Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Assistant Curator, Barbican

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 30. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented individual to join the Barbican Art Gallery team.

The successful applicant should have substantial experience working in an art gallery, a degree in art history or equivalent and preferably a post-graduate degree in curating. Prospective applicants must have a comprehensive knowledge modern and contemporary art or design, as well as photography. Experience in all aspects of exhibition organisation and catalogue production is expected.

The ideal candidate will present a clear and ordered approach to work with meticulous attention to detail. Excellent interpersonal skills are vital as the post-holder must be able to liaise with people at all levels. The ability to work under pressure and a calm and flexible attitude is also necessary. Proficiency in a variety of computer packages is essential. Fluency in one or more European languages would be an advantage.

All applications must include a completed application form together with a CV.

For more information about the Barbican Centre and the vacancy please go to

To apply online or download a pack, please visit

Alternatively, please contact the Corporate Recruitment Unit on 020 7332 3978 (24hr answerphone) quoting reference BC186. A minicom service for the hearing impaired is available on 020 7332 3732.

Closing Date for applications: 16th April 2010, 12pm

Late applications will not be accepted.

Interviews to be held on Wednesday, 5th May 2010.

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

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Call for Proposals: Wales At Venice 2011

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 30. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

A Call For Curatorial Propositions From Galleries, Arts Organisations, Curators, Artist/curators And Visual Arts Collectives
Wales At Venice 2011
Closing Date 16 April 2010

Arts Council of Wales is delighted to confirm that Wales will be participating at the 54th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale in 2011. Wales at Venice is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government and is a key part of the strategy for the visual arts in Wales.

Wales at Venice will be in its 5th Biennale year in 2011. Previous artists representing Wales include, John Cale, Richard Deacon, Merlin James, Heather & Ivan Morison, Peter Finnemore, Bethan Huws, Cerith Wyn Evans (see ) The Biennale enhanced these artists' international profile and has showcased outstanding work from Wales.

This opportunity remains the prime international context for contemporary art and raises Wales' cultural profile as a place for many emerging and highly respected artists. With a variety of approaches taken to date, Arts Council of Wales is now seeking to open out the possibilities for our next presence, as it responds to the on-going shifts for presenting contemporary art.

In the past, artists have been chosen to represent Wales by a commissioner and curator working with a committee. However for 2011, we feel it would be more exciting and rewarding to call for submissions and ideas from our visual arts community.

It is vital that this international platform is maximised, that the presentation speaks of contemporary Wales and that it connects in artistic terms with other curated exhibitions and presentations at the Biennale. In essence it needs to continue to build the focus on contemporary art from and within Wales.

This is a call to galleries, arts organisations, curators, artist/curators and collectives with a proven track record of working internationally or delivering respected international presentations of contemporary art. Interested parties should be based in Wales or have a connection/awareness of Welsh contemporary visual arts practice.

To prepare for Venice in 2011, Arts Council of Wales is initiating the following process: 

1. Invite exploratory propositions through this call. (March-April 2010)
2. The Venice Advisory Committee will evaluate these propositions. (April 2010)
3. Offer a short development phase supported by a fee to a maximum of three propositions, (April- May)
4. Make a final selection, before constituting and financing the partnership team and artist(s) to create the exhibition. (May-June 2010)

Reports at the various stages will be posted on the Arts Council of Wales website and the Wales at Venice website.

In addition to realising the exhibition at the Biennale, the partnership will need to actively contribute towards a strong education programme, audience development initiatives and raising the profile on an international stage of high quality visual arts practice in Wales.

For further enquiries and to request a Wales at Venice Biennale Proposition Form please contact Lindsay Hughes, Senior Visual Arts Officer at Arts Council of Wales, -at-

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Job: Curatorial Projects Manager, Art Gallery of Alberta

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, March 18. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The Art Gallery of Alberta is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta and the province's only solely dedicated art museum. Serving both the city of Edmonton and the province of Alberta, the Gallery maintains a collection of over 6,000 objects and presents an ongoing series of collection-based and temporary exhibitions with related educational programs. The Art Gallery of Alberta is committed to deepening the understanding of visual culture through on‑going investigations of artistic and curatorial practice, where the viewer is inspired to go beyond the end product to gain greater awareness of and appreciation for the creative process.

