Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Collections Manager, Royal Academy of Arts

Posted by Sofia Landström • Wednesday, March 20. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Collections Manager, Royal Academy of Arts
Deadline: 28 March, 2013

The Royal Academy of Arts is one of the UK’s foremost arts institutions, famous for its world class exhibitions including Manet, Anish Kapoor and David Hockney. Its purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, study and enjoyment of art to a wide range of audiences through exhibitions, education and debate.

The RA’s permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, architectural designs, historic books, archives, historic photographs and plaster casts dating from the 18th century to the present day. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Collections Manager to join the team. The successful candidate will have extensive experience of collections management within a museum or art gallery environment. They will manage the conservation programme, which includes the ongoing care, security and movement of works of art along with the organisation and maintenance of stores and act as courier.

A strong project manager, they will be highly organised with a flexible approach to work. They will possess first class written and excellent interpersonal skills to build effective working relationships with colleagues across the Academy along with razor sharp attention to detail.

1. Manage the conservation programme relating to loans, special projects, displays and on-going conservation of paintings, sculpture, historic frames and other objects in the RA Collection. Schedule and supervise freelance conservators and frame technicians to carry out these projects.
2. Liaise with the Head of Collections and the Curator of Paintings and Sculpture on reports and projects.
3. Liaise with the Registrar on loans and transportation.
4. Update and maintain conservation records and reports.
5. Responsible for the care and security of all paintings and sculptures within the RA and off-site, in storage and on display.
6. Undertake routine inspections of the paintings and sculptures on display in the public areas and RA Schools.
7. Work closely with Events and Facilities Departments on all activities assessing possible risk to works of art.
8. Work closely with the Security team on security of stores, works on display and access.
9. Authorise and arrange movements of painting, sculptures within the RA. Work closely with Curators and Art Handlers on new displays.
10. Monitor conditions in picture and sculpture stores, maintain location records, organise appointments for and supervise visits to stores and use of storage spaces.
11. Ensure that works on display are seen to their best advantage. Arrange cleaning and repair of plinths, pedestals and glazing with Art Handlers.
12. Respond to requests to film paintings and sculptures. Liaise with the Curator of Photography, schedule the movement of paintings and sculptures for photography sessions and supervise film crews.
13. Respond to general enquiries on the collection of paintings and sculptures.
14. Monitor timeframes and schedule conservation and maintenance work.
15. Assist with visits to external sites to ensure that works from the RA’s permanent collection are displayed appropriately.
16. Act as courier, when required.
17. Schedule and supervise visiting/work placement conservation students.
18. Undertake any other duties which may reasonably be allocated by the Head of Collections and Library or other member of senior staff.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate a genuine interest and knowledge of the visual arts and a sound understanding and knowledge of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Closing date for applications: 28 March 2013
Interviews to be held week commencing: 8 April 2013

Further information:

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Opportunity: Curatorial Residency, Flux Factory

Posted by Sofia Landström • Friday, March 8. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Curatorial Residency, Flux Factory
Deadline: 15 March, 2013

Flux Factory is a non-profit art organization that supports and promotes emerging artists through exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and collaborative opportunities. Flux Factory is guided by its passion to nurture the creative process, and knows that this process does not happen in a vacuum but rather through a network of peers and through resource-sharing. Flux Factory functions as an incubation and laboratory space for the creation of artworks that are in dialogue with the physical, social, and cultural spheres of New York City (though collaborations may start in New York and stretch far beyond

Flux Factory is expanding their "Flux Artist-in-Residence" program to include two six-month residencies per year for emerging curators who are based in the United States, during which the participants will work side-by-side with resident artists in an immersive environment to create new work collectively. Each residency will culminate in a public exhibition at the Flux Factory gallery, as well as related programming, which may include panel discussions, artist talks, screenings, or publications. Resident curators will also have the opportunity to work with Flux Factory to develop and produce their collective exhibitions and educational programming during their stay and beyond.

The two exhibitions and related educational programming will be generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Residents are responsible for the cost of the studio for this residency, approximately $750 each month.

