Views on contemporary art curating

Opportunity: XPACE Cultural Centre

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, September 22. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
XPACE Cultural Centre is seeking proposals from emerging and established artists, designers, and curators working in a variety of media. We accept proposals for the main floor gallery and our basement gallery, XBASE. For proposal requirements and application forms, please visit:

XPACE programming is juried by a committee three times a year. XPACE welcomes curated group shows, and although solo exhibitions are not part of XPACE's mandate, proposals from individual artists for curatorial consideration are accepted.

Upcoming Proposal Application Deadline: October 17, 2008

Please mail proposals to:
XPACE Cultural Centre Programming Committee
c/o Serena Lee
XPACE Cultural Centre
58 Ossington Ave.
Toronto, ON
M6J 2Y7

Incomplete applications/applications sent via email or fax will not be considered.

Feel free to discuss proposals with XPACE staff; inquiries should be directed to Programming Coordinator, Serena Lee, at 416 849 2864 or serena -at-

XPACE offers proposal workshops prior to each of our application deadlines; we invite you to bring in your applications (works-in-progress welcome) for feedback and guidance. Please RSVP to serena -at-

Proposal Application Workshop Date:
October 01, 6:30 to 9:30 pm

XPACE Cultural Centre is a non-profit artist and student-run centre committed to making space for emerging artists and designers. XPACE is affiliated with the Ontario College of Art & Design. Please note that applications will not be returned. Applicants will be notified within three months of their proposal’s status.
XPACE thanks all applicants for their interest.

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Job: Assistant Curator, Art Gallery of York University

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, August 31. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Assistant Curator, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)
$53,728 p.a., Continuing Full-Time
Closing date: September 24, 2008

The Assistant to the Curator is responsible for facilitating the exhibition and collection of original works of art at York University in Toronto, Canada, and the publication of Gallery catalogues and handouts to the public. The position provides a liaison with the Gallery's public (i.e. faculty, staff, students, and general public) and supports the function of Director/Curator.

ADMINISTRATIVE: Assists in long-term planning, scheduling and budgeting of programmes. Assists in preparation of grant requests and summary reports. Responsible for the administration of the permanent collection. Initiates correspondence regarding programmes, operations, and collections. Percentage of time: 35%

CURATORIAL AND REGISTRATION: Assists in research, planning, publicity, and installation of exhibitions. Arranges transport, insurance, customs and security of artworks. Implements the installation of exhibitions. Administers traveling exhibitions. Percentage of time: 25%

RESEARCH AND WRITING: Assists in the compilation, editing, proofing of all gallery publications. Prepares reports on gallery operations, policies and special study reports. Develops and maintains research files and visual documentation. Researches and compiles information on incoming exhibitions for public information. Percentage of time: 15%

SUPERVISORY: Assists in the coordination of Work/Study students, interns, and volunteers. Assists in training, scheduling and work assignments for employees. Assists in preparing time sheets, evaluations and direction for casual employees and volunteers. Percentage of time: 15%

OTHER: Assists in the organization of special projects e.g. seminars, workshops, video screenings and panel discussions. Coordinates Artexte at the AGYU catalogue distribution centre. Other duties as assigned. Percentage of time: 5%


University degree in Visual Arts or equivalent.

2 years' related experience in a gallery or museum, specializing in contemporary art (e.g. research, curatorial assistance, administration of a collection, installation of artwork, etc.).

Word processing, accuracy essential; ability to use basic hand tools; demonstrated skill/ability in the following areas; database management and computerized spreadsheets; excellent written communications skills, including the editing and writing of reports and gallery publications; excellent organizational skills; exercising good judgment; supervision; research; dealing courteously and effectively with people; obtaining and providing information in a clear and concise manner; working under pressure of strict deadlines; working independently.

