Curator, The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington


The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

Application Deadline: 31 December, 2021
Start Date: January/February 2022
Salary: $40,000 – $45,000 + benefits plan
Term: Full time Continuing

Organization Description:

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington ( is a non-collecting public gallery exhibiting local, regional, and national contemporary visual art and offering arts education in the Durham Region. Located in a 19th-century barley mill on the banks of Soper Creek in Bowmanville, the gallery offers both traditional white-walled exhibition space and a stunning unrestored loft installation space as well as studio classrooms. Its mission is to utilize art to create an inclusive space to exchange ideas, ask questions and make connections.

Position Description:

Reporting to the Executive Director of the VAC, the Curator is responsible for setting the overall curatorial direction of the gallery and ancillary venues (the Municipal Administrative Centre, the Bowmanville branch of the Clarington Public Library, etc.). The Curator will plan and realize exhibitions from concept to installation and liaise with the Education staff to develop multi-level exhibition and education programs around the central curatorial themes.

The curator is responsible for:

  • Researching potential exhibition proposals and creating multi-year exhibition plans, and communicating these plans to staff, the Board of Directors, funders, and other stakeholders;
  • Implementing exhibition plans from concept through to realization, including planning, working and corresponding with artists and any guest writers/guest curators, interpretation, and overseeing the installation and striking;
  • Creating (with the Executive Director) exhibition budgets, monitoring and controlling related expenses, and producing regular reports;
  • Writing catalogue essays and facilitating exhibition catalogue production (in conjunction with other gallery and contract staff);
  • Speaking at gallery openings, curator talks, etc.;
  • Developing partnerships with other galleries and institutions (programming, tours and exhibition partnerships) as well as deepening collegial relationships with industry partners (artists, curators, writers, etc.)
  • Planning and supervising interpretive and public programming related to exhibitions and working with education staff and volunteers to deliver activity-based programming around the central curatorial ideas.
  • Maintaining safety protocols for the gallery;
  • Overseeing documentation and creation of promotional materials for the exhibitions and public programming, including catalogue essays, press releases, media talks, web content, etc.;
  • Contributing to developing funding requests (OAC, CAC grant applications, project proposals, etc.); and
  • Overall: Working together with all VAC staff to contribute to implementing programs to engage existing and new, and diverse audiences.

The Curator is expected to work a standard workweek but will also be expected to work some evenings, weekends, and overtime hours to accommodate activities such as Board and committee meetings and representing the organization at exhibition openings, fundraisers, and other public events. A majority of the work takes place at the VAC site. However, some off-site work will also be necessary for studio visits, committee meetings, and attendance at other gallery openings, for example.

The ideal candidate for this position will have:

  • Education: A university degree in a related field (Fine Art / Studio, Art History, Curatorial Studies, etc.). An advanced (Masters-level) degree would be an asset.
  • Experience: A minimum of three (3) years of professional curatorial experience, preferably in a public gallery setting.
  • Knowledge: A sophisticated understanding of the theoretical, historical, and intellectual contexts of current issues within contemporary art and curatorial practices and a familiarity with local, provincial, and national visual arts communities.
  • Interpretive / Communication Skills: Exceptional written and oral communication skills to communicate knowledge to specialized and general audiences.
  • Interpersonal Skills:
    Working cooperatively and effectively with multiple stakeholders (staff, board, artists, members, community groups, government, media, etc.) to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that are beneficial to the organization
    ◦  Thriving in a small, team-oriented environment while still able to work independently as required
    ◦  Respecting a diversity of perspectives
    ◦  Managing one’s work well within changing priorities of an evolving organization
  • Financial Skills:
    Producing and analyzing project budgets that correspond to larger operating budgets and strategic plans
    ◦  Monitoring and controlling exhibition- and education-related expenses
  • Project Management Skills:
    ◦  Assessing organizational needs, resources, and risks
    ◦  Setting priorities and deadlines
    ◦  Monitoring progress toward goals
    ◦  Evaluating processes and results
    ◦  Managing time and multiple priorities
  • Computer Skills – intermediate-level proficiency in the use of:
    ◦  Standard Office software
    ◦  Communications/document sharing software (such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive)

How to Apply:
Applications must include:

  • a cover letter (no longer than two pages) which addresses the listed qualifications for this position
  • a current resume (no longer than three pages)
  • a statement that explains your overall curatorial vision/approach to curatorial work (no longer than 500 words)
  • attach three relevant writing samples (such as catalogue essays, exhibition reviews, etc.) to an email message that has “VAC Curator Position” in the subject line before the end of day 31 December 2021, to:

Dionne Powlenzuk
Executive Director
Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington is an equal opportunity employer committed to employment equity and building strength through diversity. We welcome and encourage applications from all qualified candidates and encourage people with disabilities, women, visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples to apply. Acknowledging that we are not a fully accessible building, we attempt to be as inclusive as possible in our hiring process.

Direct any questions about this process or position to:

Executive Director
Visual Arts Centre of Clarington