POSITION: Chief Curator
COMPANY: The Polygon Gallery
LOCATION: North Vancouver, B.C.
REPORTS TO: CEO
DIRECT REPORTS: Curator, Gallery Manager, Curatorial Assistants and Interns
NOC CODE: 0511
Located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, The Polygon Gallery (The Polygon) is a vibrant art institution that inspires cultural insight through adventurous programming. A non-collecting public art gallery, The Polygon is committed to championing artists and cultivating engaged audiences, with a mandate that centers on the histories and evolving technologies of photography, film, and video.
The Polygon champions curatorial innovation and showcases new work by emerging, established, and under-represented artists, as well as the art of its region. The Gallery’s program engages in global conversations while seeking to interpret image cultures not traditionally represented in art galleries.
Originally operating as Presentation House Gallery, The Polygon is a federally registered charity. Since the early 1980s the Polygon has mounted over three hundred solo, group, and thematic exhibitions featuring acclaimed artists – both world‐renowned and emerging – and innovative exhibitions of historic and vernacular photography. With an operating budget for 2022 of $3.7 million, the Polygon is well-positioned financially for future growth.
Situated on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəýəm (Musqueam) Nations, The Polygon is committed to the development of visual and lens-based practices and to creating pathways for new voices, particularly as it articulates new narratives from artists outside the Eurocentric perspective of many art galleries.
The Polygon is committed to inclusivity, believing that art should be accessible to all. To acknowledge financial barriers, admission to The Polygon is offered on a by-donation basis - all day, every day – with exhibition tours, talks, and outreach programs included. The Polygon is focused on providing a fun and welcoming environment for children and families, so that from an early age people can come to know The Polygon as their place for interacting with, and learning about, art.
This is an exciting leadership opportunity for a visionary chief curator to help shape the future of a significant west coast gallery. The Audain Chief Curator (“Chief Curator”) will mentor and lead programming staff and will provide guidance and direction as The Polygon continues to expand its commitment to the development of lens-based practices and new artistic narratives. The Chief Curator will advocate and champion The Polygon’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.
The Chief Curator is a member of the senior management team; reporting to and in consultation with the Director, the Chief Curator is responsible for developing and executing exhibitions, publications, and public and outreach programming for The Polygon Gallery. Together with the Director, the Chief Curator sets the long-term curatorial vision for The Polygon in alignment with the strategic plan.
Exhibitions, Publications, and Outreach
- Contribute original research in contemporary and historical art to the exhibition and publication program.
- Develop concepts and conduct necessary research in preparation for exhibitions, including studio visits with artists, travel, and primary scholarship.
- Develop and oversee exhibition production.
- In liaison with the Director, develop short- and long-term budgets for The Polygon’s artistic program, including exhibitions, publications, and outreach programs.
- Manage budgets for research, exhibitions, publications, and outreach programs.
- Coordinate exhibition shipping, registration, installation, maintenance, and de-installation, etc., with the Director of Operations & Exhibition Production.
- Develop concepts and conduct necessary research in preparation for publications.
- Develop and oversee coordination of program-related publication execution including writing, editing, design, prepress, production, and distribution.
- Develop concepts and conduct necessary research for public and outreach Programs.
- Oversee the coordination of public programming including program and event development, coordination, execution, and dissemination.
- Collaborate and consult with senior management, members of the Board, collectors, volunteers, and the art community to expand The Polygon’s audience by creating exhibitions, programs, and publications that capture and engage a diverse audience.
- Encourage the active academic life of the curatorial department, supporting and engaging in research, publication, and the exchange of information.
- Lead education and outreach efforts: ensuring the enhancement of visitor experiences, engaging a diverse public, developing provocative programs, and contributing to audience development.
- Actively participate in the local, national and international cultural communities.
- Assist in cultivation and management of strategic relationships, including those with donors.
- Act as one of The Polygon’s spokespeople and representation to government, sponsors, and the media, in particular regarding specific programming initiatives.
- Contribute to policies, procedures, and strategic planning for The Polygon.
- Lead the hiring of new curatorial staff members, including their onboarding and ongoing development.
- In liaison with the Director and development staff, contribute to all grant and funding applications.
- Manage gallery staff regarding exhibition, publication, and outreach programs.
- Oversee and maintain information flow between all gallery staff about exhibition, publication, and outreach programs.
- Work collaboratively with all staff for the success and advancement of The Polygon.
- Assist in the development and ongoing review of policies pertinent to all aspects of curatorial responsibilities and actions.
Marketing & Communications
- In liaison with the Director and marketing staff, write and contribute content for gallery website, newsletter, and other marketing and communications platforms.
- In liaison with the Director and marketing staff, oversee exhibition-specific marketing and PR.
- A minimum of 5 years’ leadership experience at a contemporary art institution., with experience in curating exhibitions, and/or gallery development.
- A passion for contemporary art and familiarity with artists working across a range of disciplines and contexts.
- The vision and ability to re-imagine programming a contemporary gallery to provide relevance to its community.
- An ability to set clear strategic goals and execute on them.
- A proven ability to lead, motivate, and develop a committed team of staff.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated capacity for engaging, persuading, and inspiring a broad variety of audiences, stakeholders, and partners.
- Knowledge and understanding of the use of digital media, and an interest in creating dialogues between virtual and in-person platforms.
- Entrepreneurial approaches to programming a unique gallery in a contemporary context.
- Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with national and international artists, partners, donors, and funders.
- Experience effectively developing and managing a budget, with an ability to make difficult choices where necessary.
- A commitment to Equity, Indigeneity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
A competitive compensation package will be offered, complete with salary (range between $100,000 to $115,000) and benefits.
HOW TO APPLY
Please apply by email with your cover letter and resume by no later than Saturday, October 15th, 2022. Send to: Polygon@searchlightpartnersgroup.com
The Polygon Gallery is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of the audiences we serve.
We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and equity seeking groups, including from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous persons, and persons with disabilities.
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for interviews will be contacted by Searchlight Partners.