Call for Submissions: 2023 Middlebrook Prize
2023 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators – Call for Submissions
The Art Gallery of Guelph is accepting submissions until Friday, January 27, 2023, at 5 pm ET for the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators.
Founded in 2012, the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator under 30 with the aim to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada. Hosted and administered by the Art Gallery of Guelph, the winner is selected by a jury of arts leaders and receives a $5,000 honorarium as well as mentorship in the development of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph. The 2023 Middlebrook Prize jury is composed of Musha Neluheni (Artist and Independent Curator, Guelph), Tamara Toledo (Director/Curator, Sur Gallery, Toronto) and Allison Yearwood (Executive Director, Plug-In ICA, Winnipeg).
Submissions are assessed based on artistic quality as well as conceptual strength of the proposed exhibition. The successful applicant’s exhibition will be presented as part of the Art Gallery of Guelph’s fall 2023 season. By supporting and mobilizing Canadian creative talent, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, environmental, social, and cultural upheaval. Proposals should emphasize contemporary Canadian art with attention to audience, community, and social relevance.
Applications must include:
- Letter of introduction: applicants should articulate their curatorial values and philosophy as well as the meaning of the Middlebrook Prize in terms of their career
- Two-page exhibition proposal: proposal must include curatorial statement, list of artists/artworks supported by a clear, compelling case for their inclusion, and description of potential outreach programming
- Exhibition budget up to $10,000 including: artist fees (per 2023 CARFAC fee schedule for Category II institutions), estimated shipping via an accredited art transportation company, any special equipment requirements for the exhibition, a description of unique or unusual installation requirements, and projected travel/accommodation expenses for artist(s)/curator
- One sample of critical writing: curatorial essay or published article/review, for example
- Curriculum vitae: current, maximum 3 pages
- Support images (10): with descriptions (artist name, title, date, medium, dimensions) including 5 images supporting exhibition proposal and 5 images documenting past curatorial work
- Floor plan: carefully consider the scale of the space and detail the proposed layout of works in the floor plan (download the floor plan)
Applications are to be submitted in a single PDF document, with the subject line Middlebrook Prize, to email@example.com. We welcome and encourage submissions from applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, women, and persons with disabilities.
- The award winner must be under 30 years of age by December 31, 2023 and is required to demonstrate proof of age on signing of the exhibition contract
- The Prize is open to Canadian citizens, as well as non-Canadians currently living and working in Canada
- If the Prize is awarded to a non-Canadian curator, they must be resident in Canada for the full term of the Prize (March 1 through December 31, 2023)
- Call for Submissions: December 5, 2022 – January 27, 2023
- Award Presentation: March 2023
- Exhibition Dates: September – December 2023
2023 Middlebrook Prize Jurors
Musha Neluheni is an artist and curator from Johannesburg, South Africa. She held the position of Contemporary Curator and Acting Chief Curator at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. She was co-curator of the South African Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale. She served on the Standard Bank Art Committee and the Theme Panel for the South African Mint. Her exhibition There is Only Light, and Shadow won best curated show at the 2016 Turbine Art Fair. She holds a BFA from Rhodes University and has written for several publications including the online forum The Archival Platform.
Tamara Toledo is a Chilean-born, Toronto-based curator, artist, writer, and PhD candidate at York University. Her research focuses on hemispheric connections, decolonial methodologies, diasporic exhibition histories, and the legacies of the Cold war era in contemporary art. Her essays, reviews, and exhibition texts can be found in various publications including ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Art, and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal of the University of California. Toledo has worked in collections, research, programming, and curatorial research roles at A Space Gallery, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has shared her research through public talks, exhibition tours, guest lectures, panels, symposiums, and conferences held in multiple venues and institutions across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Toledo is co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and of the nonprofit arts organization Latin American Canadian Art Projects. She is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery, the only space dedicated to contemporary Latin American art in Canada.
An alumna of the University of Winnipeg with a political science and business administration degree, Allison Yearwood is the Executive Director of Plug-In ICA in Winnipeg. She returned to her hometown from the Banff Centre, where she was Program Manager in the Indigenous Arts Department. Previously, Yearwood served as Art and Business Manager at Yamaji Art, an Aboriginal art centre in Australia, and was the General Manager of Collective of Black Artists in Toronto. She was also the Programming and Events Coordinator at the Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and was the first non-Indigenous staff member at Urban Shaman Gallery in Winnipeg. Yearwood advocates for racialized and disenfranchised groups to decolonize institutions of power from the ground up. She is exceptionally skilled in equity issues and a powerful and transformative voice for anti-racism action. Having served as the Program Manager for digital art residencies at Banff Centre she is a proponent of equity justice in media and digital production. Yearwood’s institutional critique articulates the creation of safe spaces for underserved communities within the institution. She currently is the Board Chair of aceartinc., serves as a member at large for Spiderwebshow Theatre, and is a member of the Equity Committee for CAMDO.
The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, The Guelph Community Foundation Musagetes Fund, as well as private donations. For more information about the prize as well as past winners and their projects, please visit: artgalleryofguelph.ca/exhibitions_list/middlebrook-prize