School of Art Gallery: Curatorial Assistant, Application Deadline August 14
School of Art Gallery
University of Manitoba
Proposed start date: September 19, 2022
Anticipated end date: March 10, 2023*
Salary: $25.87 - $33.46/hour per hour, depending on education and qualifications
Hours: Full time, 35 hours per week
Application deadline: August 14, 2022
About the School of Art Gallery
The School of Art Gallery (SOAG) serves the serves students, faculty and staff at the School of Art (SOA), the University of Manitoba, and the public. It is prominently located on the main floor of the ARTlab, a state-of-the-art facility which conceptually frames the gallery as a site of both research and presentation. The Gallery also houses a significant collection of over 4000 contemporary and historical artworks. Programming in SOAG's Main and Collections Galleries represents a diverse range of practices and perspectives – from historical to contemporary, local to international, and reflecting the cultural, sexual, and gender diversity of the communities it serves. Exhibitions and collecting comprise the core of the SOAG's activities, with outreach programming and publishing activities emanating from and supporting this research.
About the Position
Directly reporting to the Director/Curator, the Curatorial Assistant's work will focus on exhibition research and presentation. Working closely with all gallery staff, the Curatorial Assistant will be involved in nearly all aspects of exhibition development and realization.
The Curatorial Assistant will develop and present a significant project for the School of Art Gallery, which may take the form of an exhibition or an alternative form such as a film screening series, a performance art event, a symposium, or site-specific project. This project will be developed over a large part of the internship through weekly progress meetings with Director/Curator, and will require working with most other staff members to acquire the various research, programming, administrative, and organizational skills and knowledge to successfully realize their project. The Curatorial Assistant will research and write an essay and develop and present workshops, tours, or other adjunct programming related to their curatorial project.
Within this project, the incumbent will:
- Research themes and participants for their programming;
- Work with the Director/Curator to establish a critical path, budgets and other project details;
- Meet with artists and/or project participants for studio visits, interviews, etc.;
- Select works for exhibition as required. As necessary, they will work with the Registrar/Preparator on shipping and receiving, and will assist with the uncrating and condition reporting of incoming work.
- Work with the Administrative Assistant to issue letters of agreement and/or gallery contracts to artists and other project participants as required;
- Write project essay, artist profiles, and promotional texts for newsletter and website, as well as extended label copy for exhibition if required;
- Work with the Education Coordinator to coordinate public events such as artist talks, panels, and receptions, including locating and booking venues and appropriate equipment, etc.;
- Work with SOA Communications to promote events;
- Assist with event coordination and/or exhibition installation as required.
The Curatorial Assistant will have valuable hands-on opportunities to develop the skills they need to coordinate and deliver their own programming. They will obtain these skills by assisting with the preparation and delivery of programming developed for the Gallery's Visiting Curator Program, an innovative program which has invited a cohort of visiting curators (Grace Deveney, Lillian O'Brien Davis, and Shalaka Jadhav, to propose, develop, and present international-calibre exhibitions complemented by public art installations, publications, and ambitious, critically rigorous and high-impact outreach programming. The Program includes a significant mentorship component, wherein two outstanding emerging curators will collaborate with and receive support from an established international curator working with resonant subjects and ideas.
The Gallery Assistant will have the opportunity to work and liaise with all three curators and will assist visiting curators and Gallery staff by:
- Providing assistance to visiting curators and Gallery staff preparing for and installing exhibitions, including writing condition reports and installing/de-installing vinyl signage;
- Assisting with promotion and communications;
- Participating in team project meetings;
- Helping to create, and coordinate, exhibition descriptions and didactic materials such as wall texts, labels and newsletter and website content;
- Obtaining permissions and copyright clearance for images for promotions and publications;
- Providing general curatorial support for Director/Curator, Education Coordinator, and visiting curators, including assisting with the production and distribution of letters of agreement and contracts for artists and other presenters, maintaining exhibition databases and critical paths, setting up and facilitating virtual and in-person meetings coordinating travel plans for visiting artists and presenters, and assisting with the setup, delivery of receptions, talks, performances, workshops and other events;
- Participating in, and assisting with staff training on exhibitions, as required;
- Organizing and facilitating formal and informal tours of exhibitions as required.
This position will be of particular interest to a post-secondary graduate who wishes to pursue further academic work in Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Art History or Studio Art, or is seeking a career in museums, galleries, or artist run centres. The Curatorial Assistant is encouraged to follow their research interests in developing their exhibition or curatorial project and will be given many opportunities to connect and engage with artists, academics, and cultural workers in Winnipeg's vibrant arts community and beyond.
Education and Experience
- The ideal candidate will meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Art History, or Studio Art;
- Demonstrated interest in Canadian and international contemporary art and theory, including work and writing by and about BIPOC art and artists;
- Demonstrated strengths in research and writing;
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365;
- Experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, particularly Photoshop and InDesign, is an asset;
- Experience with database management software is an asset;
- Art handling experience, and experience working or volunteering in a public art gallery, museum, artist run centre, or library is desirable;
- Must be eligible to participate in the Young Canada Works program**
The ideal candidate must be:
- Able to work effectively under pressure;
- A good self-initiator who is able to work independently;
- Able to work well as part of a team;
- An effective communicator, in both writing and speech;
- Versatile and flexible, a creative problem solver.
**Young Canada Works eligible candidates must be:
- Canadian citizens or a permanent residents, or individuals with refugee status in Canada (non-Canadians holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible);
- legally entitled to work in Canada;
- between 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;
- willing to commit to the full duration of the work assignment;
- unemployed or underemployed;
- college or university graduates.
Young Canada Works eligible candidates must not be:
- receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits while employed with the program;
- working another full-time job (over 30 hours a week) while employed with the program;
Note: Priority will be given to graduates that have not previously participated in YCW internship programs.
Job Context and Working Conditions
The incumbent will work in an open office area with regular co-worker interactions. They must be able to sit for long periods of computer use. Installation periods will require light lifting, pulling and pushing, ladder use, and the use of manual and some power tools (drills, etc.). The incumbent will have to work occasional evening and weekend hours as necessary.
If pandemic-related health restrictions require, the Curatorial Assistant may be required to work from home and deliver programming remotely.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please forward your cover letter, a writing sample, curriculum vitae/resume and writing sample, indicating the position title "Curatorial Assistant" in your email subject line, no later than August 14, 2022 to Donna Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or through Young Canada Works with the cover letter, writing sample and curriculum vitae/resume: https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Opportunity/PublicApprovedOpportunities
All candidates must register with YCW: https://young-canada-works.canada.ca/Account/Register
Please note that only candidates who are selected for the next stage of this selection process will be contacted.
*Note: University of Manitoba will be closed from December 24 to January 3. Incumbent will receive remuneration similar to permanent, full-time staff.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
The University of Manitoba is committed to the principles of equity, diversity & inclusion and to promoting opportunities in hiring, promotion and tenure (where applicable) for systemically marginalized groups who have been excluded from full participation at the University and the larger community including Indigenous Peoples, women, racialized persons, persons with disabilities and those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+.