputation for quality education, outstanding research and meaningful international engagement. We want to make a difference, not only to the communities we work within but the world. If you want to challenge yourself, then Monash could be the place for you.

To attract excellent people we know we need to offer excellent benefits and conditions. That's why when you join Monash, you'll join a workplace where fairness and flexibility are standards, not afterthoughts. We offer a variety of professional development opportunities, generous maternity/parental leave and work arrangements that acknowledge one size doesn't fit all.

The Opportunity

The Curator - Exhibitions provides curatorial expertise and support for the Director and Senior Curator/Collection Manager to ensure the effective development and implementation of MUMA's artistic program. They will ensure the timely delivery and development of MUMA exhibitions and will be encouraged to develop their own curatorial projects for the Museum's artistic program as it is implemented across the various Monash University gallery facilities.

The successful applicant will contribute to the writing and editing of various catalogue, education and marketing texts, and content development on the MUMA website and will undertake a range of curatorial and administrative duties including:

- research, documentation and development of exhibitions
- contribution to and development of Campus Enhancement initiatives
- a supporting role in the research, documentation and development the Monash University Collection
- liaison with artists, donors and lenders
- editing and preparation of exhibition catalogues, files and other publications
- preparation of information for freight arrangements
- organisation of written and visual material for advertising, promotion, wall labels and publishing
- distribution of images and information; presentation of floortalks and guided tours
- supervision and participation with installation of exhibitions
- response to public requests
- supporting the implementation of copyright policies and agreements and response to reproduction requests
- liaison with university and external stakeholders
- assistance with public events and openings
- assistance with general correspondence

This role is a full-time position; however flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.


Mr Max Delany, Director, on 03 9905 1644

Closing Date: 30 Jan 2011 11:55pm Aus. Eastern Standard Time

Please see Monash University's jobs website for details on how to apply

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Opportunity: Editorial Interns –

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, January 23. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities is seeking energetic and inspiring people to take part in creating content as well as co-conspiring on future directions the site may take. is one of the web's top destinations providing information and career support for curators of contemporary art. The site is respected and recognised, with excellent site statistics as well as thousands of fans on Facebook (and some fan mail!).

Ideal candidates for internships are passionate about curating and contemporary art, are great writers, and are very at home using word processing applications and blogging platforms. Bonus points if you use Facebook and Twitter. You'll work directly for me, Michelle Kasprzak, founder of -- and until now, the Lone Ranger. These positions are unpaid.

In return for your valuable time, I can offer you: an insider’s view into producing a popular website with international appeal; relevant and constructive feedback on your writing; credit where credit is due and glowing recommendations where these are warranted; a look at all the jobs and opportunities before anyone else; and collaborative brainstorming around the future of the site. There are many more benefits which I simply cannot conceive of until I meet you, as only then I'll know how we can best work together.

Duties include:
-Writing and editing texts (some for publication, some not)
-Using provided tools to retrieve and edit information for posting
-Collecting and digitally manipulating images
-Research and brainstorming
-Administration and data entry
-Liaising with partners and collaborators
-Overall support

-Strong commitment to and knowledge of contemporary art
-Commitment of six months (minimum), approximately 5-10 hours per week
-Excellent knowledge of word processing programs, blogging platforms, social media platforms. Some knowledge of image editing software is preferable.
-Ideal candidates are likely to be individuals who are in Masters-level curatorial studies or art history programmes, or are emerging curators. Writers, journalists, and wordsmiths of all kind are also welcome. Critical thinkers of all stripes are preferred.
-Your English language skills are of the highest level; those who can combine fluent and fluid English with advanced skills in second and third languages are strongly preferred.

-You do not have to be based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is where I live and work. I envision that each intern can complete all work remotely, with most supervision taking place over email, and meetings taking place over Skype. (This un-requirement of a shared city means that a rock-solid internet connection at all times becomes a requirement.) If you do reside in Amsterdam, however, I would be pleased to work with you in person and may be able to provide working space.

To apply:
Send a CV, cover letter, and one writing sample as attachments in .doc format to michelle -at- before midnight on February 21, 2011, with a subject line of "Internship". Only candidates who are selected for further conversations over virtual beers on Skype will be contacted.

