Curator, Visual Arts Centre of Clarington



The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

Application Deadline: 3 January, 2020
Start Date: January / February 2020
Salary: $40,000 – $45,000 + benefits plan
Term: Full time Continuing

Organization Description:
The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (VAC) is a public, non-collecting 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 where ideas are exchanged, questions are asked, and connections are made.

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.), planning and realizing exhibitions from concept to installation and beyond, 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 with the delivery of the interpretive and 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 the implementation of programs aimed at engaging existing as well as 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 is expected to take place at the VAC site, though 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 professional curatorial experience, preferably in a public gallery setting.
  • Knowledge: A sophisticated understanding of the theoretical, historical, and intellectual contexts of, and 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 necessary to communicate knowledge to both 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 own 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 which explains your overall curatorial vision/approach to curatorial work (no longer than 500 words)
  • three relevant writing samples (such as catalogue essays, exhibition reviews, etc.) submitted as attachments to an email message that has “VAC Curator Position” in the subject line, before the end of day 3 January 2020, to:

Dionne Powlenzuk, Executive Director
Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for all aspects of the selection process.

Any questions about this process or position can be directed to:
Dionne Powlenzuk, Executive Director, Visual Arts Centre of Clarington