1st residency:
May 1st, 2013 – November 1st, 2013
Culminating exhibition – mid-October

2nd residency
November 1st, 2013 – May 1st, 2014
Culminating exhibition – mid-April

To apply, please send a multi-page .pdf (10mb or less) that includes:

- Proposal for an exhibition concept and related programming in 500 words or less, focusing on the idea behind the show. Proposals should make use of our expansive network and resources, and should reflect Flux Factory’s commitment to collaboration, risk-taking, and social engagement while expanding the horizons of our 19-year legacy.
- Working list of artists (URLs & illustrative images) for consideration, though they do not have to have been contacted or confirmed.
- Current CV.
- Up to 2 examples of curatorial statements, essays, press releases or other relevant written material for your previous projects.
- Letter of interest that speaks to our participatory organizational model and that addresses the criteria of permanent residency in the US.

Send applications to [email protected]. Please include Curatorial Residency and your last name in the subject line.

Further information:

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Job: Associate Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Posted by Sofia Landström • Wednesday, February 20. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Associate Curator, Modern American Art
Deadline: 18 March, 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s finest museums, seeks an Associate Curator, Modern American Art. The specialist in twentieth century American Art will participate in research, development and active management of the Modern and Contemporary collection at the Metropolitan Museum and the Breuer project; initiation of collection displays, major special exhibitions, publications and interpretation; and participation in all activities of the Department.

Primary Responsibilities and Duties:

Participate in review of American works of art and related aspects of the collection;
Participate in devising and delivering departmental collection and research strategies;
Initiate and organize collection exhibitions including research, catalog entries, other texts and database maintenance for Modern & Contemporary programs including the Breuer project;
Undertake new research and act as author and essayist for specialized publications, including exhibition catalogues and other interpretive content, printed and online;
Foster and maintain good working relationships with donors, patrons, collectors, colleagues from other international institutions, the scholarly community, dealers, and other individuals involved with the interests of the Museum;
Assist with M&C fundraising as appropriate;
Assist with planning programs for Modern and Contemporary Friends’ groups;
Answer correspondence relating to Collection in field of expertise; assist the public and visiting scholars;
Contribute to public programs (Learning, Volunteers, etc.);
Other related duties.

Requirements and Qualifications

Experience and Skills:

Minimum four years' experience in a museum or academic institution;
Demonstrated scholarly achievement including evidence of original research;
Initiated and executed major contemporary loan exhibitions with broad international scope;
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with artists, museum colleagues, donors and general public;
Ability to create and maintain precise and widely researched records;
Demonstrated commitment to broad international engagement and learning;
Demonstrated engagement with artistic practice across the world;

Knowledge and Education:

PhD in history of art
Deep expertise in twentieth and twenty-first century American art;
Excellent written and spoken English;
Proficiency in one non-English language preferred.

Application Deadline: March 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM
The Associate Curator, Modern American Art is full-time and includes full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Send cover letter, indicating position of interest, resume, and salary history to:
[email protected], as a Word attachment only with “Assoc Curator/Mod Amer Art” in the subject line.

Further information:

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Job: Curator of American Art, Worcester Art Museum

Posted by Sofia Landström • Friday, February 15. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Curator of American Art, Worcester Art Museum,
Deadline: March 1, 2013

The Worcester Art Museum seeks an exceptional Curator of American Art to lead a distinctive program in American art which is centered upon the museum's significant holdings, especially in the areas of Colonial and Federal American portraiture, Colonial and Federal silver designed by Paul Revere, mid-to-late nineteenth century American sculpture, and Gilded Age American painting, with a particular focus on American Impressionism. This position is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Guided by the Museum's global perspective, mission, and strategic plan, the Curator of American Art will develop a dynamic range of exhibitions, along with publications and related programs that will increase WAM's audiences for American art, contribute original scholarship to the field, and enhance patronage for the program and the museum generally. The Curator of American Art will have opportunities to participate with colleagues in new installation initiatives conceived to create meaningful connections by integrating collections across departments/cultures/periods/media. Activities will include shaping the growth of the American collection by recommending acquisitions, overseeing strategic deaccessioning, soliciting gifts, and cultivating patronage.

