Curator/Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions
• Full-time, permanent position
• Curatorial and Digital Division
• Reports to the Director, Curatorial and Digital
Please note: the MCA will appoint at the level of Curator or Senior Curator depending on the experience and seniority of the preferred candidate.
The MCA acknowledges the enormous contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, staff, educators, arts professionals and guests have made to the fabric of the museum since its inception. Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice has long been central to MCA collection and exhibition programs. In addition, the MCA offers a number of important programs that focus on enhancing the engagement of visitors, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences, with contemporary art and ideas. This exciting opportunity forms part of the MCA’s commitment to assisting in building experience and capacity within a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts professionals.
Overview of the Division
The Curatorial and Digital Division is one of four divisions at MCA. The purpose of the Curatorial and Digital Division is to initiate, develop and deliver the presentation and care of artworks and the ideas they generate, respecting the centrality of artists and art in those processes. Members of the Curatorial and Digital Division collaborate to conceive, research and deliver all of MCA’s exhibitions, offsite projects, commissions, displays and digital programs, as well as caring for, maintaining and developing the Collection that sits at the heart of MCA’s offer. Within Curatorial and Digital, there are three clusters: Collection and Exhibitions Management, Curatorial, and Digital. This post sits within the Curatorial cluster.
Overview of the position
The MCA’s vision is to take a leadership role in shaping a creative and equitable Australia that values contemporary art and artists, and we are committed to making contemporary art accessible and inspiring for everyone.
The Curator/Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions closely complements the role of Leader, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives and is informed by the guidelines and goals – including those relating to collection development and exhibition programming – set out in the MCA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy.
Reporting directly to the Director, Curatorial and Digital, the Curator/Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions works particularly closely with the Senior Curator, Collection and Exhibitions and within a curatorial team responsible for planning and development of the exhibition and artist commissions program as well as development and presentation of the MCA Collection. In particular, they are responsible for the research,planning, development and delivery of selected contemporary exhibitions and other artistic projects involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
The Curator/Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions is actively involved with MCA projects that involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, artists and community. The position is responsible for undertaking and supporting research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the MCA Collection as well as provide advice on and research supporting collection development. The position contributes to the broader research and planning work of the curatorial team particularly (but not solely) by sharing as appropriate expertise pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, art practices and possible exhibitions.
The post-holder contributes to meetings of the Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and the Artists’ Advisory Group; forms key relationships with other arts and cultural organisations; is responsible for seeking funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibitions through applications to appropriate funding bodies in Australia and overseas, as well as agencies and selected private foundations; and works closely with colleagues across the Museum to ensure the MCA’s objectives of promoting wider public engagement with contemporary art are realised.
Tasks and responsibilities of the position
• Develop and contribute to and/or lead delivery of selected contemporary exhibitions and other artistic projects, in particular involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
• Contribute to MCA’s artistic program development and planning through participation in programming committee, in particular providing recommendations on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and possible exhibitions.
• Contribute to development of MCA Collection through involvement in acquisitions committee, including in particular undertaking research and providing advice on possible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks for acquisition.
• Undertake and support research on artworks in MCA Collection by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
• Write and edit exhibition catalogue, gallery brochures, introductory wall texts and other interpretative material, providing appropriate contextual information and developing resources for visitors with each project; coordinate the development of content for exhibition catalogues, from commissioning of writers to liaison with designers, editors and photographers; sourcing of images and coordination of copyright clearances with Assistant Curators.
• Support colleagues in Learning with production of audience and learning resources supporting work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists on exhibition and in MCA Collection.
• Undertake documentation pertaining to existing collection artworks as well as new acquisition.
• Write interpretative labels, collection online texts and other related materials on exhibited and MCA Collection artworks, particularly but not exclusively by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
• Present floor talks, lectures, tours, briefings for colleagues, news media, sponsors, patrons, Ambassadors and Members and, as required, publish articles about exhibitions and MCA Collection artworks, particularly but not exclusively by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
• Work closely with the Leader, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives and other colleagues in Audience Engagement from time-to-time to support strategic development and realisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs for arange of audiences; as well as with the Digital, Marketing and PR teams to provide culturally relevant advice to build and connect with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.
• Ensure the appropriate evaluation and documentation of exhibition projects once they are complete.
• Contribute to meetings of the Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and Artists’ Advisory Group.
• Develop key relationships with other arts, cultural and community organisations.
• Seek funding opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibitions and
contribute to drafting of funding applications to appropriate funding bodies in Australia
and overseas, as well as agencies and selected private foundations.
• Keep informed about contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice.
General requirements of all MCA employees
We require that all of our employees:
• demonstrate support for innovation and for organisational changes required to improve the MCA’s effectiveness
• work cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions and recognise the merits of diverse perspectives and the ideas of others
• demonstrate commitment to, and knowledge of, the principles and application of equal employment opportunities and anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace
• work in accordance with the principles of equity, access and fairness. Respect WHS work practices and procedures; work with due care and consideration to safeguard your own health and safety and the health and safety of others.
Key selection criteria
Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have:
• a thorough knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture including an understanding of the needs of artists and the community, and of issues and current debates surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and its public presentation. Aboriginality is a genuine occupational qualification for this position and is authorised by section 14 of the Anti-Discrimination Act, 1977
• extensive experience in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait artists, communities, and organisations as well as minimum of 3 years curatorial or related museum/gallery experience
• a commitment to the Museum’s objective of promoting the work of living artists to broad audiences through the imaginative and creative presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander work
• accomplishment in public speaking, research, writing and editing; proven experience as a writer of interpretative texts on exhibitions and artworks for a variety of audiences
• sound organisational skills and commitment to work collaboratively: proven ability to work well in a team, to collaborate across departments, to set priorities and meet competing deadlines
• the ability to represent the Museum, its policies and values publicly.
It would be good if applicants have:
• tertiary qualifications in visual art or fine art/art history or related area
• demonstrated skills in Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.
The Curator/Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions is expected to be highly motivated, show initiative, and be enthusiastic about contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and visual culture. They should be creative, with a can- do-attitude, able to cope with changing priorities and pressured deadlines whilst maintaining a flexible approach. The position-holder is a good team player with excellent interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions and recognise the merits of diverse perspectives and the ideas of others.
Terms and conditions of employment
This is a full-time, permanent position reporting to the Director, Curatorial and Digital. Some work out of normal hours (9am – 5.30pm) will be required to cover the MCA’s exhibitions and programs.
Salary package includes:
• annual leave: 4 weeks
• personal leave: 10 days
• superannuation: 10% super payments (in accordance with the Superannuation
Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992).
The appointment will be conditional on an initial three-month probationary period, which may also be extended (at the MCA’s discretion) for additional three months. Thereafter termination by either party will require written notice of four weeks.
Closing date 9am, Friday 8 October 2021.Find Out More
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