Position Description
Reporting to the Deputy Director / Chief Curator, the Curatorial Projects Manager will provide administrative assistance for the production and presentation of AGA exhibitions and special curatorial projects. This responsibility includes: developing and administering exhibition production schedules and files; liaising and coordinating with visiting artists, guest curators and lending institutions; administering and coordinating: art work loan requests, loan forms, contracts and list of works. The Curatorial Projects Manager will oversee the administration of exhibitions and special curatorial projects such as: art work commissions, calls for submission and other art installation projects. The Curatorial Projects Manager will also coordinate AGA national travelling exhibition projects, and may be asked to oversee the installation of select in-coming touring exhibitions.

The successful candidate will possess a university degree in art history or a related subject; a minimum of five years working experience in an art or related cultural museum; a proven ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; strong organizational and administrative skills; project management experience; a knowledge of exhibition installation and art work handling procedures; and the ability to work under general direction and in a team environment.

May 30, 2010
Please submit resumes by mail or e-mail to careers -at-

Art Gallery of Alberta
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 2C1

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Pick 'N Mix #36

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, March 17. 2010 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to another edition of Pick 'N Mix, my collections of links and news relevant to curators.

- Let's start with the slightly strange: On Yahoo! HotJobs, an article with the headline "Starving Artist? Not with These Well-Paid Creative Jobs" rhymes off a list of jobs deemed appropriate for artists to do in order to remain "creative" but also put food on the table should earnings from their artwork be a bit scant. Listing "Museum Curator" as a job that could net you $48,300 USD per year, it also characterises the job as "...unlike personality-driven jobs like interior design or fashion design, this is an area where introverted types can really excel." Visual arts career coach Rod Berg backs this up by saying, "Your personality doesn't have to be as bubbly. You can be more studious." This article seemed to be attempting (and in my view, failing) to put a positive spin on the "curator as failed artist" cliche that I also noted was present in the interview with Francesco Bonami in the last Pick 'N Mix. While it isn't the case that curatorial careers are the only ones that end up becoming stereotyped, the stereotypes that do surface in connection with curatorial work are pretty tired and in line with grave misconceptions around the accessibility of contemporary art in general.

- Of course, the stereotype of the reclusive, eccentric and bookish museum curator is one side of the coin, and the brash, self-promoting, celebrity curator is the opposite end of the spectrum of stereotypes. Or, you can shortcut directly to the celebrity part of that equation. Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal was invited to curate an exhibit entitled "Size DOES Matter," on view at New York City's FLAG Art Foundation through until May 27. PBS has produced a short clip on the exhibition, "which explores the concept of size through art, [and] features pieces such as Ron Mueck's "Big Man" sculpture and tiny versions of O'Neal and the Obama family in the eye of a needle, conceived by artist Willard Wigan. Other artists represented include Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton, Corban Walker and Cindy Sherman." The bio on the FLAG Foundation website lists Shaq's many accomplishments, however, a passion for art is not among them. Which begs the question: if you are going to engage a celebrity with no art credentials to curate for you, was it not possible to find one who at least is publicly noted as being passionate about contemporary art?

- "Art fairs are becoming more curatorial and biennials more commercial." Fons Hof, Director Art Rotterdam.

- File under diplomacy in action: Julie Jacobson, the wife of U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, has struck out on her own, and curated (the Globe and Mail says "put together") an exhibit combining Canadian and American landscape artists for the official residence. "The guidelines state that art in official residences must be works by U.S. citizens, either native or naturalized. Ms. Jacobson says she was interested in building on some of the political themes of President Barack Obama, seizing on his idea of "finding common ground with our neighbours." She asked for special dispensation from State Department officials – saying that the way to find common ground was to also display Canadian artists. They agreed. The result is a 17-piece collection – eight of which are paintings from Canadian artists – called Common Ground: American and Canadian Landscape Painting. Ms. Jacobson says she chose to focus on the period around the 1920s when Canadian and American artists were beginning to discover the beauty in their own backyards." I thought this was a sweet gesture on Ms Jacobson's part.

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Opportunity: World of Art school for critics and curators

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 16. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

WORLD OF ART 2010/11
School for curators and critics of contemporary art
Year 13

Deadline: March 23, 2010

The World of Art enables participants to learn the knowledge, skills and methods needed to tackle the complex issues in the world of art.

