Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: MARCO/FRAC Lorraine Awards for Young Curators

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, July 30. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
MARCO/FRAC Lorraine Award for Young Curators
Deadline: 7pm, Friday 30th October, 2009

Organized by the MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain and FRAC Lorraine, Metz (Fonds regional d’art contemporain de Lorraine), France, the purpose of the MARCO/FRAC Lorraine Award for Young Curators is to offer participants the chance to execute an exhibition project to occupy MARCO’s first floor and the exhibition venues at FRAC Lorraine. Entries will focus on the field of contemporary artistic creation and contemplate the participation of two or more artists.

The exhibition project will have a budget of a maximum sum of 30,000 Euro for each venue. The exhibition will take place from May to September, 2010 at MARCO Vigo, and from October, 2010 and January 2011 at FRAC Lorraine. Proposals that include works from the Collection FRAC Lorraine shall be taken into account. To visit the Collection:

All curators born in and after 1970 are eligible to enter the competition. If an entry is a group creation, one person will be chosen from that group to represent it and act as mediator with the institution. Curators will not be allowed to participate as artists. Entries must be previously unpublished and must contemplate the participation of two or more artists. No more than one project per entrant will be accepted.

The curator of the winning project will sign a contract with the Fundación MARCO and FRAC Lorraine, agreeing to comply with the functions derived from curating an exhibition, the characteristics of which will be specified in the contract. These will include the selection and location of the works, the design and supervision of the installation, and the writing of at least one text for the catalogue. The curator will receive the sum of 7,000 Euro, tax included, as an honorarium.

A jury made up of professionals of the art world will select the winning project and two finalists in November. The jury’s decision is final. The jury may declare the award void should they consider this necessary. The criteria for evaluating the entries will be based on quality and suitability to the characteristics of the first floor of the MARCO as an exhibition space and exhibition spaces at FRAC Lorraine.

The jury will be composed of:
Beatrice Josse, FRAC Lorraine Director
Iñaki Martínez Antelo, MARCO Director
Kevin Muhlen, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain Director
Agar Ledo Arias, MARCO Head of the Exhibitions Dept.
Pedro de Llano, Art Critic and curator

The jury’s decision will be made public in November 2009 and all participants will be notified.

Entries must be exclusively and simultaneously submitted, PDF format to the following e-mail addresses info at and fraclorraine.coordination at, subject: ‘Award for Young Curators’. In case of sending additional information, please send it to: MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo. Rúa Príncipe, 54. 36202 Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain and 49 Nord 6 Est - FRAC Lorraine. 1 bis, rue des Trinitaires. 57000 Metz, France. Dossiers received in only one venue will not be accepted. Projects must be preferably written in English, although Spanish, French or Galician languages are admitted.

The closing date for the reception of entries is 7pm, Friday 30th October, 2009. Dossiers received after this time will not be accepted.

For more information:

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Winners announced: Best Art Practices

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, November 12. 2007
The inaugural Best Art Practices award for young curators has just announced the winners of this year's competition. The jury received 132 applications from 32 countries in 5 continents. Their press statement (re-arranged a bit, and with URLs added by myself) follows:

The purpose of the Best Art Practices Award, announced by the Italian Culture Department of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano (South Tyrol), is to reward the best contemporary art projects that have been completed in the last five years by curators under forty years of age in non-conventional spaces.

Best Art Practices award winners:
1st prize, 10.000 euros: FRONTERA, Laboratorio Curatorial 060
for the complexity of the subjects covered and for the innovative vision. Greatly appreciated were: the social importance; the ability to involve the tradition and the local population in the creation and fruition of the works presented; the innovatory character aimed at overcoming public art practices typical of the 90s; the topic and more precisely the research into the frontier question in an area of scarce media attention; the unusual ability to develop feelings of freedom, fantasy and poetry.

2nd prize, 3.000 euros: THE PAINTING MUSEUM, Florin Tudor
for the clarity of the curatorial elements as regards to the contents indicated, the historic and geographic context of these and the results obtained. Greatly appreciated were: the strong public impact and the great media attention; the political and cultural importance in a context in rapid social evolution and the innovatory method of approach to the work, which investigates the relationship between state power and artistic institution

3rd prize, 2000 euros: LIMINAL SPACES, Eyal Danon, Philipp Misselwitz, Galit Eilat, Reem Fadda
for the ability of the curators to organize a joint project, in a very troubled area, such as that of Palestine and Israel. Greatly appreciated in particular was the desire of the project to create a discussion platform in which writers, artists and curators from Palestine, Israel and other parts of the world were involved, as well as the ability of the curators to find support for the other stages of the project in Europe.