The Curator of American Art will oversee exhibition project teams, will collaborate with all the curators as well as the education, design, and marketing staffs to ensure that the American art program meets the highest professional standards of innovation, relevance, and audience engagement, and will work closely with the development department to acquire the resources necessary to sustain and enhance exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions, as well as support the museum's broader cultivation efforts and campaigns. The Curator of American Art also will create opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with the area's many cultural and educational institutions, including the American Antiquarian Society.

The candidate must be experienced in project planning, management and implementation, possess strong interpersonal skills, be an excellent communicator, and be willing to work flexibly as a part of a larger, senior-level curatorial team. A PhD is strongly preferred, as are a broad knowledge of art history, five or more years of curatorial experience, and expertise in 17th- to 20th-century American art.

Centrally located in New England, Worcester is an hour from Boston, Providence and Hartford, an hour and a half from the Berkshires, three hours from New York City, and is convenient to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Qualified applicants, please send CV and cover letter to Director of Human Resources, Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-3196 or email documents to [email protected] by March 1, 2013. Early applications are encouraged. We pledge to conduct a confidential search. The Worcester Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer.

Further information:

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Pick 'N Mix - November 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, November 3. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

Welcome to this month's Pick 'N Mix.

- "Everyone's a Curator" is the theme of a recent item over at Bad at Sports. As they say: "Even Umberto Eco. I love what the Louvre is doing by signing him on as guest curator (as they have previously done with writer Toni Morrison and composer Pierre Boulez)". I've blogged about this exact thing at this exact place happening before, where I speak in a sombre fashion about the "rather serious role of cultural arbiter" that curators play.

- Everyone's a curator, which I suppose makes everyone stressed? File this under "slightly strange finds": an article on CNN Money ranking curator as one of the most stressful jobs around.

- Ah, no, I've got it wrong, the stress comes from all the ways there are out there to be ranked and turned into list-fodder! There's been lots of buzz (both positive and negative) about the ArtReview Power 100 list and Hans Ulrich Obrist, superstar curator, takes the number one spot. Meanwhile, Hyperallergic blog did a spoof list of the Top 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World, wryly listing "assistant curators living off $27,000 salaries, with $80,000 in grad school debt from a fancy curatorial studies program" in 7th place.

- The issue of private collector's exhibitions, especially in these uncertain financial times, won't go away. I read about it first on Tyler Green's blog. He quotes the position of AAMD executive director Janet Landay: "We assume that our members bring the same curatorial purpose to these exhibitions as they do to any other, ultimately to answer the question: 'Does this presentation support our mission and benefit our audiences?' Moreover, these exhibitions often have works of art not frequently seen by the public. So, the museum is providing an opportunity for audiences to experience and enjoy new objects that they otherwise wouldn't have the chance to see." Green says that: "Landay's comments miss the point. It is virtually impossible for shows from single private collections to have the same art historical or scholarly purpose as curator-generated exhibitions because they rely on a single, narrow source. Fluff shows are the opposite of curatorial purpose because by narrowly restricting a curator's view they limit curatorial freedom, investigation and inquiry. They are the primary means through which art museums devalue their curatorial departments." I have to say that I agree with Green, however the question is why are these exhibitions becoming more and more the norm rather than ostracised because of the impact they have on curatorial freedom that Green notes?

- There is a new issue of On Curating, check it out! The whole issue is terrific but my highlights were the essays "Avant-garde Institute" by Joanna Mytkowska and "Kinoapparatom presents: Other Spaces of Cinema" by Simone Schardt and Wolf Schmelter.

- I was also absorbed by "Curatorial Responsibility and the Exhibition of Israeli and Palestinian Political Art in Europe" an essay that was written for the catalogue of "Overlapping Voices, Israeli and Palestinian Artists", by curators Karin Schneider, Friedemann Derschmidt, Tal Adler, and Amal Murkus. I find their working difficulties sobering, and in the end their questions put top 100 lists and the opinion of CNN Money very much in perspective.

