Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Curatorial Grants, Schloss Ringenberg

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, April 10. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

In July 2009, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia will inaugurate a new model for promoting postgraduate curatorial work by offering a programme-based grant.

The grant provides €1,250/month in support for each participant for a period of 12 months. The curatorial grant is practice-oriented and tied in with the German- Dutch European project smax. The programme is located at Schloss Ringenberg, in Hamminkeln on the Lower Rhine. The new European project smax (2009-2012) is now carrying these promotional efforts forward with a practice-oriented model consisting of new residential grants. For the invited curators in the cross-border region smax offers a versatile selection of concrete fields of work as opportunity to independently put their ideas into practice. In a special match situation, the participants are integrated into a cultural network that provides them with a model for the real conditions under which they will embark on their careers.

Curatorial fellows from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia will be chosen by an expert jury. Required is a completed course of studies in art history or art studies at a university in North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as demonstrated professional qualifications. The two NRW fellows will live and work for the most part at the Schloss during the 12-month grant period, together with a third curatorial fellow from the Netherlands, from the De Appel Arts Centre (Amsterdam). Residence at the Schloss and participation in smax are mandatory for grant-holders.

For further information and application materials:
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Job: Director, Eyelevel Gallery

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, April 10. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Job Posting: Director

Eyelevel Gallery is a non-profit artist-run centre in Halifax dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art and its practices. We are presently seeking a highly motivated individual to fill the position of Director.

Description: The Director works in consultation with the Board of Directors, and with the assistance of a network of volunteers, to carry out and develop the gallery’s activities including:

- planning, organizing, and animating all exhibitions
- assisting in budget preparations
- writing grants and external funding applications
- coordinating other gallery-related fundraising activities
- maintaining the gallery space
- maintaining archives, updating and maintaining gallery files
- maintaining the website
- developing community relations locally, nationally and internationally
- coordinating volunteers
- representing the gallery to cultural organizations and at official functions

When possible, the Director is encouraged to develop curatorial projects and pursue professional development opportunities.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will be self-motivated, energetic, and will have the ability to work both independently and collaboratively; will have a strong knowledge of national and international art, a commitment to supporting local artistic practice, and a familiarity with and enthusiasm for artist-run culture; will be community-minded and interested in outreach activities that engage the art community as well as the wider public and will be able to work cooperatively with diverse groups of people to develop exciting programs. Most importantly, the successful candidate will be able to contribute a unique vision and personality to the gallery and its programming.

The successful candidate will have:

- a post-secondary degree/diploma in Fine Arts, Arts Administration or equivalent experience
- experience working or volunteering with an artist-run centre
- proven grant writing ability and fundraising skills
- strong planning and organizational skills including the ability to prioritize projects
- proven office or similar managerial experience
- strong interpersonal skills
- experience working with a Board of Directors and volunteers
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- experience with budget preparation, financial management and working within fixed budgets
- strong computer literacy, preferably both Mac and PC platforms
- graphic design and website maintenance experience is an asset

Terms of Employment: Hours: full-time (35 hours per week), with four weeks paid vacation in the first year, increasing one week per year to a maximum of six weeks. Starting salary of $26,000. Salary enhancements (to be suited to the successful candidates needs) begin in the second year of employment. There is an initial six-month probationary period. The director hired may serve in this position for a maximum of five years.

To apply: please send a cover letter, a detailed CV, and a sample of your critical and/or professional writing (max 3 pages) to:

Eyelevel Gallery
Attn: Hiring Committee
2063 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS
B3K 3B2

Applications must be received by: Thursday April 30, 2009 @ 5pm
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Resources: On Art Blogging in Europe

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, April 9. 2009 • Category: Reviews & Resources
Recently I was interviewed by Annette Wolfsberger for LabforCulture, about this blog and my conception of art blogging in Europe. It's the beginning of a new series on cultural blogging. They ask: "Who blogs? What are they blogging about? Which audiences and communities are being engaged? What are the language-specific issues and the economic models? And how sustainable are they?"

Perhaps it's a bit 'meta', but I thought it worthwhile to point out this interview about on the excellent culture portal LabforCulture, which is just the start of a series, and I will note that there is another great interview as part of the launch of this effort with Claire Welsby of InterventTech.

Happy reading!
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Job: Curator, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, April 6. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Job Type: Full time
Contract Type: Permanent
Salary: AUD$55,000 - $64,000
Closing Date: 04/05/2009

Job Details:

Curator, $AUD55,000 – 64,000 per annum plus 9% superannuation
Closing date: 4 May 2009

The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) is one of Australia’s leading centres for the development and presentation of contemporary art.

