Curator

Date Posted: Jul 24, 2019
Application Deadline: Aug 06, 2019

Salary Range: 40K - 60K
Province: Ontario
Region: Northwestern Ontario
City: Thunder Bay
Employee Benefits: Health
Organization's Field/Discipline: The Arts
Job's focus: Creative & Administrative
Job Type: Full-time
Career Level: Upper management

Organization Description

Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Thunder Bay Art Gallery plays a significant role in the cultural life of Thunder Bay and in the visual arts community in Northwestern Ontario.  A non-profit, designated charity, it is the only public art gallery in the 1,000 kilometers between Winnipeg and Sault Ste. Marie.

Thunder Bay Art Gallery exhibits, collects and interprets art with a particular focus on the contemporary artwork of Canadian Aboriginal and Northwestern Ontario artists. The Gallery advances the relationship between artists, their art, and the public, nurturing a life-long appreciation of contemporary visual arts among visitors to Thunder Bay and community members of all ages.
 

Job Description

The Opportunity
Thunder Bay Art Gallery is seeking a Curator to join the senior leadership team.  The Curator develops the ongoing exhibition program that highlights contemporary Indigenous art and the work of local, regional and national artists with an awareness of the importance of diverse creative practices and forms of knowledge, and the value of reflecting a variety of perspectives and voices.  The Curator guides the growth, documentation, and maintenance of the Gallery’s permanent collection. In collaboration with Gallery staff, the Curator supports education and public programming initiatives, promotional activities, and fundraising efforts and funding applications related to the exhibition program and collection.  As a medium size Gallery with a broad and flexible programming mandate, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery provides an environment of possibility, creativity and growth that the right candidate will find challenging and satisfying.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Exhibitions and Publication Activities
The Curator develops the long-term exhibition program (three year plan) that supports and reflects the Gallery’s mandate.  Activities include:
  • Balancing original exhibitions and relevant touring exhibitions that support the Gallery’s mandate.
  • Developing original exhibitions for travel to other galleries and guiding the production of related exhibition catalogues and educational materials.
  • Negotiating and contracting for the loan of artwork from artists, institutions, and private sources.
  • Overseeing the planning, design and installation of exhibitions.
  • Researching and writing interpretive text for exhibitions, catalogues, gallery publications and press releases designed to inform the Gallery’s various audiences.
  • Seeking connections with emerging and established artists in the local and broader art community to ensure the Gallery’s continued relevance.
  • Developing and managing an annual program budget in conjunction with the Gallery Director.
  • Undertaking, in consultation with the Gallery Director, funding applications for research, exhibitions or publications, as appropriate.
 2. Collection Development and Management Activities
The Curator manages the conservation and development of the permanent collection.  Activities include:
  • Identifying works for purchase, donation and deaccessioning.
  • Generating and submitting applications for acquisition funding, when applicable.
  • Regularly developing exhibitions and installations that draw from the permanent collection to increase the public’s understanding of individual works and the value of a permanent collection.
  • Facilitating engagement with the permanent collection by outside curators, researchers, students and members of the public.
3. Education and Promotion
The Curator supports the Gallery’s educational programs and assists in the promotion of the Gallery in the community.  Activities include:
  • Collaborating with other staff to implement a program of public activities which may include tours and lectures, speaking or lecturing to community groups on request, public slide programs, film series, etc.
  • Participating in media interviews, public speaking engagements, and fundraising and sponsorship activities and events related to the exhibition program and collection.


Requirements:

Qualifications
  • Three to five years of experience working in a cultural institution in a curatorial capacity.
  • Masters level degree in art history, museum or curatorial studies.
  • In-depth knowledge of both historical and contemporary Canadian art, with a particular emphasis on contemporary Indigenous art.
  • Experience developing and managing a permanent collection.
  • Experience managing/supervising staff.
  • Demonstrated success with grant writing.
  • A publication record.
  • Exceptional writing and public speaking skills.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to work in a team environment in a collegial manner.
Working Conditions
This is a full time, salaried position based on a 35 hour week.  Flexible hours are required around exhibition installations, openings, events, and other related public programs, publications, artist’s studio visits, committee activities, grant deadlines and other related duties. 

Additional Info:

The Organization
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is located on the traditional territory of the people of the Fort William First Nation, signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850 and is the only public art gallery between Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg. The Gallery’s mandate is focused on the exhibition and collection of works by contemporary artists who are Indigenous as well as the work of emerging and established regional artists. Each year, the Gallery presents about 20 exhibitions, drawing from the permanent collection and featuring work by local, regional and national artists in solo and group exhibitions. Relevant touring exhibitions on loan from other institutions are regularly scheduled.  The Gallery maintains a significant online presence through its website and social media, and is a strong contributor – through its programs and many partnerships – to the cultural life of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.  

Plans for a new 37,500 square foot gallery to be built on the shore of Lake Superior on the City’s waterfront are advancing, making this a period of significant growth and opportunity for the organization. Increased exhibition and programming space in the new building along with greater visibility in the community will allow the Gallery to fulfill its mandate in new ways.

The Community of Thunder Bay
Situated on the shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is a vibrant city of 110,000 people. Another 1000 people reside on nearby Fort William First Nation.  Thunder Bay Art Gallery contributes to an established and growing arts sector that includes commercial galleries, Definitely Superior (an artist-run centre and gallery), and the Baggage Building Art Centre which offers facilities for community art making and shows. 

 An exceptional community auditorium is home to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and provides performances of all kinds throughout the year.  Magnus Theatre brings professional theatre to the city, while smaller community theatre groups provide opportunities for amateur performance and playwriting.  Each year, the Art Gallery partners with Thunder Bay Public Library to present Lit on Tour, in conjunction with the International Festival of Authors. Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario Medical School, the Thunder Bay Research Institute and Confederation College serve local, regional, Canadian and international students.

The community celebrates the contributions of many cultural groups, including the Anishinaabe people who were here first, and whose culture informs many of the connections the Gallery celebrates through exhibitions and community activities.  Thunder Bay Art Gallery acknowledges the journey of reflection and reconciliation that has begun in our community. Through our work of sharing visual art and fostering creativity, we aim to contribute to our community in a spirit of reconciliation that respects and honours the contributions of all people.

How to Apply:

Please note:  Applications to be reviewed beginning August 6, 2019; posting will remain open until the position is filled.

Submit a cover letter, CV, examples of published curatorial work, references by email to:
directorassistant@theag.ca
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
PO Box 10193
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T7
 
Please direct questions to Holly Rupert, directorassistant@theag.ca

Thunder Bay Art Gallery is committed to employment equity and to fostering a positive and diverse workforce that reflects the community. We welcome applications from individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. Given the Gallery’s mandate and location, we particularly welcome applications by individuals who are Indigenous.

Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) to applicants invited to an interview. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
 

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