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Pick 'N Mix - February 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Wednesday, January 21. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix

Welcome to February's Pick 'N Mix: the credit crunch special!

- They say the financial trends that impact the art world are about six months behind larger global financial trends. Perhaps there's a grain of truth to that, given the doom and gloom in the headlines recently, including a 20% reduction in staff at the LA MoCA and the Rose Museum's (apparent) imminent closure.

- Significant job security worries aside for a moment, what could this mean for curators? Mark Spiegler, Art Basel co-director believes that "...with less money flowing around, gallerists may conclude that if there are no sure sales, they might as well do something interesting and significant. In the past, certain types of art were sure to sell, and if you took a risk, you were leaving money on the table." Glasgow-based curator Francis McKee concurs with this sentiment, explaining in this longer segment on BBC Scotland the largely positive impact that the last major recession had on the London and Glasgow art scenes: "the recession will actually help us in some ways".

- And of course, in these tough financial times, it's never a bad idea for the state to intervene: In France, Nicolas Sarkozy has canceled a cut to culture funding and he instead increased the budget by €100 million, established a new cultural council, and implemented a policy enabling free entrance to museums for visitors under twenty-five years of age. Bravo!

- Last but not least, while we may have to stretch budgets a bit further for practical things, Ben Davis argues we should not allow ourselves to enter an intellectual recession as he discusses a current crisis in art criticism: "For if a neoliberal boom has been the context for the "crisis of criticism" debate heretofore, the current, stomach-turning collapse represents the implosion of that economic model. [...] Mainstream ideas about what makes sense for society are in flux. Shouldn’t criticism be too?"
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Project: In-Site Montreal

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, February 18. 2007 • Category: Musings

I'm proud to announce the (semi-recent) launch of my latest curatorial effort.

In-Site Montreal is a collection of site-specific art presented on the portal pages of five wireless internet hotspots in the Ile Sans Fil network. Artists Nicolas Fleming, Maria Legault, and Virginie Laganiere have created art works that can be viewed simply by logging in to the Ile Sans Fil network at the selected hotspots. Though the project is best viewed in-situ, you can also view the works produced by the artists for the hotspot locations at the In-Site Montreal micro-site.

I have produced a curatorial text for the project, which I would be grateful for your feedback on, my cherished readers.

The concluding paragraphs of the essay include the following statements:
The virtual spaces that In-site Montreal inhabit are amorphous areas around several accepted gathering places such as cafes, galleries, markets, and bars. They are perhaps places where as an internet user, you may intend to use the opportunity of connectivity to the network to look outward, to read news of distant places or connect with friends far away through e-mails and online social networking sites. The art practice of telematics in particular addresses the creative possibilities when two parties are connected over distance to communicate. In some way, the pieces presented on the portal pages of Ile Sans Fil's network as part of the In-Site Montreal project present something that is almost anti-telematic, in that the works look inward rather than outward. In the case of this project, a connection to someone across the globe is not sought, it is shunned in favour of a further examination and rumination on the details of the local environment.

I'm interested in this idea of the inverse-telematic, the inward-looking, the intensely-local, especially using a tool such as Wi-Fi that we are so accustomed to associate with an outward-looking, nearly-anonymous roaming of virtual terrain.

Thanks to Year Zero One for producing the project, the Canada Council for the Arts for funding the project, Ile Sans Fil for hosting the project, and Rita Godlevskis for designing the map and visual identity of In-Site Montreal.

Every curator's nightmare?

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, August 29. 2006 • Category: Musings

Perhaps it is every curator's nightmare - the gallery closes your show less than 24 hours after it opens.

The Gene Culture exhibition at Egg Space Gallery in Liverpool opened on August 9. The show is part of a broader research project by curator Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney, analysing perceptions of genetics in postmodern society. The Gene Culture exhibition contained a range of work in a variety of media, from photographs to animal parts. The show was closed down because of apparent concerns over a vegetarian restaurant being in the same building as the gallery (in case the animal parts escape?), and a skirmish over a performance at the opening event.

