Art Gallery Curator, Thunder Bay Art Gallery

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Art Gallery Curator

Employment: Full time
Salary Range: $43,000-48,000 with a benefit package
Closing Date: Applications to be reviewed beginning August 6, 2019; posting will remain open until the position is filled.

The Organization

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is located on the traditional territory of the people of the Fort William First Nation, signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850 and is the only public art gallery between Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg. The Gallery’s mandate is focused on the exhibition and collection of works by contemporary artists who are Indigenous as well as the work of emerging and established regional artists. Each year, the Gallery presents about 20 exhibitions, drawing from the permanent collection and featuring work by local, regional and national artists in solo and group exhibitions. Relevant touring exhibitions on loan from other institutions are regularly scheduled. The Gallery maintains a significant online presence through its website and social media, and is a strong contributor – through its programs and many partnerships – to the cultural life of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

Plans for a new 37,500 square foot gallery to be built on the shore of Lake Superior on the City’s waterfront are advancing, making this a period of significant growth and opportunity for the organization. Increased exhibition and programming space in the new building along with greater visibility in the community will allow the Gallery to fulfill its mandate in new ways.

The Opportunity

Thunder Bay Art Gallery is seeking a Curator to join the senior leadership team. The Curator develops the ongoing exhibition program that highlights contemporary Indigenous art and the work of local, regional and national artists with an awareness of the importance of diverse creative practices and forms of knowledge, and the value of reflecting a variety of perspectives and voices. The Curator guides the growth, documentation, and maintenance of the Gallery’s permanent collection. In collaboration with Gallery staff, the Curator supports education and public programming initiatives, promotional activities, and fundraising efforts and funding applications related to the exhibition program and collection. As a medium size Gallery with a broad and flexible programming mandate, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery provides an environment of possibility, creativity and growth that the right candidate will find challenging and satisfying.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Exhibitions and Publication Activities

The Curator develops the long-term exhibition program (three year plan) that supports and reflects the Gallery’s mandate. Activities include:

  • Balancing original exhibitions and relevant touring exhibitions that support the Gallery’s mandate.
  • Developing original exhibitions for travel to other galleries and guiding the production of related exhibition catalogues and educational materials.
  • Negotiating and contracting for the loan of artwork from artists, institutions, and private sources.
  • Overseeing the planning, design and installation of exhibitions.
  • Researching and writing interpretive text for exhibitions, catalogues, gallery publications and press releases designed to inform the Gallery’s various audiences.
  • Seeking connections with emerging and established artists in the local and broader art community to ensure the Gallery’s continued relevance.
  • Developing and managing an annual program budget in conjunction with the Gallery Director.
  • Undertaking, in consultation with the Gallery Director, funding applications for research, exhibitions or publications, as appropriate.

2. Collection Development and Management Activities

The Curator manages the conservation and development of the permanent collection. Activities include:

  • Identifying works for purchase, donation and deaccessioning.
  • Generating and submitting applications for acquisition funding, when applicable.
  • Regularly developing exhibitions and installations that draw from the permanent collection to increase the public’s understanding of individual works and the value of a permanent collection.
  • Facilitating engagement with the permanent collection by outside curators, researchers, students and members of the public.

3. Education and Promotion

The Curator supports the Gallery’s educational programs and assists in the promotion of the Gallery in the community. Activities include:

  • Collaborating with other staff to implement a program of public activities which may include tours and lectures, speaking or lecturing to community groups on request, public slide programs, film series, etc.
  • Participating in media interviews, public speaking engagements, and fundraising and sponsorship activities and events related to the exhibition program and collection.

Qualifications

  • Three to five years of experience working in a cultural institution in a curatorial capacity.
  • Masters level degree in art history, museum or curatorial studies.
  • In-depth knowledge of both historical and contemporary Canadian art, with a particular emphasis on contemporary Indigenous art.
  • Experience developing and managing a permanent collection.
  • Experience managing/supervising staff.
  • Demonstrated success with grant writing.
  • A publication record.
  • Exceptional writing and public speaking skills.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to work in a team environment in a collegial manner.

The Community of Thunder Bay

Situated on the shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is a vibrant city of 110,000 people. Another 1000 people reside on nearby Fort William First Nation. Thunder Bay Art Gallery contributes to an established and growing arts sector that includes commercial galleries, Definitely Superior (an artist-run centre and gallery), and the Baggage Building Art Centre which offers facilities for community art making and shows.

An exceptional community auditorium is home to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and provides performances of all kinds throughout the year. Magnus Theatre brings professional theatre to the city, while smaller community theatre groups provide opportunities for amateur performance and playwriting. Each year, the Art Gallery partners with Thunder Bay Public Library to present Lit on Tour, in conjunction with the International Festival of Authors. Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario Medical School, the Thunder Bay Research Institute and Confederation College serve local, regional, Canadian and international students.

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter, CV, examples of published curatorial work, references by email to:
directorassistant@theag.ca

Thunder Bay Art Gallery
PO Box 10193
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T7

Thunder Bay Art Gallery is committed to employment equity and to fostering a positive and diverse workforce that reflects the community. We welcome applications from individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. Given the Gallery’s mandate and location, we particularly welcome applications by individuals who are Indigenous.

Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) to applicants invited to an interview.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.