Thursday, April 16, 2009

Professional Practices; Artist as Curator Project

According to Wikipedia, a curator's responsibilities are as such: "In smaller organizations, a curator may have sole responsibility for the acquisition and care of objects. The curator will make decisions regarding what objects to collect, oversee their care and documentation, conduct research based on the collection, provide proper packaging of art for transport, and share that research with the public and scholarly community through exhibitions and publications."
I believe that when an artist takes on a curatorial role it becomes another great tool to add to their arsenal. You gain a knowledge not only of how to put a good show together and how to take care of work such as storing it, etc., but you also get linked into the art world in a way that a regular artist does not. You meet more people and you have a higher level of respect I feel because you're in a position of power and therefore will have the opportunity to meet people higher up in the art world. This can be especially useful when it comes to getting your own work shown.
On the downside, you have to share your time between creating your own work and putting shows together. Therefore, your work can be put on the back burner because shows have deadlines whereas your work doesn't always.
My favorite artist curated show is Is It Possible to Make a Photograph of New Jersey Regardless of Where You Are in the World?. The artist that curated it is actually considered a full-time blogger more so than an artist: Laurel Ptak. Laurel runs the world famous blog, i heart photograph. In the end of 2007 Laurel was asked to curate a show for the Pierro Gallery in New Jersey and she settled on the concept of putting out an open call for entries of images of New Jersey created from anywhere in the world. Submissions had to be entered in digital form and if chosen were printed and featured in the gallery space as well as on Laurel's blog. Anyone could submit in any form, even camera phone submissions were asked for. The entries numbered in the thousands and were extremely entertaining to say the very least. To see the full pdf file of the show's catalog, go here. I highly recommend checking it out.

I know the deadline has already passed for this call for submissions, however it's the best one I found that peaked my interest. I found it on

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, Toronto, ON
Deadline March 1, 2009

Call for Submissions from Artists and Curators

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to the advancement of photographic art. We encourage the submission of exhibition proposals from emerging, mid-career and established artists and curators who are innovative in their use of materials and approach to subject matter.

Gallery 44 views photography within the larger context of contemporary artistic practices and relevant cultural issues in Canadian society.

Submission Guidelines
Please submit the following:

1. A maximum of twenty slides or digital images (CD must be readable on MAC OSX) representing a recent body of work or a specific project. Digital images should be:

RGB, jpeg format no larger than 1024 x 768 pixels at 300 dpi. They should be numbered 01 to 20 (01_tree, 02_house, 03_car etc.) Slides must be: numbered and marked with the artist's name and a red dot in the lower left corner. GALLERY 44 DOES NOT ACCEPT ORIGINAL ARTWORK.

2. An image list indicating title, year, medium and dimensions.

3. An artist's statement, curatorial statement, or other written description.

4. A physical description of the proposed exhibition, including the number of works, the space required and any unusual installation requirements.

5. A curriculum vitae, resume or biography of the artist(s) and/or curator (including all artists if it is a curated exhibition).

6. A self-addressed envelope (SASE) with sufficient return postage. Without an SASE we will not return submission packages and will dispose of submission materials appropriately.

Gallery 44 welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other arts and community organizations. Please contact us to discuss your project.

Please see for a floor plan of the gallery and further information.

Contact and mailing address for submissions:

Melissa Bennett, Exhibition Coordinator
Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond Street West, Suite #120
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
P 416.979.3941
F 416.979.1695

No comments: