Gordon Smith Gallery
Request for Proposals: Exhibition and Guest Curator
|Applications Accepted: ||July 1, 2021|
|Application Deadline:||September 30, 2021 (extended)|
|Shortlisted Interviews:||September 16 – 30, 2021|
|Proposed Exhibition:||April 13 – June 15th, 2023|
|Province: || British Columbia|
|City: ||North Vancouver|
|Term: ||Temporary Contract |
Who We Are:
The Gordon Smith Gallery is home to the acclaimed Artists for Kids teaching collection. Artists for Kids has been acquiring masterworks from Canada's leading artists for more than 30 years. Over 50 Canadian artists represented in the collection are the essential and primary supporters of Artists for Kids and its distinct hands-on, artist- and teacher-led art programs. The permanent collection includes works from contemporary artists such as Bill Reid, Jack Shadbolt and Gordon Smith to conceptual artists such as Rodney Graham and Elizabeth MacIntosh.
The Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists, in North Vancouver, was founded in 2002 by the visionary team at the North Vancouver School District and Artists for Kids, to build an endowment fund to provide art enrichment opportunities for the children of British Columbia. To date, the Smith Foundation has expanded its role to encompass the curation of exhibitions and the development of public programs at the Gordon Smith Gallery. The Smith Foundation works in collaboration with, and provide financial support to, the North Vancouver School District's award-winning Artists for Kids program. Together the Smith Foundation and AFK ensure a gallery space where education is not an afterthought in curation, but the purpose of each step taken.
During the school year, AFK selects works from the collection that share a common theme and speak to pertinent art historical, social, cultural, political, or environmental issues in a way that is accessible, sparks great conversation and encourages interaction with Canadian Art. Students from across the North Shore spend an entire school day at the Gallery, learning about some of our country's most celebrated artists and developing an understanding of the art and their response to it. More than 2,000 elementary and secondary students and their teachers participate. These Teaching Exhibitions offer essential tools to inform audiences' diverse opinions and learning experiences.
During the Spring, the Gordon Smith Gallery mounts an exhibition that engages students and the community-at-large. It is for this exhibition that the Gordon Smith Gallery accepting proposals from Guest Curators.
Request for Proposal: Exhibition and Guest Curator
The Gordon Smith Gallery is seeking applications from qualified curators wishing to be considered for the temporary, contract position of Guest Curator. The contract covers the period from September 1, 2022 to July 15, 2023. Working with the Smith Foundation and Senior management of the Artists for Kids program within School District #44, the Guest Curator will oversee the development, coordination, and administration of all aspects of the 2023 Spring Exhibition at the Gordon Smith Gallery.
The Guest Curator will plan, organize, interpret and present an accessible and engaging 2023 Spring Exhibition at the Gordon Smith Gallery: an exhibition that will open the week of April 13th, 2023. The exhibition must lend itself to curricula development by art educators in the North Vancouver School District School District with a focus on Canadian Art. This work will involve:
- The preparation of the exhibition budget and grant application content
- Working with Artists for Kids (AFK) management team to incorporate artifacts and/or archival materials from the AFK Permanent collection into the exhibition (if and as appropriate);
- The lead role in the creation of an exhibition catalogue, interpretive materials, publicity materials and public programs aimed at engaging diverse audiences through a dynamic mix of exhibition, interpretation & visitor support that develops audience understanding of contemporary Canadian art;
- Work in collaboration with AFK to produce educational programming K-12.
- Orientating gallery docents in advance of exhibition opening;
- Being present for the exhibition opening, panel discussions, and artists talks.
- Ensuring that exhibition grant reporting requirements are met in a timely and professional manner.
- Academic background in a field related to the position (eg: Visual Arts, Art History, Anthropology) or equivalent combination of education and work experience
- Demonstrated leadership and practical experience in the development, installation and management of exhibitions in a public art gallery
- Writing experience including demonstrated ability writing grant applications
- Highly motivated, creative, flexible and innovative thinker
- Experience in project management and in working collaboratively with a small team
- Strong computer skills, desktop publishing an asset
- Experience in both visual arts and heritage sectors a definite asset
- Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, visitors, volunteers, donors, collectors, professional colleagues.
In addition to an advanced degree in the field, it is expected that the Guest Curator will have a minimum of five years of related experience and a broad knowledge of contemporary art practice. Candidates will have excellent communication, administrative, interpersonal and organizational skills, and the ability to work efficiently with a small staff in a collaborative workplace. Canadians, permanent residents, and/or foreign nationals with a valid work permit will be given priority consideration.
Guest Curator applicants are asked to provide a description of their vision of the proposed Exhibition between 500 and 1,000 words in electronic format to assist the Curatorial Committee in its final adjudication. The Curatorial Committee will consist of 3-5 people who represent: Program Staff, Smith Foundation Directors, AFK Management and Curators
Fulfilling tasks related to the logistical planning and follow-up related to the above-mentioned exhibitions. It is anticipated that the Guest Curator to be available the equivalent of two days a month during the term of the contract.
While it is understood that the Guest Curator may have other obligations during the term of this contract, it is further understood that these obligations may not interfere with the requirement of being fully engaged with the exhibition during the specified periods. It is understood that the Guest Curator will work within pre-determined budget constraints.
The Guest Curator will work closely with and be supported by the management and staff, of the Smith Foundation and Artists for Kids. Revenues and expenditures will be managed by the Smith Foundation according to the prepared agreed on budget.
Curatorial expenses will be included in the project grant applications based on the CARFAC fee schedule and paid according to a prearranged pay schedule agreed upon by the Guest Curator and the Smith Foundation Executive Director.
How to Apply:
Please submit a:
- single PDF including a one-page cover letter
- project vision ( 500- 1000 words )
- curriculum vitae
- three references.
Notification for shortlisted applicants will be sent by October 1st, 2021
Shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit an in-depth proposal including a preliminary list of artists and their work as well as a draft budget.
The successful applicant will be notified by October 15th, 2021
Letter of Invitation - Guest Curator.pdf