Job Call: Curator

October 1st, 2020 by

Job Posting
Position: Curator
Location: grunt gallery
Reporting to: Program Director
Term: Part-time, permanent. 25 hours/week. Evening and weekend work. Flexible schedule.
Remuneration: $30/ hour
Start Date: January 5, 2021

Application deadline: 4pm PST, Friday, October 30th, 2020
To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter by email to Meagan Kus at meagan@grunt.ca

About grunt gallery
grunt gallery was founded in 1984 on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada) and is one of the region’s most established artist run centres. The gallery offers exhibitions, special projects and public programming with a focus on practices and perspectives that have, since the beginning, questioned established values in contemporary art production.

grunt was formed in 1984 by a group of 8 artists as a venue for artists and their work. Since then the organization has worked within local, national and international artist communities to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for the development of innovative and provocative contemporary art. Very early on grunt began collaborating with other organizations to realize projects otherwise beyond a single organization’s capacity.

In the early 1990s grunt began working with Indigenous art communities to provide a venue for contemporary production. This relationship has done much to define the organization since that time. grunt has not only been a significant venue for Indigenous production in Canada and internationally, but has had continuous participation on the staff and board team throughout this history. We have also provided an ongoing opportunity for residencies for Indigenous curators, researchers, writers and artists. We have similarly been guided by ongoing relationships with BIPOC and queer/ LGBTQIA2S+ arts communities.

grunt has been invested in ideas of ‘decolonization’ and intersectionality long before these terms were widely in use. Our experience working with artists and communities of diverse perspectives is well-known across the country and we continue to build capacity within the organization to grow in the service of this core mandate of diversity and creative innovation. These priorities comprise the fabric of our organization – and we strive to remain self-reflexive and evolving in the expression of them. Currently the organization is engaged in a 5-year process evaluating the accessibility of our systems and programs from an anti-oppression framework. This involves all levels of the organization.

Our programming scope has grown significantly over the years from a facility that primarily supported exhibitions, publications and performance to one that produces a wider range of activities, including: multi-partner collaborative projects, online project sites and expansive digital resources, site-specific artist projects, artist-residencies, public art projects, international artistic exchanges and a vital, growing archive. While our facility is modest – we operate from a 1400-square foot office and gallery space in East Vancouver – our reach is expansive.

Our recent and upcoming programming reveals a strong international component, with reciprocal opportunities for Canadian artists. We have in recent years considered how to improve the nature of exchange – beyond the presentation of isolated events or exhibitions abroad. As is more fitting to our mandate and way of working, we have been developing longer term relationships with colleagues internationally, and seek to provide reciprocity – that is, a culture of exchange that acknowledges the importance of opportunities created over time and via embedded networks, and those that disseminate resources both at home and abroad.

About the curatorial position
The Curator works in tandem with the Program Director and alongside grunt staff, contractors and volunteers to support the creative vision of the gallery and its public presentation. As detailed above, we support a wide range of activities, and applicants should have an interdisciplinary knowledge of/ interest in contemporary practice – and an appreciation for works that are produced both in and beyond a gallery context. This could include installation art, public works, digital media, screen-based production, writing/ publishing/ zine production, sound installation, socially-engaged works, podcast production, performance, community and frontline organizing, collective practice and so on.

Interested candidates should note that much of grunt’s programming is submissions-based and determined by committee. This does not preclude a more traditional authorship or singular curatorial voice, but we feel this is an important thing to note – ‘curator’ can mean many different things, and here as elsewhere it’s very influenced by the culture of the organization. At grunt the Curator is a central creative role and while our mandate and work culture is well established, we invite you to bring your own experience fully to the position. This strong sense of agency, in tandem with the collaborative nature of the programming and the expansive range of activities, offers a unique opportunity that emphasizes both collective access to resources and a demonstrated belief in the individual and what they can offer.

The Curator role will focus primarily on the exhibitions program, as well as our new Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen. There will be ample opportunities for creative thinking in both. Required skills and competencies are listed below, and disciplinary knowledge is important, but core to this position will be a passion for working with artists to support their vision. The Curator is at base level a bridge builder – you will act as the translator between the organization and the artist, and you will steward the presentation of the work to the public; your ability to communicate well and build relationships will be key.

As an employer we welcome your voice and your ideas, and we value equally your ability to listen and take time.

Required Competencies:

Collaboration                           Commitment                           Written Communication
Community                              Conceptual Thinking              Negotiation
Creativity                                  Flexibility                                 Mentorship
Reliability                                 Programming                         Grant Applications

General Responsibilities:

  • Working with the grunt Program Director and other grunt staff to determine overall program vision for exhibitions and programs on Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen (MPCAS);
  • Liaising with artists to determine programming and exhibitions within grunt’s exhibition space and beyond the physical facility;
  • Liaising with artists to determine media programming for the MPCAS;
  • Working in tandem with the Program Director to manage and organize the programming committees for exhibitions (annual) and MPCAS (bi-annual);
  • Working with the Program Director, MPCAS Engagement Coordinator and other grunt staff to create and maintain public outreach activities;
  • Writing and editing for publication, press releases, didactic materials, web and online promotion and other venues as necessary;
  • Organizing, hosting and managing events, online presentations, and other public programs;
  • Research and development of projects involving exhibition, artist residencies, community engagement, event and publication components;
  • Outreach, promotions and relationship building for grunt gallery, locally and internationally (via travel, networking and professional development opportunities);
  • Ongoing participation in grunt activities and programs, including committee meetings, curatorial research and development, staff/programming meetings;
  • Grant writing for present and future projects;
  • Evaluation of annual programming in collaboration with grunt staff.

Required Skills and Education:

  • Critically relevant curatorial experience with knowledge of diverse communities;
  • Strong sense of local context, including an investment in creating and maintaining relationship to the region’s host Indigenous nations (beyond acknowledgement);
  • Proven success with visual arts programming and an excellent reputation within the art community, built on previous success and rapport with artists;
  • Post-secondary education in an arts related field (or commensurate work experience);
  • A working intercultural skill-set to effectively work with a diverse group of staff, artists and community members, and a history of engagement with Indigenous, LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities;
  • Experience with or active interest in anti-oppression frameworks and how they relate to accessibility in the arts;
  • Strong technical awareness with regard to screen-based, online and interactive media;
  • Excellent understanding of artist-run centres;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Exceptional communication and coordination skills to ensure knowledge and comprehension of complex project planning;
  • Ability to work collaboratively;
  • Proven ability to write grants;
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and committed to quality;
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Able to work flexible hours.

grunt gallery offers a competitive salary and benefits package, along with a flexible work schedule, opportunities for education and development, and a very comfortable, creative, harmonious and positive work environment. grunt is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all applicants.

 

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