Freelance Assistant Curator Position

Posted on 9 January 2015

Art: Audience, Development Discourse & Skills (Art: ADDS) is a two-year Arts Council funded project that will invest in a number of development opportunities for artists, arts organisations and art professionals in the region, build audiences, and increase connectivity across the North West visual arts sector. The project is initiated by Contemporary Visual Art Network North West (CVAN, NW) with each of the local networks leading on one strand.

As network lead for the ‘Artist Development’ strand, Contemporary Visual Arts Manchester (CVAM) will deliver three exhibitions of North West based artists across the region in 2015. The confirmed venues are:

• Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (April – June)
• The Atkinson, Southport (August – November)
• Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre (September – November)

The exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery will be curated in house by Richard Parry; the exhibitions at The Atkinson and Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre will be curated by an external Guest Curator (yet to be appointed), working with the curatorial teams at the venues. Each of the exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of artist / curator talks, tours and associated events.

The aim of the exhibitions is to increase:
– curatorial knowledge of artists working in the region
– opportunities for regional artists to show work in galleries in the North West
– profile of regional artists nationally
– access to, and understanding of regional artists’ work for audiences.

The exhibitions form a core part of a programme of professional development for artists and arts professionals based in the North West, which aims to give increased exposure both inside and outside the region. The programme will also offer bespoke mentoring opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists and arts professionals led by local, regional and national experts in their field.

Freelance Assistant Curator Role & Responsibilities:
We are looking to appoint a Freelance Assistant Curator to provide support for the exhibitions. Ideally we would like this to be an opportunity for an emerging curator to gain valuable experience of curating exhibitions and events in public-facing contemporary art galleries. Applicants must have the ability to work extensively across the North West.

The successful candidate will work closely with Richard Parry and the Guest Curator, as well as the Art: ADDS Project Coordinator, Emma Fry, and the teams at the three venues to ensure the successful delivery of the exhibitions.

The Freelance Assistant Curator will:
• Set up and facilitate studio visits in Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria (with support from the Art: ADDS Project Coordinator and CVAN, NW members) for the venue curators and Guest Curator,
• Share knowledge and undertake any research required in relation to North West based artists, their studios and networks to support artist selection and liaison, and gallery interpretation,
• Work across venues to help facilitate successful realisation of exhibitions, liaising with artists, curators and venues within an agreed schedule
• Ensure that the Exhibitions Working Group and Art: ADDS Regional Steering Group are regularly informed of developments
• Support the development of artist talks, tours etc.
• Contribute to the evaluation of the exhibitions and events programme

This role is about adding value to the existing teams at each of the host venues and ensuring that the exhibitions programme is cohesive and that it successfully and objectively profiles North West based artists across the whole region.

Fee and Expenses:
A fee of £2,500 to include VAT (if applicable) and expenses is available for this work. The Freelance Assistant Curator will be responsible for his / her own Tax and NI contributions.

We anticipate that the work will mostly happen in the early stages of the contract however some of the artist liaison work will continue throughout. The successful candidate is responsible for managing their workload in line with the needs of the project, however as a guide we anticipate a minimum requirement of the equivalent of 20 days work.

How to apply:
Applicants should send the following documents to Emma Fry by 9am on Monday 12 January 2015:

• CV
• Statement, on no more than two sides of A4, demonstrating their knowledge of North West based artists and studio providers, and outlining how their skills and knowledge meet the brief.

Interviews will take place in Manchester on Tuesday 27 January and ideally the successful candidate will start on Monday 2 February 2015.

Location: Based in own office, travel will be required
Duration of freelance contract: February 2015 to September 2015
Fee: £2,500 (including VAT and expenses)

Image: Edwina Fitzpatrick with a video camera attached to a 1.7 metre helium filled balloon part of a year long experiment involving videoing forest thresholds working with the Forestry Commission in Grizedale Forest, one of several organisations working to strengthen the visual arts through CVAN North West.