Artistic Director, SAVAC
Employment Opportunity: Artistic Director for SAVAC
SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to increasing the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, facilitating professional development and creating a community for our artists. SAVAC was founded to be an organization staffed by people of colour, committed to support the work of artists of colour. For more info: savac.net
Working collaboratively with the Executive Director and reporting to the Board of Directors, the Artistic Director is responsible for developing and implementing year-round exhibition programming, residencies, art events, educational workshops and special projects with a cohesive artistic vision. The ideal candidate for this position is a motivated arts professional and cultural worker who is passionate about contemporary art, maintains an understanding of contemporary Global South and/or diasporic arts practices, and has expansive networks within arts and cultural communities in Toronto and beyond.
Duties and responsibilities:
- Develop a cohesive artistic vision with high quality and relevant programming that responds to current artistic and political trends;
- Implement all aspects of programs, including but not limited to:
◦ Research artists working in a variety of mediums;
◦ Conduct regular artist studio visits with potential exhibiting artists;
◦ Facilitate annual and themed calls for submissions;
◦ Produce a schedule of exhibitions from local, national and international artists;
◦ Coordinate installation of artworks with artists and curators;
◦ Produce thoughtful and responsive exhibition design;
◦ Coordinate public events and receptions; talks, tours and screenings;
◦ Produce or coordinate written materials for web and print related to art programs;
◦ Ensure the continuity of ongoing bi-annual or annual SAVAC programs including Monitor film and video program, Missed Connections residency and pedagogical platform, and Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens, as well as other regular co-presentation and collaborations.
◦ Program events and activities in SAVAC’s space at 401 Richmond;
◦ Program exhibitions, screenings and other events in collaboration with other art spaces in Toronto and other national and international locations; and
◦ Work with Communications Coordinator to develop a targeted outreach strategy;
- Maintain communication and relationships with artists and programming partners;
- Coordinate the Ontario Arts Council’s Exhibition Assistance Grant;
- Act as a representative of the organization within the sector; and
- Attend exhibitions, screenings, events and keep abreast of trends within the local and international art world.
Financial and Office Administration
- Responsible for writing programming sections of grants;
- Produce and maintain programming budget for all programming events;
- Provide support in different aspects of the organization—in administration, artistic, marketing, outreach and community relations;
- Develop, implement and supervise programs and services that are consistent with the organization’s mission and Strategic Plan and that meet the needs of SAVAC communities;
- Working with the Communications Coordinator, contribute to SAVAC’s Quarterly Newsletter by providing audiences with up to date information about current and upcoming events
- Write contracts for artists, guest curators, and writers; and
- Develop and maintain pre-existing and new co-presentation partnerships.
Qualifications, Skills, and Experience:
- Minimum 5 years overall experience in artistic programming or educational background in related disciplines e.g., Art History, Curatorial Studies, Visual Culture etc., or equivalent paid or volunteer experience in the sector
- Knowledge of, and or experience with:
◦ The Canadian public granting system
◦ Board governed artist-run centres in Canada
◦ Contemporary art from the global south
◦ Writing and maintaining programming/project budgets
◦ Installing a variety of exhibitions
◦ Working in different artistic mediums
◦ The barriers faced by artists of colour
- Strong written English in a variety of writing styles including curatorial essays, grant-writing language, promotional writing and email correspondence
- Knowledge of a second language is preferred
- Able to troubleshoot and creatively problem solve in areas of budgeting, exhibition design and installation
- Ability to work in to work independently and cooperatively without supervision in a small, engaged hybrid workplace
- Proven leadership ability when working with junior and contract staff, guest contributors and artists
- Strong project management skills to undertake and realise collaborative exhibition projects including a high capacity to multitask and meet deadlines
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including experience in public speaking and moderating panels
Notes on Working Conditions:
- Must be comfortable with flexible work environment and variable work schedule
- Some lifting and moving may be involved
- SAVAC’s office is located at 401 Richmond St W. in Toronto, Ontario. SAVAC is currently working in a hybrid model (some in-office and some remote work)
The Artistic Director reports to the Board of Directors and works closely with the Executive Director. Total compensation includes health benefits through a group insurance plan and three weeks paid vacation with additional unpaid leave possible as approved by the Director/Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis.
Number of hours/week: 28 hours/week
Duration: 2 year renewable contract
Preferred Start Date: October 17th (negotiable)
Starting Salary: $42k, to commensurate with experience & annual cost of living increases
Why work for SAVAC?
- Collaborative, nimble and responsive programming style
- Anti-racist, equity-focused, QTBIPOC-centered work environment
- Opportunities for expanding your cultural network within Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and other areas internationally
- Support for independent artistic and curatorial careers and opportunities
- Support for professional development through attendance of courses, workshops and/or conferences
Please submit applications to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Artistic Director Application.
In your application, please include your CV, a one-page cover letter and a one-page statement answering the following question: Given SAVAC’s 25 years of programming, what 2 – 3 themes or narratives would you pursue as Artistic Director over the first 2 years of your contract? Why do you think those themes and/or narratives are important in this broader moment in Canadian contemporary art?
Deadline Date: September 30, 2022, 5pm EDT
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
Monday – Thursday
10am – 5pm
By remote appointment only