AGNES is hiring! Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture

15 November 2021

Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University is seeking a dynamic culture-leader to fill a new role of Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture. This is a full-time, permanent position.

Join us at this pivotal and transformational moment in Agnes’s future! Thanks to the incredible lead gift of $40 million (USD) from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. in 2020, we have been presented with the very rare opportunity to entirely rethink an arts facility (and museological practice!), from the ground up. In Agnes Reimagined Indigenous and western world views sit side-by-side as equals.

In addition to:

  • 50% increase in exhibition space,
  • 144% increase in public programming space,
  • 25% increase in vault space,
  • state-of-the-art conservation teaching and research laboratories and art-centred study spaces, and
  • the return of the historic Etherington House to a “home” to create a live-in, artist residency.

Agnes Reimagined creates Agnes’s first-ever spaces for the proper care of and access by Indigenous communities to historicized ancestors and cultural materials currently held in our care.

With the input of the Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture, the Indigenous Advisory Circle, the Associate Curator, Indigenous Care and Relations and all staff at Agnes, Agnes Reimaged plans for new Indigenous self-determination spaces for ceremony, gathering and sacred fire.

Led by Agnes’s Director and Curator, Emelie Chhangur, Agnes Reimagined will amplify our capacity to foster and relay intersectional connections across the disciplines and communities that converge when a public, university-affiliated art institution is both civically minded and pedagogically driven. This is one of two endowed curatorial positions at Agnes, twinning the Bader Curator of European Art. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture position is endowed by Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Come work with us!

Job Summary

Visit Queen’s University’s Career Q for details.
Competition #J0921-0615
Salary: $70,352–$87,295/Year, 35 hours per week + benefits and pension
Closing Date: 3 January 2022

Situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory, Agnes Etherington Art Centre is a curatorially driven and research-intensive professional art centre that proudly serves a dual mandate as a leading, internationally recognized public art gallery and as an active pedagogical resource at Queen’s University. By commissioning, researching, stewarding, acquiring and engaging with works of art, and by exhibiting and interpreting visual culture through an intersectional lens, Agnes creates opportunities for participation and exchange across communities, cultures, histories and geographies. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture contributes to Agnes’s social, civic and pedagogical role as a cultural change leader that deepens relations, builds trust, advances social justice and enacts the work of Indigenization.

Working closely with the team of Agnes curators, the Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture is responsible for Agnes’s curatorial program, both on- and off-site and through digital platforms, ensuring its vitality and social relevance by researching, writing, and developing exhibitions and related public and community activities within a coherent artistic vision; by producing high-quality, innovative interpretive material and publications; and by overseeing installation design and effective communication and promotion. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture is also responsible for Agnes’s significant Indigenous art collection of over 700 works from all periods, and its relationship to other collecting areas at Agnes. Recognizing Agnes’s commitment to working alongside Indigenous communities and fostering Indigenous-led access to collections, Guardian Capital Group Limited donated its Indigenous Art Collection of sixty-four works from over ten different communities in 2020. These works constitute an important and nuanced record of the emergence and recognition of contemporary Indigenous art in the 1970s. Agnes also actively builds relationships with contemporary artists in directly purchasing works of art, including Ogimaa Mikana’s towering Never Stuck (2018) on Queen’s campus.

Ogimaa Mikana, Never Stuck, 2018, vinyl transfer on Mackintosh-Corry Hall. Photo: Tim Forbes

Ogimaa Mikana, Never Stuck, 2018, vinyl transfer. Purchase, Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund, 2019

Rebecca Belmore, Quote, Misquote, Fact, 2003, graphite on cotton rag vellum

Rebecca Belmore, Quote, Misquote, Fact, 2003, graphite on cotton rag vellum. Gift of Rebecca Belmore, 2004

This position acknowledges that Indigenous knowledge and lived community experience are key to Indigenous-led museum practices. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture will help to produce and facilitate curatorial programs informed and driven by Indigenous priorities and needs in an institutional setting, along with the required negotiation and relationship-building.

Adhering to evolving museum practices and current trends in community-engaged artistic and curatorial practice, the Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture plays a sector-defining and influential role that reimagines curatorial work within both a public and an academic setting. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture has and maintains awareness of key developments and advancements in decolonial museum work and in the field of Indigenous art, and fosters long-term relationships with scholars, specialists, knowledge keepers and community members, locally, nationally and globally. The Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture engages with students and faculty across the academic community of Queen’s and with the wider public, offering periodic talks, seminars and tours, engaging in shared research initiatives, and supervising internships, practica and research studentships.

This position requires the incumbent to work flexible hours from time to time in support of Agnes public and academic events.

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