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Pick 'N Mix #43

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, January 19. 2011 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Following the controversy after David Wojnarowicz's work was removed from an exhibition organised by the Smithsonian, and AA Bronson tried to remove his work from the same show in protest, Maura Judkis traces an instance where Wojnarowicz himself tried to remove a work from an exhibition. The case is fascinating and presents counterpoints from the curator's point of view. In 1990, Wojnarowicz tried to remove his work from the exhibition "Art What Thou Eat", curated by Linda Weintraub. In an email interview about both cases she says: "Complying with Wojnarowicz's demand carries a ludicrous implication. It would mean that curators of group shows could only select artists whose sexuality, lifestyles, or political opinions are companionable." and: "An exhibition is a creative expression that deserves the same respect and protection as an individual work of art." Read the full article for a curator's point of view on the removal of artworks from exhibitions.

- More on the evolution of the word curator from a recent article on Visual Thesaurus: "...curators of the ironic might want to make an addition to their lists: the fact that a word which once defined those who looked out for others, now also refers to those who look after themselves."

- I noticed a great initiative on Gabrielle Moser's blog: She's compiling lists of influential "Canadian curated moments". In her words: "...ground rules for the lists are flexible, but I’m looking for exhibitions that were mounted between 1980 and 2010. These could be group or solo shows, and you don’t need to necessarily have seen them "in the flesh", but they need to be curated by a Canadian and include Canadian artists. [...] Though I have started by asking a group of curators I know personally and invited them to submit their lists, the "archive" is open to everyone." You can send your lists to Gabby by contacting her via her website.

- The Are Curators Unprofessional? summit held recently at the Banff International Curatorial Institute has generated quite a bit of online discussion. I found these posts about it particularly illuminating (and have grabbed a few teaser quotes to encourage you to click through!):
Amy Fung at Akimbo: "The almost unanimous rejection of moving information such as catalogues online then is the total fear of losing what little power curators and artists have in the tangible world."
Nancy Tousley at Canadian Art: "This idea of subversion is an exciting notion. It suggests that contemporary artists and curators are closer in their aims than might initially be thought, and that there is potential for curators to participate in substantive change by adopting a strategic "unprofessionalism." "
Ginger Scott at Art in Practice: "The overarching cry from the symposium was to please keep curating unprofessional! It can operate with the freedom it does precisely because it is indefinable."

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Job: Curator, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, January 19. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba is Manitoba's second largest public art gallery and one of the few public galleries in Canada to formally embrace cultural diversity in Contemporary Canadian art practice as part of its program policy. In keeping with our commitment to reflect the diversity of our community, we are seeking to fill the key position of Curator.

The Curator will possess significant knowledge of contemporary First Nations, Métis and Canadian art, be committed to collaborative work methods, understand the value of regional art practice, and share in the Gallery's vision to reflect the cultural diversity of our community through contemporary art.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Curator is responsible for developing and producing contemporary art exhibitions and related publications, and working collaboratively with other staff to provide innovative public programs and effective communications strategies. Responsibilities also include actively engaging relevant community groups and members of the regional arts milieu.

Qualifications include an advanced degree in a relevant discipline and at least two years related experience, with a sound knowledge of contemporary art history. Comprehensive knowledge of funding requirements and relevant funding agencies is mandatory. Excellent interpersonal, administrative and organizational skills, demonstrable writing skills, and proven publishing ability are also required.

Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent employee benefits package.

This is a permanent, full-time position.

If this opportunity is of interest to you, please forward your cover letter, resume and samples of your writing in strict confidence by February 15, 2011 to:

Curator Search Committee
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
710 Rosser Avenue Unit 2
Brandon, MB R7A 0K9
Fax: 204 726-8139
Email: director -at-

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Opportunity: Curatorial Fellow, Rhizome

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, January 14. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Rhizome is a leading arts organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic
practices that engage technology. Through open platforms for exchange and collaboration, our website serves to encourage and expand the communities around these practices. Our programs, many of which happen online, include commissions, exhibitions, events, discussion, archives and portfolios. Rhizome is an affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. For more information about Rhizome, visit:

Rhizome seeks a Curatorial Fellow from February through June 2011. The Fellow will support the curatorial and editorial departments at Rhizome through research, writing and administration. This position is a unique opportunity for a person interested in pursuing a career in contemporary art to further their engagement with the field and hone their professional skills.

The Curatorial Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit to 16 hours of work per week, for 5 months, beginning in Spring 2011. This position is unpaid, but academic credit may be arranged. The Curatorial Fellow will work directly with artists and be overseen by the Executive Director and Senior Editor.

The Fellow's primary responsibilities include:

- Coordination and development of the Rhizome ArtBase, including managing submissions and reaching out to artists

- Researching topics for editorial coverage and writing articles for Rhizome's blog and publications

- Administrative support of programs, such as Rhizome's monthly New Silent Series at the New Museum

- General support of the organization

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should have a high level of familiarity with contemporary art and particularly new media and its history. Education or advanced experience beyond the undergraduate level is preferred. At a minimum, the candidate should have very strong writing, editing, and analytical skills, and very high internet literacy. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software is also required and basic Photoshop skills are preferred.

