Call for Submissions: 2024 Middlebrook Prize

Closing Soon – Call for Submissions: 2024 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators

The Art Gallery of Guelph is accepting submissions until Friday, January 26, 2024, 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 AGG. The 2024 Middlebrook Prize jury is composed of Alyssa Fearon (Director/Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery), Tarah Hogue (Curator of Indigenous Art, Remai Modern), and Renée van der Avoird (Associate Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario).

Submissions are assessed based on artistic quality and conceptual strength of the proposed exhibition. The successful applicant’s exhibition will be presented as part of AGG’s fall 2024 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 2024 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 info@artgalleryofguelph.ca. We welcome and encourage submissions from applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, women, and persons with disabilities.

Notes:

  • The award winner must be under 30 years of age by December 31, 2024 and is required to demonstrate proof of age on signing of the exhibition contract
  • The Prize is open to Canadian citizens and 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, 2024)

Important dates:

  • Call for Submissions: until January 26, 2024, 5 pm ET
  • Award Presentation: March 2024
  • Exhibition Dates: September – December 2024

2024 Middlebrook Prize Jurors

Alyssa Fearon holds the position of Director/Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Integral to Fearon’s curatorial practice is a community-based approach that seeks to foster connections with groups that have been historically and systemically excluded from the gallery milieu. In 2018, Fearon was inaugural Curator of Nuit Blanche Toronto’s Scarborough zone. Fearon was also Curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, 2018 – 2020. Raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Fearon is now based on Treaty 4 territory in Regina, Saskatchewan. She holds an MBA in Arts Management from the Schulich School of Business, an MA in Art History from York University, and was a Salzburg Global Fellow.

Tarah Hogue is a curator and writer in Saskatoon, located in Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis. Raised on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 territories in Alberta, she is of Métis and white settler ancestry, and is a citizen of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. Her writing and curatorial work attends to the complexities of place, being-in-motion, and Indigeneity, and is grounded in collaborative and conciliatory approaches. Hogue is currently the Curator of Indigenous Art at Remai Modern, and has previously held positions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, grunt gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. In 2019, Hogue received the Hnatyshyn Foundation – TD Bank Group Award for Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art. She holds a master’s degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Art History from Queen’s University.

Renée van der Avoird is the Associate Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Prior to joining the AGO in 2018, she held positions as Associate Curator/Registrar at the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie; Assistant Director of Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; and Curatorial Mentor at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. She holds an Honours BA in Fine Arts and French Language & Literature from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. Her writing has been in published in periodicals including C Magazine, Border Crossings, and various exhibition catalogues, including Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-1940 published by the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany. Van der Avoird’s area of specialty is modern and contemporary Canadian women artists. She is a member of Aisle 4, a curatorial collective based in Toronto.

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, and private donations. For more information about the prize, as well as past winners and their projects, please visit our website.

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