How to Apply: Please email a complete application package, which includes an application form, covering letter and resume, and quote Posting Number 6213 in the subject of the email to jobs -at- by 4:30 pm on the posted deadline date. The application forms and complete position details can be found at Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. York University is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

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Job: Two Curatorial positions at the Power Plant

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, March 12. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is Canada's leading public gallery devoted exclusively to the art of our time and is recognized as an important centre for contemporary art in North America. Presenting contemporary art by practitioners of local, national, and international stature, The Power Plant's mission is to present and disseminate the best contemporary art in all and any media. Currently employment opportunities exist at The Power Plant for a full time Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, and for a full time Assistant Curator of Public Programs.

Assistant Curator of Exhibitions:
Reporting to the Senior Curator of Programs, the primary function of this position is to assist in the development and administration of innovative exhibitions, offsite projects, editions and publications. Responsibilities include helping to research and coordinate an international program that encompasses solo and group exhibitions, offsite projects, travelling shows, and public art. The Assistant Curator of Exhibitions will also work closely on The Power Plant's catalogues, helping to coordinate content, commission writers, and liaise with editorial, design and production colleagues, and coordinates catalogue sales and distribution.

Assistant Curator of Public Programs:
Reporting to the Senior Curator of Programs, the primary function of this position is to assist in the development and administration of innovative public programs, education initiatives, and publishing projects. This position will coordinate an ambitious series of audience development programs that range from lectures, panel discussions and film screenings to youth activities and outreach events, as well as administer and contribute towards members' newsletters and magazines.

Qualified applicants for either position must apply by March 26, 2008. For detailed information on both posts and how to apply check the online job posting.
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Pick 'N Mix - September 2007

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, September 1. 2007 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the September edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of bite-sized items that have caught my eye recently.
  • An interesting article about the curating scene in Singapore recently appeared online. In it, Ahmad Mashadi notes that the curator's role has become more complex, becoming implicated in marketing and sponsorship, where previously it might have been more focused on "research, growth and display" of a museum's collection. The article also discusses the emerging trend of the artist-curator in Singapore.

  • Jerry Saltz writes an excellent article on the alchemy of curating, in which he makes several bold (but astute) statements:
    "...curating is becoming less of a dark art and more of a science or profession."
    "The alchemy of good curating amounts to this: sometimes placing one work of art near another makes one and one equal three."
    " of the first rules of curating should be "Stop Making Sense."'
    The article goes on to dissect the curatorial strategies and pitfalls in the big three: Documenta, Venice Biennale, and Münster Sculpture Project.

  • It's rare that one has occasion to read a line like this: "No, the most interesting part of the show is that excruciating pile of false, overweening enthusiasms that make up that curatorial statement, not for what they say, necessarily, but for what they assume." In Artfag's "Toronto Manifesto", we get these kinds of critical, nearly brutal, statements and so much more. If you have anything invested in the Toronto art scene, this piece will certainly interest you; if you don't, it's worth a read anyway, as many of the observations made in this manifesto are universally applicable - such as this note on the importance of recently-graduated artists: "gallerists in New York and Los Angeles keep a keen eye on the goings on of the graduate students that are pumped out every year. Any art scene needs a constant supply of fresh blood, and most gallerists and buyers know exactly where to find it." (Discovered via Sally McKay's blog.)
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Pick 'N Mix - July 2007

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, July 1. 2007 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the July edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of bite-sized items that have caught my eye recently.

  • If you aren't already on the CC mailing list, perhaps you should join. "[CC] "circulating contexts--curating media/net/art" is a slightly moderated mailing list as part of a series of experimental long-term research projects hosted by the Vienna-based organisation CONT3XT.NET. From June 1st to August 31st, 2007 five common topics will be the starting point for discussions around current tendencies in the curation of (New) Media and Internet Art. Excerpts of the contributions to the mailinglist will be published in a catalogue, presented in October 2007." Recently, there was an interesting discussion on notions of how curatorial models might be democratised and how the term "curator" may be being stretched to its limit. Sign up to the list by going to the list info web page.

  • Blogumenta, unlike the art-world behemoth that is Documenta, is an un-curated, open exhibition space within Facebook, the online networking site that is taking the 18-29 demographic (and beyond) by storm. It raises questions about what the response to the "grand tour" could and should be - should the pendulum swing to the other extreme, in which no one claims a curatorial credit?