TO APPLY: Please email a cover letter, resume or c.v., three references, and three writing samples (url's or attachments) to Ceci Moss editor(at) Review of applications will begin immediately. Starting date is February 15, 2011

DEADLINE: February 3, 2011

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Job: Director/Curator, Artspeak

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, January 6. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Artspeak is a leading Canadian artist-run centre in Vancouver and presents contemporary visual art practices, publications, editions, talks, and events that encourage a dialogue between artists, writers, and critics. The mandate of the gallery is to exhibit contemporary art and to foster conversation between visual art and writing.Of particular interest is work that crosses the boundaries between the two disciplines, exploring their common areas of praxis – a distinct aspect of the history of cultural practice in this region. Throughout its twenty-five year history, Artspeak has played a significant role in addressing the historical, social, and intellectual conditions of contemporary visual and language arts production from the West Coast and beyond. Artspeak is a registered non-profit organization.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Director/Curator assumes full responsibility for carrying out the policies, regulations, and programming of Artspeak. The Director/Curator has complete authority to curate all exhibitions and talks, initiate publications, and to make related decisions while working with the existing mandate. They direct the day-to-day policies and operations; hire, delegate to, train, and supervise staff and/or volunteers.

Application deadline: January 14, 2011


-Curating all Artspeak exhibitions, talks, and events, or otherwise engaging guest curators; conceiving and editing Artspeak publications
-Overseeing all Artspeak programming (including any guest-curated or guest-edited projects), planning, and day-to-day operations
-Creating and administrating annual budget; keeping accurate books; and preparing monthly and yearly statements of revenues and expenditures
-Ensuring the operation of the gallery through successful grant applications from municipal, provincial, and federal governments, as well as foundations and other private sources
-Assisting the Board of Directors in reviewing policy, operational planning, organizational development, and fundraising campaigns
-Coordinating Board of Directors meetings, Annual General Meetings, retreats, and fundraising campaigns
-Overseeing Artspeak staff (including the fulltime Programme Coordinator position), interns, and volunteers


-3-5 years experience in the administration of an art gallery or other cultural institution
-Exemplary knowledge of contemporary art practices
-Prior experience in administering curatorial and publication projects
-Strong organizational and management skills
-Excellent verbal and written communication skills
-Proven track record in financial management and planning
-Successful grant writing experience with the ability to develop further fundraising opportunities


Salary: $40,000/annum plus benefits; six weeks paid vacation; travel costs as the budget allow

How to Apply:

Applications should include a brief letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references. The deadline is January 14, 2011 and applications should be emailed to info [at] artspeak [dot] ca or mailed to the Artspeak Hiring Committee, 233 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2 Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted. We thank you in advance for your interest.

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Opportunity: International Fellowship Program, Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, January 3. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen invites visual and media artists, art critics, theorists, and curators to apply for a fellowship in 2010–2011. Candidates can apply for one semester (October 3, 2011 – February 11, 2012 or February 14, 2012 - June 24, 2012). The fellowship can be split across two semesters.

The closing date for submissions is January 31, 2011 (postmark).
Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen is a post-graduate center for production, research, exchange in the fields of visual arts and art theory. Within the framework of the International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory, the Kunstlerhaus provides a platform that facilitates the development and production of artistic and art-theoretical projects in a critical context. At the same time, Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen offers a forum for direct exchange between professionals – artists, theoreticians, critics, and curators – from the region and abroad, as well as a point of interaction with local interested audiences. Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen is affiliated with the Tyrolean Artists' Association, the major association of visual artists from the region.

Buchsenhausen brings together two programs under one roof. On the one hand, it is the site of the International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory. On the other hand, it is the location of several studios for artists based in Tyrol who require space for working in a professionally interesting environment. Three apartment studios are used by the participants in the fellowship program. The other six studios are available to artists based in Tyrol. The project and presentation space is equipped with multimedia facilities and is at the fellows' disposal. The space was designed by Atelier van Lieshout.


With its Fellowship Program for Art and Theory, Buchsenhausen promotes internationally relevant artistic production, research, and discussion in the region of Tyrol. The program is based on the idea of generating and maintaining a context for production and discussion, in which artists and theorists can connect and reflect on international art and societal discourses in relation to local topics and issues. At the same time, it affords the opportunity for an artistic laboratory of experimentation, where new artistic practices and strategies may be tried out.