Ms Sweeney, a performance artist and graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, said she was disappointed with the decision.

"We had selected 10 international artists from 250 submissions and the standard of art was very high."

Artist Carrie Reichardt had her performance art piece, Pinky and Perky, banned on opening night. She was due to have worn pigs' heads in place of a bra.

Read the news article here.

Of course, this could be viewed as a blessing or a curse. The show will possibly live on and travel to other locations, and if the truism "there's no such thing as bad press" is to be believed, then one could conclude it's hard to buy the kind of press that a show being censored brings on.

The overreaction on the part of the controlling interests in the Gene Cultures case reminds me of the case from a few years ago of the Terminal 5 exhibition, curated by Rachel K. Ward, that also barely got past the vernissage.

Once again, nervous figures of authority (in this case, a sponsor of the exhibition, Jet Blue Airlines) objected to a work by Vanessa Beecroft featuring nearly naked black women with chains around their feet. Obviously a striking image, and a political statement that the sponsors balked at. Once again, an opening night party went terribly awry, this time simply because of raucous behaviour, resulting in puddles of puke and vandalised walls in the pristine terminal by Eero Saarinen at JFK airport. This was about as much as the New York Port Authority could take, and so they shut the show down. (You can read more about the show and its closure here).

However, Ms Ward is obviously a very smart cookie, and after working very hard to produce what appears to be a very interesting and tight exhibition, she managed to still generate press (and perhaps the show became even more "hooky" after being shut down by the Port Authority) and also seems to have spun off the exhibition into a derivative show, Terminal 5: Now Closed, in Paris.

I'm interested to see how Ms Sweeney makes lemonade out of the lemon of a situation she is currently in.

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Article: On an artist as a one-time curator

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, August 28. 2006 • Category: Musings

From "(Not) Gay Art Now" Curator Jack Pierson Comments on His (Exceptional) Show" by Bryant Rousseau, on

What advantages might an artist have in assembling a show over a more traditional curator?

"I wasn't interested, and I don't think most artists would be, in making a checklist of artists to include six months in advance. I'm in awe of curators who can put three works next to each and create these incredible associations, but a lot of the best work in this show got included at the last minute. I think you gain a lot by spontaneity, by artists just trusting their subliminal instincts, by building a show's aesthetic on the fly."

Would he curate again?

"I love curating, and I'd do it professionally if I could make a living at it."

And how does spending time in a curatorial role impact his own art making? "It gets me more free, more charged up to try a little of everything," said Pierson.

"Building a show's aesthetic on the fly" strikes me as an interesting sentiment. While this particular artist/curator incorporates spontaneity into his process through the selection of works, I think most curators could and do achieve this with a combination of exhibition design and creative installation of the works themselves. Focusing on a "checklist of artists" as the only creative act seems to radically diminish the role of curator, which of course includes tasks ranging from mind-numbingly banal to incredibly fun.

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Job: Rhizome Curatorial Fellow

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, August 24. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed. is a leading new media arts organization and an affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently celebrating our tenth anniversary, Rhizome's programs support the creation, presentation, discussion and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies in significant ways. These include a series of online publications and discussion lists, exhibitions (online & offline), performances, screenings, public talks and events, the ArtBase archive, artists' commissions, and other educational programs. For more information about Rhizome, visit:

Rhizome seeks a Curatorial Fellow to assist with the research, planning, and production of exhibitions and public programs, as well as writing and editing content for Rhizome's website and publications. This position is a unique opportunity for a person interested in pursuing a career in the new media arts field to further their engagement with the community and hone their professional skills, while contributing to the programming of one of its leading organizations.

The Curatorial Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit to 15 hours of work per week, for an academic year, beginning in September 2006 and ending in the summer of 2007. These hours may include occasional evening and weekend events. This position is unpaid, but academic credit may be arranged.

