Artistic Director, The Bows

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

The Bows is seeking applications for the full-time position of Artistic Director (AD).

Deadline for applications: March 31, 2021
Salary per annum: $52,000 (+ 3% for cost of living every two years)
Healthcare benefits: Included
Hours per week: 35
Location: Mohkinstsis/Calgary, flexible for first three months
Start date: May 3, 2021/flexible

About the organization:
The Bows (formerly Untitled Art Society) is an artist-run centre in Mohkinstsis/Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 Territory. Our core goals are: to support the development, creation, and presentation of new work by early-career artists; to provide affordable studio space for Mohkinstsis/Calgary-based artists; and to broaden the reach and scope of contemporary art in our region, with the ultimate, if ambitious, aim to engage Calgarians with artistic work that explores pressing contemporary issues.

We work toward these goals with a human-centric approach that prioritizes the wholesale support of artists; creative and radical uses of spaces outside of the gallery; and a curatorial focus on projects and practices that dovetail with the specific socio-political, cultural, colonial, economic, and Indigenous histories and contexts of Alberta. Ultimately, The Bows strives to empower and support artists to imagine radical futures, and to invite those inside and outside of our community to be co-conspirators in realizing such futures.

About the position:
The Artistic Director will work closely with the Operations Director and Board of Directors to nurture existing, and create new, strong and vibrant connections to our many communities through the organization’s programming, including exhibitions, our exterior billboard, artist talks, performances, workshops, publications, mentorships, and other forms of programming. The Artistic Director will continue to foster community connections through our programming and operations, with an emphasis on continually developing and renewing the organizational mandate—including our commitment to honour the land and histories of Treaty 7—in relation to the artistic priorities and community support The Bows undertakes and offers.

Role and responsibilities:
The Artistic Director will be responsible for the curatorial and artistic direction of the organization; they will work with the Programming Committee to research, invite, confirm, schedule, and work with artists in diverse programming contexts.

Over the past four years, The Bows has operated on a curatorial model that prioritizes equity, reciprocity and responsiveness to local contexts; curatorial work was also supplemented by cross-organizational collaborations and occasional calls for submissions. The programming model however, is mutable, and the Artistic Director will have the opportunity to work in ways that suit their needs and artistic priorities. The Artistic Director is an integral part of The Bows, and will have input regarding the direction, policies, and overall mandate of The Bows.

Equity:
We welcome applicants with different skills, experiences, approaches, ideas, and who may be new to working in an artist-run organization. Racialized applicants and those from the LGBTQ+ 2S community will be prioritized in the hiring process, and candidates from all subjectivities, lived experiences and levels of experience are encouraged to apply.

The Bows is mindful of and proactive about barriers and challenges that an equity-seeking individual could face in an organization built upon colonial logics and white supremacist traditions. In this time of organizational growth and change, The Bows Board and staff will work with the incoming Artistic Director to provide support to mitigate the harmful effects of institutionalized colonialism and white supremacy. It is our aspiration to continue to unsettle these foundations, as an organization and as the individuals that comprise it, and we look forward to working in these ways with the incoming Artistic Director.

Specific responsibilities:
Programming/Artistic:

  • Set the creative and artistic priorities and direction of the organization in collaboration with staff and Board, with the understanding that these priorities and directions are mutable and ever-changing
  • Curate, research, develop, schedule and organize programming in relation to organizational priorities, mandate and artistic direction
  • Coordinate the installation of exhibitions and other public programming, including scheduling shipping and organizing other physical logistics such as exhibition design and event planning, working closely with artists to ensure more-than adequate support is provided for them to realize their projects, and scheduling timelines and programming production with care to ensure projects are feasible and well-supported
  • Work with artists to edit statements, bios, and longer texts such as artist publications
  • Provide support for artists/writers/curators with whom a relationship exists, including writing award nominations, letters of reference, and providing mentorship with further opportunities

Communications:

  • All communications (email, phone, in person) with artists relating to The Bows programming
  • Scheduling and liaising with artists, other and peer organizations, contractors (such as install technicians, printers and photographers), grantors, community partners and so on
  • Social media marketing/messaging along with Operations Director
  • Editing of press releases and marketing materials
  • Communicating with other staff and Board on a regular basis regarding ongoing operations

Administrative:

  • Working with the Operations Director to establish project budgets
  • Working with the Operations Director to process the payments for artists, contractors, and others in an expedient manner
  • Membership overhaul in collaboration with other staff and Board Members
  • Working with the Operations Director to find and apply for various funding opportunities
  • Grant writing
  • Assisting Operations Director with year-end reports including financial statements and CADAC, and interim and final grant reports
  • Upkeep of digital and physical files and archives

Mentorship:

  • The Bows has a strong history of reciprocal non-hierarchical mentorship and relationship-building with artists, staff, Canada Summer Jobs positions, Board Members, interns, students, and other early-career arts professionals, that the Artistic Director will be responsible for continuing

Reciprocity (Roles and Responsibilities of The Bows):
The Bows is committed to wholeheartedly supporting the incoming Artistic Director, with the understanding that such support will need to be tailored to the idiosyncratic needs and interests of the incoming AD; the current Director and core staff, as well as the Board of Directors are responsible for providing a generous transition and learning period for the incoming AD. The Board and staff are also committed to and responsible for the ongoing work of unsettling colonial systems, which includes a requirement to be ever-changeable and open to other forms of operating. The Bows is committed to being a caring, transparent, flexible and human-centered employer; it is our intention to continue to approach HR as “human relations” rather than “human resources.”

To apply:
Applicants are encouraged to send a letter of interest, including artistic and personal priorities, ideas, past work, past experiences, and/or any other relevant information, and CV in one PDF to board@thebows.org (subject: ARTISTIC DIRECTOR) no later than March 31, 2021.

Candidates are also welcome to submit instead a video application of no longer than 5 minutes.

Questions about the position or application process can be directed to the Board of Directors at the email above, or current Director Natasha Chaykowski at natasha@thebows.org. If you require any assistance with your application, please contact kaylee@thebows.org.

According to Akimbo’s Accessibility Guidelines, this venue is accessible.

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