Housed in a large and striking heritage building in the heart of Perth, Western Australia, PICA is the city’s focal point for those wishing to experience the best of Australian and international visual, performing and cross-disciplinary art.

PICA is both a producing and presenting institution that runs a year round program of changing exhibitions, seasons in contemporary dance, theatre and performance and a range of interdisciplinary projects. It boasts one of the largest and most breath-taking exhibition spaces in Australia and has become known for the leading role it plays in the presentation of significant new work.

PICA’s key aim is to promote, support and present contemporary arts and to stimulate critical discussion around the arts and broader cultural issues. Providing a site for experimentation, critical analysis, discussion and debate is fundamental to its charter. PICA is known for the rigour and breadth of its artistic and education programs, high production standards and impeccable presentation. In many aspects of its operations, PICA might be understood as an incubator: providing resources, mentoring and support for both emerging and mature artists whilst promoting new and emerging ideas, forms and practices to the broader community.

The Curator is responsible for the management and presentation of PICA’s Visual Arts and associated public programs.

This is a key artistic and management position within the organisation and the successful applicant will work closely with the PICA Director to further the depth and breadth of PICA’s Visual Arts programming.

It is a complex and demanding role offering significant responsibility and a diverse, in depth engagement with the Australian and international contemporary arts sector.

Desired Qualifications:
The successful applicant will have a demonstrable knowledge of, and passion for, current contemporary art practices, significant curatorial experience, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to drive and manage a dynamic artistic program.

For further information and details about how to apply, please visit the PICA website or phone +61892286300.
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Job: Director/Curator, Media Arts - Western Front Society

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, April 5. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Director/Curator, Media Arts - Western Front Society

Position Type: Full-time contract, 35 hours/week
Date of Posting: March 30, 2009
Application Deadline: May 1, 2009
Years Experience: 2+
Salary: $31,000/year

The Western Front Society seeks an outstanding, highly motivated arts professional to step into the role of Director/Curator, Media Arts.

The Western Front is one of Canada’s pioneering artist-run centres and produces and presents works in five programs: Exhibitions, Performance Art, New Music, FRONT Magazine And Media Arts. The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a small group of interdisciplinary artists, and has developed into an exemplary multi-disciplinary environment for experimental art practice and research. With a staff of ten plus interns and volunteers, the Society collectively produces over fifty events a year.

The Media Arts Program has a mandate to support research, production, experimentation and critical discourse by Canadian artists and arts professionals in media arts practices. The backbone of Western Front Media Arts is the Artist-in-Residence Program which promotes experimentation and innovation in media arts. In keeping with the Western Front's historical emphasis on creative exchange and the interdisciplinary, this program supports unique explorations of new creative areas including, but not limited to: video production, sound art, robotics,, site-specific gestures, experimental projects, process-based pieces and unique initiatives in media art practice today.


The Media Arts Director/Curator reports to the Board of Directors, and is an active participant in the Western Front Management Team, assuming the leadership and responsibility for:

- Ensuring the effective development, operation and sustainability of the Media Arts Program
- Overseeing the implementation of programs, policies and operations on a day-to-day basis
- Curating artist production residencies
- Editing publications
- Developing the vision, policies and plans for the production studios and equipment
- Sharing responsibility with the Management Team for carrying out the policies and regulations of the Western Front, and guiding staff and/or volunteers involved with the core operations or with other Western Front programs

As the ideal candidate, you possess:

- Exemplary knowledge and understanding of contemporary and historical practices in media arts
- A clear understanding of the philosophy and history of the Canadian artist-run centre movement
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills
- Proven financial management experience
- Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines in a bustling interdisciplinary environment
- Knowledge of technologies and systems used in a range of media arts practices
- Ability to effectively delegate and supervise staff, volunteers, interns and external contractors
- Familiarity with planning and administrative practices in the arts
- Forward-thinking project management and organizational skills
- Appreciation for consensus-driven, collaborative management processes
- Knowledge of a broad range of issues related to the arts
- Knowledge of the principle funding agencies and prior grant writing experience
- Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
- Mac OS, Microsoft Office, electronic mail and Filemaker Pro

A competitive benefits package is available after the three months probation period is complete. After eight months of employment, four weeks paid vacation may be taken during the period when programs are recessed. An additional ten days paid holiday time may be taken during the December/January holiday period.

The Western Front Society is committed to the principles of Employment Equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal persons, members of a visible minority group or persons with a disability.