The school is intended for all who are interested in working in the field of contemporary art, regardless of experience, age and education.

The annual school program is internal and for a selected group of participants who will be chosen by open call. The course has two semesters:

- the first semester (April–June 2010) will be dedicated to the acquisition of art – historical, theoretical and methodological skills
- the second semester (September 2010–May 2011) will be dedicated to critical and curatorial studies and practice.

The program includes lectures, seminars, workshops, research work, modules on the practical work of the curator, study excursions and practice in galleries. The process comprises the organisation of events, studio visits, meetings with curators, artists, theorists, and writers, and teamwork in conceptualisation and preparing an exhibition of contemporary art under the tutor’s leadership.

Fee: 400 euros (VAT included)

Send or bring your application form (download here), CV, motivation letter and review of selected exhibitions of contemporary art (up to 40 lines) to SCCA-Ljubljana, Metelkova 6, SI 1000 Ljubljana, svetumetnosti -at-

The selection of participants will be in two stages. After the first selection, participants will be invited for an interview, to be held at the SCCA-Ljubljana on Thursday, April 1 and Friday April 2.
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Job: Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, March 4. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool, £20,200 per annum, full-time

Tate Liverpool is one of the UK’s largest galleries of modern and contemporary art. The Exhibitions and Displays team ensures the highest standards of ideas, research, care and coordination as they manage our varied and innovative programme.

Working closely with the Director, Head of Exhibitions & Displays and other Curators in the team, you’ll organise and deliver major exhibitions, events and collection displays at Tate Liverpool. You’ll assist in the preparation of scale layouts and exhibition installations, while taking responsibility for research, loan administration and negotiation, minute-taking and processing invoices. An advocate of our aims and on-going communications across Tate, you’ll also provide lectures, gallery talks, press briefings and tours.

Together with a postgraduate qualification in a relevant discipline such as History of Art (or similar), you’ll have a sound knowledge of twentieth century and contemporary art. You’ll also need experience of working in a museum or gallery, as well as proven budget administration skills and excellent presentation abilities. The ability to speak another language would be advantageous, but above all you’ll have an imaginative approach and a meticulous eye for detail.

For further information and for an application pack, please visit or email daisy.ward -at- quoting ref: 9142. Closing date: 18 March 2010. Interview date: 30 March 2010.
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Job: Curatorial Intern, 2010 01SJ Biennial

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, March 3. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

ZER01: The Art and Technology Network is seeking a curatorial intern to assist the Artistic Director and Assistant Curator in tasks related to the curating, programming and implementation of the 2010 01SJ Biennial.

01SJ BIENNIAL The 01SJ Biennial is an international contemporary arts festival produced by ZER01 that focuses on the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture. Under the theme “Build Your Own World,” the 3rd 01SJ Biennial will take place September 16-19, 2010 in San Jose, CA, with significant public programming beginning September 4th. The 2010 01SJ Biennial is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique, citywide platform for creative solutions and public engagement. Additional information is available here:

POSITION DESCRIPTION The position is based in San Jose, CA, USA. The curatorial intern will report to the Assistant Curator and assist in the planning and production of a range of programming for the 01SJ Biennial including AbsoluteZER0, Out of the Garage, Into the World, public art, performances, Future Films and more. The curatorial intern must be able to commit to at least 16 hours of work per week for three months, beginning in June 2010, and should expect to work fulltime from September 1-20 during the 01SJ Biennial and related programs. The curatorial intern will provide general support for the programming staff and will have the opportunity to work directly with artists participating in the 01SJ Biennial as well as Steve Dietz, the Artistic Director for ZER01 and the 01SJ Biennial.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS • A high level of familiarity with contemporary art and a particular interest in “new media art” and digital culture • Attention to detail and the ability to work independently • Excellent writing and communications skills • Willingness to pitch in as needed to help ensure a world-class Biennial • Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software is essential, and basic Photoshop and video editing skills are preferred • Curatorial experience is preferred • Education or advanced experience beyond the undergraduate level is preferred

SALARY A $5,000 stipend is available.

TO APPLY Please e-mail a letter of interest, resume, three references, and two writing samples to jaime -at- and stevedietz -at- by 11pm PST on March 15, 2010. Review of applications will begin immediately and applicants will be notified of the decision by April 5, 2010. The start date for the position is June 1, 2010.
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