Curatorial Assistant

  • Program stream: Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations
  • Job title: Curatorial Assistant
  • Organization name: The Art Gallery of Peterborough
  • Job location: Peterborough, Ontario
  • Length of assignment: 2021-06-10 to 2021-08-27 (11.14 weeks)
  • Hourly wage: $16.87

How to apply:

Apply through the Young Canada Works portal with a cover letter detailing your interest and suitability for the position along with a current resume or CV by May 10, 2021.

Applicants must be YCW eligible.

The Art Gallery of Peterborough is seeking a Curatorial Assistant through the Young Canada Works Program. Candidates must be full-time students who are returning to studies on a full-time basis in the next academic year as is the requirement of the YCW program.

The AGP is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage applications from all qualified candidates. We are committed to building an inclusive and barrier-free environment for staff, volunteers, artists, visitors, and patrons. We actively work to reflect the diversity of our community. As such, applicants will not be discriminated against for any reason, including but not limited to issues of race, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class.

About the AGP: The Art Gallery of Peterborough (AGP) is a non-profit gallery with a history of ground-breaking exhibitions and programs. Located in the heart of the city of Peterborough, we are rooted in the Kawartha region yet reach across the nation to present and collect contemporary Canadian art. We develop programs that support our exhibitions and encourage discourse through talks, workshops, and publications. We are committed to providing multiple access points that are welcoming and inspiring while remaining challenging.

Applicants are encouraged to explore our website, for insight into our operations, including our five-year Strategic Plan.

Project & Job Objectives: The Curatorial Assistant (CA) is an essential part of the AGP team and will work closely with the Director and Curator. The AGP provides important programming and access to art with a small staff allowing the CA to integrate quickly into many aspects of curatorial work and make a strong contribution to the gallery. The AGP is a prime environment in which to gain experience with art handling and an in-depth understanding of the behind-the-scenes work required to present exhibitions and engage the public. Contributions of the CA will allow us to create additional access points to exhibitions and our permanent collection.

Given the current situation with COVID-19, the CA’s workplans will adapt as we continue to provide programming and services keeping the health and wellbeing of our staff, audience, and artists front of mind. Whether onsite or off, AGP staff is fully supported with tools to enable communication, teamwork, and independent work. All staff have access to Microsoft Teams along with a full suite of Office Software to enable smooth transition between in person and remote work. The CA will receive this same support and will be integrated as a member of our permanent staff. Training and supervision will be delivered in person or remotely as the situation allows.

The CA’s work will centre on three main tasks: art handling, collection research and management, and public engagement. The CA will work closely with the Director and Curator to:

• install modified exhibitions

• implement supplemental programming assist in the development and presentation of outreach programming (digital programs and engagement activities, offsite programming, onsite collection and exhibition related activities, and partnered summer programming)

• assist in the preparations for fall exhibitions (modification plans as needed, shipping, installation planning, promotion)

• contribute to a body of research on the Permanent Collection and assist the Curator in Collections management administration

• assist in the development of social media content and interpretive documents for the education program

• interact with the public during open hours according to all health and safety guidelines

• maintain the high standards of safety as recommended by government health officials

Orientation and Supervision will primarily be carried out by the Director and Curator.

Our ideal candidate will have a background in contemporary art and an interest in pursuing a career in the field and will have prior experience volunteering or working in a gallery setting. As this work plan centres on three main tasks: art handling, research, and art interpretation/public engagement – the ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and interest in each area. Knowledge of studio or curatorial practice, art history or arts administration would be an advantage. Research and critical thinking skills from a related field of study will also be considered an asset (history, Canadian studies, Indigenous studies, cultural studies, and literature).

This position requires working with artists, the public and volunteers. Strong interpersonal skills and experience dealing with the public and group dynamics in a courteous and effective manner is essential. The ideal candidate will have organizational and problem-solving skills and be computer literate. Computer skills required: Word, Excel. Photoshop is considered an asset. Comfort with remote working software such as Zoom and Microsoft teams is also an asset.

Characteristics of city /region

Peterborough is a diverse and active community with a population of approximately 81,000 people, offers excellent opportunities with both Trent University and Fleming College located in the City. The community and region is culturally rich, with many festivals and activities happening throughout the year.

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