  • A new website in Canada aims to offer ways for emerging curators and administrators to connect with each other. The Emerging Arts Professional network has articles, interviews, and a podcast that touch upon a wide range of topics relevant to individuals in the field. The most recent interview, with Luminato festival director Janice Price, provides many quotable gems, including: "If we can’t have fun doing this, we should all go home."

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Curatorial Intern: Toronto

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, November 2. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Curator Alissa Firth-Eagland seeks an energetic artist/designer/writer/curator/troublemaker/troubleshooter interested in developing promotional and aesthetic strategies for the cultural activities of Sleepwalker Projects (Toronto, Canada).

An experimental window space on Queen Street in the West end of Toronto, Canada, Sleepwalker Projects presents newly commissioned works to the evening public. Connecting international artists with Toronto writers, partners, and late-night wanderers from dusk to dawn, Sleepwalker brings strange and unique exchanges with the edges of contemporary culture to those who are out and about in the wee hours: the time when, we believe, things begin to happen.

By collecting materials from local and international participants, developing publicity, and designing promotional materials, the Curatorial Intern will have a key role in programming. This 3-month internship is an unpaid position requiring 10 hours per week, beginning late-November 2006. The candidate can expect to gain skills in the presentation and packaging of experimental creative projects. In particular, he or she will develop methodologies specific to promotional styles, programming strategies and research processes applicable to an independent curatorial practice.

Candidates should send a letter of interest and a CV by email or post before Friday November 10th, 2006 at 5:00 pm:

Sleepwalker Projects
787 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M6G 1J1

alissafe -at-
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Job: Curator at the Power Plant

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, August 5. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto is seeking a Curator.

Applications (resume and letter of interest) must be received by August 10, 2006.

For more information on the gallery please visit:

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is Canada's leading public gallery devoted exclusively to the art of our time and is recognized as an important centre for contemporary art in North America. Over the past 19 years, its reputation for presenting cutting edge exhibitions, superior catalogues and editions, and challenging special events has remained unparalleled.

Recently The Power Plant Board of Directors adopted a new five year plan aimed at further developing The Power Plant as a leading international centre for contemporary art, renowned for its global vision and special commitment to groundbreaking Canadian contemporary art. In accordance with this is an employment opportunity exists in The Power Plant for a Curator.

Reporting to the Senior Curator - Programs, this is a senior position primarily responsible for developing exhibitions, artist's projects and publications for The Power Plant. The Curator is also expected to play an important supporting role in the development and implementation of audience development programs for The Power Plant and to participate in business and strategic planning related to the Programs section of The Power Plant. In addition the Curator will support the Development section of The Power Plant through the preparation of grant applications and cultivation of relationships with key donors, collectors and cultural agencies.

The Curator will research, develop and present new solo and group exhibitions and projects that interpret the response of artists to developments in contemporary culture and that respond to the global flow of information, emerging discourses, new artists, new geographies, new media and changing contexts that underpin developments in contemporary art. He/she will also contribute to a program aimed at growing new and diverse audiences for The Power Plant, through a dynamic mix of exhibition, publication, education, interpretation, visitor support and community programs that develop audience understanding of contemporary art and awareness of its significance as a vital social and cultural force.

The ideal candidate will be a post secondary graduate in Art History, Fine Arts, or a related discipline and have a minimum of 3 years curatorial and production experience in a contemporary art organization. Proven experience in the organization of contemporary art projects and interpretive programs and exceptional knowledge of the international contexts for contemporary art is a must. He/she must have exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills with the ability to develop effective partnerships as well as to persuade and negotiate.

Qualified applicants must apply by AUGUST 10, 2006.

Please send your resume quoting Job Reference number 06FT-018 to:
Harbourfront Centre
Human Resources
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8 Canada
Fax (416) 973-1003
E-mail: [email protected]

Harbourfront Centre is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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