Curatorial and Special Programs Intern

Program stream:
Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage
Job title:
Curatorial and Special Programs Intern
Organization name:
The Art Gallery of Peterborough
Job location:
Peterborough, Ontario
Length of assignment:
2023-09-25 to 2024-03-29 (26.57 weeks)
Hourly wage:
Application Deadline: September 11, 2023

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.

Applicants must be YCW eligible.

The Art Gallery of Peterborough is seeking a Curatorial and Special Projects Intern through the Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage 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, or class.

The Art Gallery of Peterborough (AGP) is a non-profit gallery with a long 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 make significant contributions to a local culture that is already rich with talented artists. We develop programs that support our exhibitions and encourage discourse through lectures, workshops, and publications. Our curatorial choices are informed by current practices, art theory, and criticism and guided by a commitment to presenting work by diverse artists. The Permanent Collection now numbers over 1,800 artworks including contemporary and historical paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, photographs, and mixed media works, both Canadian and international in origin.

A recent Facility Upgrade Project (2015) included new HVAC systems, improved environmental controls, and upgrades to our vault storage systems allowing us to maintain our Category A collecting status and our ability to manage exhibitions. Through this process we were able to update records and digitize 80% of the Collection, creating new opportunities for research.

2024 is the 50th anniversary of the Art Gallery of Peterborough. The Curatorial and Special Projects Intern is integral to the full achievement of our 50th-anniversary celebrations.

Project & Job Objectives:
Though temporary, the Curatorial and Special Projects Intern (C & SP) will be quickly integrated into regular operations and special preparations for our 50th-anniversary celebrations. They will work closely with the Director, Curator, and all AGP staff during a pivotal season and focus on two special projects and one curatorial initiative.

Digital Exhibition Archive Project
The Art Gallery of Peterborough has a rich archival history of exhibitions dating back to 1974. The Curatorial and Special Projects Intern would assist with the migration of archival data, as it pertains to the exhibition history of the Art Gallery of Peterborough, to the gallery’s digital archive available through our newly designed website. This would include using the gallery’s physical archive to research and gather information about artists, dates, exhibition titles, and images where applicable.

50th Anniversary Oral History Project
The Art Gallery of Peterborough was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers who saw the need for a regional gallery in Peterborough in the mid-1970s. The stories of our founding members and volunteers are crucial to the history of our organization. As we enter our 50th anniversary year, we want to share those stories with the public. The Curatorial and Special Projects Intern would support an oral history project that documents the stories of our earliest members. The successful applicant will assist with research and information gathering, scheduling interviews, and documenting each story. This project will culminate in a celebratory video to be shared on the gallery’s website and social media platforms.

50th Anniversary Exhibition: In Dialogue
The Art Gallery of Peterborough was founded with the intention to collect contemporary works of art to document the practice of the region within the context of Canadian and international contemporary art. Our collection predates the official incorporation, and we received Category A Designation from the Department of Canadian Heritage in 1981. Now, with over 1800 works in the collection including works by notable artists deeply connected with the region such as Carl Beam, Dorothy Caldwell, Mary Anne Barkhouse, and David Bierk alongside internationally recognized artists like Andy Warhol, Joyce Wieland, and Rita Letendre, our holdings tell the story of this institution’s contributions.
This project intends to facilitate intergenerational dialogues between established and emerging artists in response to selected works from the Permanent Collection. The Curatorial and Special Projects Intern will play a pivotal role in the development and delivery of this key project for our 50th anniversary year.

Our ideal candidate will have completed at minimum an undergraduate degree in Art History, Curatorial Practice, or a related field and a sincere interest in pursuing a career in the field. They may have also completed a graduate degree or certificate. Prior experience volunteering or working in a gallery setting will be considered an asset. As this work plan centers around three main tasks – coordination, research, and curatorial support – the ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and interest in each area. Knowledge of the current dialogues and practices in Canadian Contemporary art is a major asset. Research and critical thinking skills from a related field of study will also be considered an asset (arts education, history, Canadian studies, Indigenous studies, cultural studies, and literature). This position requires working with a team, artists, the public, and volunteers. The successful 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, experience with databases, and knowledge of media equipment such as DSLR cameras and audio recorders are also an asset.

Access to training will be provided.
Orientation and Supervision will be carried out by the Director and Curator.

We support our staff, volunteers, and interns in their career development. We provide one-on-one mentorship that lasts beyond working relationships, honest and often glowing letters of recommendation, and send relevant job postings and calls from across Ontario and beyond. The majority of our past Young Canada Works employees and interns have found fulfilling permanent positions in the sector including the McMichael, AGO, Museumpros, Museum London, Pickering Museum, and Total Fine Art to name a recent few.

Throughout their placement, the C & SPI will engage in one-on-one mentoring sessions with the Director and Curator, and be able to request mentoring meetings with other staff of interest (Education Programming Coordinator, Operations Assistant, Communications, and Volunteer Coordinator). During these meetings, the C & SPI will have the chance to gain insights into different career paths, and the range of opportunities in the sector, and seek personalized advice and guidance. The Director and Curator will create appropriate networking opportunities and bridge connections. During the final months of the position, the Intern will be supported in job searches and be able to consult the mentors in their pursuit of any jobs of interest.