School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba Launches Visiting Curator Program with Grace Deveney


Grace Deveney

The School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba is launching its new Visiting Curator Program with internationally-recognized curator and art historian Grace Deveney as the inaugural visiting curator.

Over the next three years, the Visiting Curator Program will support curatorial research, exhibitions, events, and publications by Deveney as well as two emerging curators.

The Visiting Curator Program will serve as a catalyst for three international-calibre exhibitions and will play a vital role in defining contemporary art and its attendant discourses in the Prairies. It will also give students, faculty, and other community members meaningful opportunities to engage with curators charting new trajectories in the field. Through its mentorship component, it will foster strong new voices in this field.

This new program is generously supported by Dr. Michael F.B. Nesbitt, whose contributions to the arts and community-building are deeply felt throughout Winnipeg, and especially at the University of Manitoba.

About Grace Deveney

Deveney is Associate Curator of the fifth iteration of Prospect, a New Orleans-based triennial, titled Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow (2021). Previously, she was Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Exhibitions at the MCA include Christina Quarles (2021), Direct Message: Art, Language, and Power (2019) and Groundings (2018; with Tara Aisha Willis), as well as presentations of the work of Paul Pfeiffer, Amanda Williams and Ania Jaworska.

She is a PhD candidate in Art History at Northwestern University, and her dissertation research looks at television and technology of the 1970s to 1990s and in the works of Howardena Pindell, Tony Cokes, and Stan Douglas, and the ways they created counternarratives to popular representations of Black political thought and action. Often exploring the relationship between landscape and language, Deveney’s research explores how representations of the places we live in, and the language that is used to define our experience is challenged or reconsidered by artists.

Virtual Presentation with Grace Deveney

When: Thursday, July 8, 7:00-8:30 pm CDT
Where: Presented over Zoom and YouTube Live
ASL interpretation and live captioning available
Presentation will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube

School of Art Gallery Visiting Curator Grace Deveney will give a presentation on her curatorial practice and writing, by presenting notes on the exhibitions that have influenced her work, shows she has curated at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and in other spaces as a guest curator. Deveney will discuss the overarching themes and interests that drive her research, which include media, language, landscape, and the ways artists use materials to create metaphors that speak to history and lived experience.


Call for Emerging Curators

The School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba is seeking two emerging curators to participate in its inaugural Visiting Curator Program. The chosen applicants will receive mentorship and support from curator Grace Deveney as they propose, research, develop and present an ambitious exhibition, complemented by a lively and critically rigorous roster of adjunct programs and an engaging, substantive publication. Between Fall 2021 and Winter 2023, the chosen candidates will participate in regular one-on-one and group mentorship sessions with Deveney as they develop their curatorial projects. They will receive additional support from faculty and staff at the School of Art and School of Art Gallery, and are encouraged to develop, foster, and harness opportunities provided by partnerships with other arts organizations.

In-person activities will take place as public health restrictions permit, and, subject to travel restrictions, the program will offer opportunities to travel for research and presentation. Emerging curators may provide academic and public lectures, studio visits, and workshops at the School of Art, in Winnipeg, and elsewhere, either virtually, or in-person as permitted. Emerging curators who are not based in Winnipeg will be invited to spend at least six weeks onsite researching, developing, and presenting their programming.

We invite project proposals from curators who have recently graduated from an accredited master’s-level program and are within their first three years of professional curatorial practice. While this call is open to Canadian, American, and international curators, we especially welcome applications from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) curators based in Winnipeg and the Prairies. Alignments with the research areas of the visiting curator are welcome, as well as disparate and complementary interests and engagements.

Project Timeline

  • The deadline for submissions is July 23, 2021.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by the School of Art Gallery Visiting Curator Committee. The chosen candidate will be notified by August 6, 2021.
  • The Program will begin in September 2021.
  • The Program will culminate in Spring 2023 and Winter 2023-24 exhibitions curated by the chosen candidates.
  • Comprehensive program schedules will be developed in collaboration between School of Art Gallery Director/Curator and the chosen candidates.

Learn more and apply

The School of Art Gallery, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is generously supported by the University of Manitoba, the School of Art, and the Government of Canada, and by faculty, staff, donors, and volunteers. It sits on Treaty 1 territory, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.


For more information:
Cailyn Harrison, School of Art Communications and Events Coordinator

School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab
180 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2

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