The jury has also chosen to give a special mention to five projects of similar merit:
  • 6th Festival de performance de Cali-Colombia, Wilson Diaz Polanco, Ana Maria Millan Strohbach, Jaime Andreas Sandoval Alba, Claudia Patricia Sartia Macias, Juan David Medina Jaramillo

  • En Route: via another route, Adam Carr

  • Radio Gallery, Anna Colin

  • Sandwiched, Jacob Fabricius

  • Lagos Open, Emeka Udemba

Jury's statement:
The work of selecting the projects was a collective team effort by the jury who identified in this award a first platform for reflection. The jury thus decided to accompany the motivations for the winning projects with a first few general considerations on the state of young curatorial practices, which might be a good omen for the organization of future debates on this topic.

In many candidatures the lack of a solid cultural background was problematic. This denotes a tendency of the projects to approach the requests of the cultural industry. On the other hand the jury valued as positive the experimental approach of many projects and in particular the active position of many curators, who, through different forms of public involvement, share the interest for activities which enter in the respective social and political contexts. The last observation regards the growth of awareness regarding the practice of the curator orientated at overcoming the traditional separation between the artist as cultural producer and the curator as a simple complementary element to the role of the artist.

President: Carlos Basualdo
Members of the Jury: Montse Romani Monserrat, Andrea Viliani, Anton Vidokle, Letizia Ragaglia, Marion Piffer
Jury Assistant: Denis Isaia, curator of the project Best Art Practices
Secretary of the Commission: Cristina Alietti, executive officer of the culture department, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano
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Spark Plug Curator Award

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, August 8. 2007 • Category: Announcements
The Crafts Council UK is delighted to announce the launch of a new Award scheme for curators.

The Award:
This annual Award scheme will enable successful applicants to each receive a £5,000 Award (inclusive). The Spark Plug Curator Award scheme aims to provide each year a minimum of four selected curators the opportunity to develop an ambitious and innovative exhibition project.

Award Objectives:
- To enable the development of curatorially robust and innovative projects through front end research and development.
- To provide leverage for funding applications.
- Increase the number of challenging and pioneering craft based exhibitions available nationally and regionally.
- Drive the debate into the role of craft in the 21st century.

The Crafts Council Spark Plug Curator Awards are aimed at curators to enable the research and development of a proposed exhibition idea or concept. Each Spark Plug Curator Award consists of a fixed fund from the Crafts Council of £5,000 (inclusive) and lasts for the fixed period of 12 months of research activity, during which time the awardees are required to research and develop an original exhibition project. The application must outline an ambitious and inventive exhibition proposal which engages with contemporary craft. Projects that engage with the following themes are encouraged:

- Interdisciplinary & New contexts; craft in the 21st century; for example: fashion, architecture, design, visual arts.
- Internationalism
- Globalism & Identity

The proposal can be for an exhibition or curatorial event inside or outside the gallery space. Proposals for projects that address the content of the exhibition, concept and staging of the exhibition in imaginative, creative and original ways are welcomed.

Who can apply?
Applicants must be domiciled in the UK. The project proposed must take place in the UK, although the idea may be realised as a virtual or web-based activity. Applicants must have a minimum of three years of proven curatorial experience, either as part of an institution or as a freelance curator. Partnership projects are welcomed.

Closing date for applications: 20th October 2007

For further information, please visit the Crafts Council website.
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New award for Canadian curators

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, May 8. 2007 • Category: News
The first of its kind in Canada, The Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Visual Art will recognize the work of a mid-career curator who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the contemporary visual arts.

"Curators are an absolutely vital link between the artist and the public," said Gerda Hnatyshyn, C.C, President and Chair of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Board. "Their work is very demanding and it often gets overlooked because the attention is, quite rightfully, on the artists. We want to recognize the important role curators play in fostering and promoting Canadian art and in introducing Canadians to the best contemporary art from abroad."

Candidates for the award will be nominated by a jury of prominent arts professionals chosen by the Foundation for their knowledge of the visual arts across Canada. Independent curators, as well as those working within an institutional context, will be eligible for the award.

The new prize follows on the heels of the $25,000 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award, created last year to honour the work of an outstanding mid-career visual artist. The inaugural prize was presented to Vancouver artist Stan Douglas earlier this year. The recipients of both visual arts awards for 2007 will be announced in November.
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