Reporting directly to Rhizome's Editor & Curator, the Curatorial Fellow will work on all phases of the exhibition and editorial processes, including researching new projects, writing copy, and assisting with the implementation of current programs. The Curatorial Fellow will also develop crucial experience in development and communications. The Fellow's primary responsibilities may include:

- Becoming a Site Editor and assisting with the management of reBlog content
- Writing and editing occasional Rhizome News articles and other texts
- Researching editorial ideas and writers
- Liaising with artists, public program participants, and venues
- Assisting in the promotion of events
- Co-coordinating the Rhizome ArtBase, including researching art works
- Planning, production, and on-site coordination of public events

As the Curatorial Fellow advances, there may be opportunities to curate an exhibition or event, and to write feature articles. In general, the Fellow will play a crucial role in helping to strategize and execute strong, dynamic programs and editorial content.

Candidates should have a level of familiarity with new media and its histories and discourses. They should also possess or expect to complete a Master's degree by 2007. At least one year of arts administration experience is required and preference will be given to candidates with prior curatorial and/or editorial experience. 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.

Please email a cover letter, resume or c.v., three references, and three writing samples (url's or attachments) to Marisa Olson at marisa(at) Review of applications will begin immediately and all materials must be submitted by Wednesday, September 13 for consideration. Deadline extended: Wednesday, September 20.

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Job: Curator at University of California, San Diego

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, August 24. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

The University of California, San Diego is seeking a curator
Salary hiring range: high $40k to low $50k (USD)

The University of California, San Diego is seeking a curator to administer all aspects of its University Art Gallery contemporary program. Reporting to the Director, University Art Gallery, and in coordination with a Gallery Council of assigned faculty advisors and an Administrator, the Curator is responsible for advancing the mission of the Gallery by implementing programming policy; executing the entire sequence of curatorial functions related to exhibitions; advising the Director regarding Gallery management functions; providing supervision of Gallery staff, and participating in associated communications and development activities. The mission of the University Art Gallery is to integrate contemporary art into the life of the university; exhibit and interpret art as an educational resource for the academic community; serve as a laboratory for linking visual art with the issues of postmodern society, as an innovator in originating and shaping the contemporary arts agenda, and as a platform for the advancement and outreach of the university in visual arts creativity. For additional information, please see and

Applications are requested by October 1, 2006 although the position will remain open until filled. Applicants must submit current curriculum vitae, portfolio and sample catalogues of projects/exhibitions, a curator’s statement, and four (4) professional references.

Please send applications to:

Heath Fox
Assistant Dean, Arts and Humanities
University of California, San Diego
Division of Arts and Humanities 0406
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California 92093-0406

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Article on Dianne Vanderlip

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Thursday, August 24. 2006 • Category: News

Curator Dianne Vanderlip is featured in this Denver Post story.

Vanderlip has brought more than 7,000 works to Denver on an acquisitions budget of exactly zero. It's something nobody mentioned when she was hired.

"I was in Philadelphia and Denver kept calling and calling," she recalled. She'd never been to the city, but her husband, an architect, had a meeting in Fargo, N.D., and, thinking it was nearby, she decided to fly here to check out the job.

"I got out of the taxi and I saw that building," she said of the daring Geo Ponti-designed art museum, "and I thought to myself, 'Anybody that had the chutzpah to put up a building like that, well, I wanted to build a contemporary art collection for that city."'

Only after she took the job did she think to ask about the acquisitions budget. "You have to raise it," they said.

(via Artkrush)
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Job: Curator at the Barbican

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, August 5. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Curator, c. £34,000

Barbican Art Gallery is a leading British venue for the presentation of modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design exhibitions. Part of the Barbican Centre, Europe's largest arts venue, the Gallery's activities take place in the context of a widely acclaimed programme of international music, dance, theatre, visual arts and cinema.

We are looking for a creative and dynamic individual to join our team and help us deliver our world-class exhibition programme. You will contribute imaginative and innovative ideas to the Gallery's programming discussions; you will have a flair for devising authoritative exhibitions which also appeal to wide audiences; and you will work to build the Gallery's relationships with artists and institutions in Britain and abroad.

