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Curator of Collections & Contemporary Art Engagement


Posting Summary

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In consultation with the Director/Curator, the Curator of Collections and Contemporary Art Engagement (hereafter referred to as Collections Curator) is responsible for managing York University's art collection, maintaining its safe keeping, and developing policy in relation to ethical procurement, storage, exhibition, and loans with a particular focus on developing best practices for the stewardship and collection of Indigenous and cultural objects and artworks. The Collections Curator will work with the Director/ Curator in relation to artwork acquisitions, assisting and guiding the Acquisitions Committee constituted of internal and external members. They will work with Advancement in vetting artwork donation requests and bringing these requests to the Acquisition Committee. They will develop contracts for new acquisitions and loans. They will work with the Director/Curator and Advancement to generate revenue related to artwork acquisitions and to prepare foundation and project grant applications in relation to the art collection and collection related exhibitions. Essential to this position is researching and developing programming related to the art collection and the overall management of the art collection, cataloguing, photography, maintenance and restoration, deaccessioning, lending, borrowing, international and domestic shipping, customs, insurance, inventory, climate control, security, and archival and storage spaces in line with the AGYU strategic plans and vision. A key aspect of the position is related to the AGYU's drive towards accessibility, and as such the Collections Curator will manage and oversee the transition of the University's art collection into a Visible Vault available for internal and external research. The new Visible Vault will have a study area and be accessible for individual research and class study. They will ensure the safe keeping of the University's art collection while making it available for study. As part of the goal toward accessibility, the Collections Curator will be responsible for bringing the art collection catalogue online in a searchable database, which will require knowledge across disciplines and platforms from art history to website development. They will require knowledge of rights and reproduction copyright law and will manage interns, contract, and student employees in organizing and developing content for this public database. In relation to the AGYU collections, the Collections Curator will contribute to the discourse of art collecting, building relationships with artists, art organizations, collectors, and gallerists as part of building community and knowledge around the practice of art collecting. Using the University's art collection as their base, they will engage with the public and university communities across multiple platforms from exhibitions to performances, including lectures, publications, and diverse forms of public engagement. As a member of the AGYU curatorial team, the Collections Curator will join in leading efforts to ethically and responsibly develop collections and documentation across subject areas. This position will advance initiatives to diversify the social and cultural perspectives represented in art collections and to support interdisciplinary research and learning in the field of contemporary art.

Post-Graduate MA degree with emphasis on fine art, art history, curatorial studies or archival studies, or equivalent experience.

Must have worked as a curator within a public arts organization or institution for a minimum of six (6) years. At least two (2) years' experience working with public or private art collections. Must have experience relevant to the exhibition and presentation of contemporary art. Must demonstrate recent contribution to the development of critical thought in the procurement, presentation, acquisition, and deaccession of art collections in the public realm.

Knowledge of art collecting practices both public and private, with a discursive understanding of best practices in relation to building and caring for a legacy art collection.
Essential that the candidate have critical and discursive skills to both support and critique art institutional thinking from art collection practices to working with a diversity of artists' practices.
The ability to implement anti-racist and anti-oppression working methodologies when engaging artists and audience is essential. These practices will be applied to the acquisition, exhibition, loan, and maintenance of York University's art collection.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills for writing publications, press releases, grant and fundraising applications, speaking with the media and public advocacy is a necessity.
Must have experience developing and presenting exhibitions from public and private art collections, mounting exhibitions within gallery spaces.
Experience commissioning artworks and working with artists in a social engaged manner is essential.
The candidate must be knowledgeable of potential partners having knowledge and networks within public museums and galleries both local and international. This knowledge will be applied to potential exhibition collaborations, commissions, and co-ownerships in relation to York University's art collection.
Knowledge and networks within community and education-based art organizations to develop cooperative programs as well as gain knowledge of contemporary art practices.
Knowledge of government granting agencies at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels with a proven track record of grant writing with successful outcomes. Knowledge of individual donors, collectors, and businesses and corporations who are ethical donors and receptive to supporting contemporary art an asset.
Understanding and working knowledge of museum standards in relation to art work storage and preservation. Practical experience with art-handling and shipping is a must with professional knowledge of insurance protocols and condition reporting.

Additional Notes:
This position requires the candidate to produce a verification of degree(s), credentials(s), or equivalencies from accredited institutions and/or international equivalents at the time of interview.The Art Gallery is a high-paced intensive environment where the Collections Curator must attend to numerous projects and programs consecutively. Attention to detail and strict deadlines is required. The candidate will periodically work within art installation conditions with evening and weekend work. Travel for exhibition and program research purposes as well as for other gallery related business is involved. Higher than normal sensory effort required and the need for high level of accuracy/precision to attend to fulfilling artistic requirements of artist(s) and exhibition themes when mounting/overseeing exhibition installations, critiquing art etc. It is a social and collaborative environment that engages with the public and works with a multiplicity of of stakeholders from local and international artists to community and student groups. AGYU occupies colonized Indigenous territories, and out of respect for the rights of Indigenous people we accept our collective responsibility to recognize our colonial histories as well as their present-day manifestations and to honour, protect, and sustain this land. AGYU promotes 2SLGBTQIAP positive spaces & experiences and works towards being barrier free. It is an environment that is committed to anti-racism. We work to eradicate institutional racial biases and develop accountable programs that support Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. AGYU is an artist-centered organization that has a commitment to research and expression, which includes building audiences for contemporary art.

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York's CPM Compensation Framework has a salary grid consisting of 6 or 8 steps (depending on job grade) which is reviewed annually with possible adjustments, and a lump sum Performance Based Recognition Award. Employees will receive the grid adjustment and depending on performance, eligible permanent employees may move to the next step of the grid and may receive a lump sum Performance Based Recognition Award.Visit the CPM Compensation page on the HR Website to find out more about York's CPM Compensation Program.


The University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including, but not limited to women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities (racialized), Indigenous Peoples and persons of any gender identity and sexual orientation. York University is committed to a positive, supportive and inclusive environment.

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PLEASE NOTE: Applications must be received by 11:55 pm EST on the posted deadline date, if applicable.