Applications containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three references, and writing samples, must be received by 4:00 p.m. on May 1, 2009.

Please send applications by post only to:

Media Arts Director/Curator Hiring Committee
Western Front Society
303 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1S1

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Job: Assistant Curator (Exhibitions), Arnolfini

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, April 5. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Arnolfini is an international centre for contemporary arts, based in the heart of Bristol's Harbourside, promoting an experimental programme of exhibitions, live art, dance, film, music and literature, with a strong educational remit. As part of a major new strategic direction, Arnolfini is placing research, partnership and interaction at the core of its mission.

Assistant Curator (Exhibitions) is a new role which offers you the opportunity to be part of Arnolfini's vibrant and challenging artistic programming. You will be responsible for the delivery of the exhibitions programme, working with the Exhibitions Curator, the Projects Manager and the artistic team to ensure an interdisciplinary approach to the artistic programme and associated projects.

This post is offered at Grade 4 £19,000 per annum

Interviews: 6 May 2009

Closing date for applications for the post: 24 April 2009

For further information send an A4 SAE to Recruitment Manager, Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA or email recruitment -at- or visit
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Pick 'N Mix - April 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, April 4. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Where did March go? It's time already for April's Pick 'N Mix:

- To start, I'd like to point you in the direction of this great (and growing) online resource: Curators in Context. Arising from a series of events held in Canada in 2004 and 2005, this resource has transcripts, audio, and video of talks by curators on a wide range of topics. There is a lot to uncover here. As a small taste, I'll just drop in a quote that I quite liked from the abstract for Ivan Jurakic's talk, Navigating the Curator-as-Artist Divide: "The difficulty lies in this complex synthesis of practice and theory, which must not only be applied to the increasingly fragmented means of production, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art, but also respectful of the creative autonomy and expectations of the artist. The 'job' of curating becomes a sophisticated form of intellectual gameplay, which posits the curator in a position sometimes parallel to that of conceptual artist." The site also features a wiki (user-editable web page) that has a list of definitions that could be helpful, and that will also presumably grow.

- A two-part interview with Okwui Enwezor at BaseNow has some complex answers to straightforward questions. Responding to the question of how Enwezor views the role of the curator, he says (in part) "But a curator can't simply be the advocate or booster or supporter of one type of art or another without a sustainable intellectual and cultural argument [...] the one role I do not subscribe to is the curator playing the role of the supreme judge of what is correct. I loathe the idea of the curator as judge of taste. To me there is no critical judgment in tastemaking, only a perverse form of prejudice emerges from taste."

- On a final note, I am now caring for and will be distributing some sourdough starter, as part of the Cultural_Capital project by Kate Southworth and Patrick Simons. "Drawing parallels between the use of bacteria and culture in traditional breadmaking and the self-organising and generative condition of network art, Cultural_Capital is a transformational artwork in which a sour-dough starter is created and grown in the gallery; cared for by the curators." The creators of the project further note that the work "is conceived as a touring artwork that accumulates bacteria and cultural capital from every venue in which it is installed." I am obliged, as a participating curator in the project, to take care of the starter for at least a week, and then pass a portion of the starter on to another curator. So far, so good... it's day two and despite adding (gasp!) white flour, I think the culture is thriving!

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Job: Curator, Tate Modern

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, April 3. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Curator - International Modern Art
Organisation: Tate
Salary: c. £35,000 p.a.

Type: Full-Time Position

Location: London, England
Closing Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Job Ref No: 8178

Job Description:
Tate Modern's programme of exhibitions and collection displays provide public access to some of the most interesting and ground-breaking modern and contemporary art in the world. To ensure the highest standard of content and delivery of this programme Tate is currently seeking an experienced Curator to play a leading role in our team.

Required Skills:
As an experienced curator of modern international art, with particular experience in the period 1900-1965, you will contribute intellectual, art historical and curatorial expertise to Tate Modern's programme. You will responsible for researching, developing and curating large and medium scale exhibitions and projects, seeing them through from idea to realisation. This will encompass the entire process from initial concept and research for exhibitions and collection displays to managing substantial budgets, leading Tate-wide project teams, overseeing installation designs and acting as an advocate for Tate. You will also contribute texts and editorial supervision to a range of publications in conjunction with the programme. You will have proven excellent research, scholarly and curatorial planning and project-management skills. While the emphasis is on curatorial work on the programme, you will also contribute your expertise to our acquisitions process.

Application Instructions:
For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website at If you’re unable to access the website please email jobs -at- quoting ref: 8178.
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