We are looking for a curator with a thorough knowledge of 20th and 21st century art and with a strong international network. You will be able to demonstrate experience in curating loan-based exhibitions, in commissioning and editing publications, and in leading teams to deliver complex projects. An interest in cross-arts programming would be a bonus, given the Gallery's setting within an exciting interdisciplinary organisation.

Barbican Art Gallery is situated between the City, London's financial centre, and the thriving cultural quarters of Shoreditch and Hoxton. The Gallery re-opened in Spring 2004, following a million pound refurbishment.

For details and to apply, visit

Closing date for application is: Monday 21st August 2006
Interview dates are: Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th September 2006

Barbican Centre is owned, funded and managed by the City of London.
Barbican Centre is committed to Equal Opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
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Job: Curator at the Power Plant

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, August 5. 2006 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

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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Final Month of Transmedia :29:59

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, July 10. 2006

Transmedia :29:59, the year-long programme of time-based art shown on a video billboard in Dundas Square in Toronto, is drawing to a close this month. It's been a fascinating and somewhat turbulent year. The year of programming on the board started off really nicely with a terrific launch event, where myself and Pierluigi Vecchi (VJ Fluid) VJ'd live to the billboard, and DJ Cyan and naw provided the live sonic scapes. It was really empowering and also technically fascinating (to see what worked and didn't work) sending images live to the board.

Curating for urban screens is a many-headed beast, though the inherent challenges only make the triumphs more sweet. Imagine asking artists to create very short pieces with no audio that must essentially be PG-rated and you can imagine how difficult it might be to both produce and find effective work for the board. And so, after the launch, the hard work began. Michael Alstad (the co-curator) and I are really proud of the choices we made, and strove to choose pieces for each month that connected, though they would never be presented one after another. What mattered to us was choosing videos from month to month that linked thematically or aesthetically, and that the overall programming on the board made sense.

As I mentioned earlier, the year wasn't without its turbulent moments, and from time to time we had to make some difficult choices. Clear Channel owns and operates the board that we have been using over the course of the year. Their requirements for content control were somewhat more stringent than our own, and more than once we had content returned to us with a directive to either change or replace the content. We had a choice to either work within their more strict guidelines or protest, and, in all likelihood, prematurely dissolve the contract with Clear Channel.

Dissolving the contract would have been a cowardly move. As with any other public presentation of creative work, many negotiations take place, and sometimes compromises have to be made. There are no free zones. It is very easy to paint the corporation as the "bad guy" in this and other cases, when in fact, artists are well acquainted with compromise and negotiation when it comes to presentation of their work, and deal with many requests made by curators, dealers, collectors, et cetera. Our situation was no different, where first of all the work has to appeal to us, the curators, and then secondly, the work must not in any way contravene Clear Channel's goals. It is that simple. Of course, sometimes Michael and I as curators try to push the envelope. The artists we have curated have handled requests for changes or new works with much intelligence, grace, and humour, which are all hallmarks of a truly creative spirit. In the end, we are offering a very unique venue to artists, we are proud of the programming we have shown, and we couldn't have done it without Clear Channel's generous assistance.

With all that said, and the year drawing to a close, I look forward to doing more curatorial work in this area and think that there is much to be discussed and learned from curating in this realm. For our final month, we're presenting two works that I'm really excited about. On the 28th minute of every hour, Collin Zipp's "Niverville, MB 08.04" is a gorgeous manipulated landscape. Collin physically defaces the videotape to produce unique effects that culminate in completely new landscapes. On the 59th minute of every hour, we present John Greyson's "14.3 seconds". During the 2003 war, U.S. planes bombed the Iraqi Film Archive. 14.3 seconds of celluloid were salvaged from the wreckage. If you slow them down by 23.8%, they last a minute. This poignant piece is not to be missed.

If you live in Toronto, check out the pieces in their natural habitat, on the pedestrian level billboard at Yonge-Dundas Square on the 29th and 59th minutes of the hour. If you don't, check out the pieces on the Transmedia :29:59 website.
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