The program's aims are:
- to promote and relay a critical, socially relevant production of knowledge in art and art theory;
- to produce, through the fellowship projects, qualified discourses on art and society within the local and global contexts;
- to enable the transfer of knowledge between the field of art and other publics outside the art context;
- to facilitate the exchange between cultural producers in the visual arts and beyond (creating a network of experts).

The program brings together the advantages of a residency with the possibilities of a postgraduate non-university lectureship, without offering a formalized educational program. In terms of content, the program addresses a worldwide public made up of professionals in the fields of contemporary art, architecture, art and media theory, and criticism.

The fellows are selected by a jury of experts following an open call for applications. They come to Buchsenhausen for one or two semesters to work on realizing their submitted projects or research, and accompany this process with public events. For this purpose, Buchsenhausen offers a monthly stipend, a production budget, working spaces, free lodging, and artistic and technical advice.

The conveyance and discussion of the fellow's own work occurs parallel to the development of the individual projects. The public events take place in series. The focus of these series of events is determined by the respective emphases of the various fellows' works. Within the framework of this discursive format, the fellows (or their guests) can present various points in their research, open up their works-in-progress to critical discussion, interact with experts who they invite, work through content with the public, and/or try out new ways of working. The fellowship year ends with a group exhibition curated by the director of the Fellowship Program.

For former and current fellows and their projects please visit


- a grant of EUR 3,150 to cover the costs of living during the period of residency in Innsbruck;
- an individual studio for working and living, furnished with a large shared kitchen;
- a production budget for the realization of the proposed project;
- a budget for inviting experts to Buchsenhausen for the purpose of professional exchange;
- the opportunity of a group exhibition at the end of the fellowship at the Neue Galerie in Innsbruck.


- free access to the 'Lab', the project/gallery space
- free use of the available multimedia production equipment in the 'Lab'
- free DSL/WLAN Internet access
- professional artistic advice
- technical advice if required


Professional visual/media artists, art theorists, art critics, and curators from all over the world are eligible for the fellowship.


The candidates must submit a project proposal. Work on the submitted project forms the core of each fellow's activities during his/her stay in Buchsenhausen. A description of a series of public events intended to accompany the individual work during the duration of the fellowship (up to four events) is also an integral part of the project proposal. If the application is successful, the fellows are required to specify the details of the presentation series and carry out the proposed program.

The fellows declare themselves willing to be present at Buchsenhausen for the duration of the fellowship. Working knowledge of English is required.


The selection of fellows is made by a jury of experts and based on the quality, originality, and relevance of the project proposal and the work samples submitted by the applicants. The jury includes the director of Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen, a member of the board of the 'Tyrolean Artists' Association' and one external expert.

The selection procedure occurs in two stages.

In the first stage, the submitted applications are evaluated and the jury makes a shortlist of candidates who will be invited to Buchsenhausen for personal interviews.

The personal interview with the jury forms the second stage. For the interview, the applicants have to come to Innsbruck to personally present their working plans and aims during the fellowship.

For the full text of the call, more information on the application procedure, financial questions, etc. please consult the website or contact us at: office -at-, phone +43 512 278627, fax -11.

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Pick 'N Mix #42

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, January 3. 2011 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

- Paul Lang is the newly-appointed curator at the National Gallery of Canada. At the job interview, he was asked by National Gallery Director Marc Mayer: "Were I to hire you for this job, who do you work for?" Lang replied: "I work for the public and so do you."

- " [curating] seemed to suit my personality better than being an academic, because you're always starting new projects. A curator is different in the sense that one of your main responsibilities is communication -- how you translate what you see in the artwork, what you feel is important about it, to an audience." - Shamim Momin

- "One of the most powerful functions that I have as a curator at a major art organization such as Creative Time is the power to legitimate phenomena. [...] The sad fact is that while critics still worry about whether things are art or not, the big game of cultural production has left the art arena and is now at the disposal of the capitalist machine of cultural production. If art is to challenge the present condition, it must make the scope of its questions and audience much broader and more exacting. For those that take this task seriously, I want to legitimate their efforts." - Nato Thompson

- Witte de With recently held Act X of the Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality. The Witte de With has posted audio files of the talks, including talks by curators Tirdad Zolghadr, Adriano Pedrosa, Clémentine Deliss, Dessislava Dimova, Candice Hopkins, and others.

- Two new book reviews up, and more to come! Check out my reviews of A Brief History of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist and New Media in the White Cube and Beyond, edited by Christiane Paul.

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