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Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture

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Competition Number: J0921-0615
Position Title: Curator, Indigenous Art and Culture
Employee Group: Research, Grant & Contract
Job Category: Arts and Culture
Department or Area: Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Salary: $70,352.00 - $87,295.00/Year
Grade: 09
Hours per Week: 35
Job Type: Permanent (Continuing)
Shift: 7 Monday - Friday
Number Of Positions: 1
Date Posted: November 15, 2021
Closing Date: January 3, 2022
Additional Information:
This position is eligible for pension and health benefits. Additional information can be found:

COVID 19 On-Campus Requirements

The Queen’s University Policy Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for In-person University Activities requires ALL Community Members, including employees, to be Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to participating in any In-person University Activities. This is a condition of employment for all employees who are required to attend University Property to perform their employment responsibilities. Individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to substantiated grounds (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code) may ask the University to validate the exemption and request an accommodation for these rare circumstances. If approved, they will be subject to additional health and safety measures.

About Queen's University

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We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society.

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Job Summary

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 in close collaboration as part of a team of curators that report to the Chief Curator, 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 collection of art, in particular the care, access, acquisition, research, interpretation and exhibition of Indigenous art from all periods, and its relationship to other collecting areas.

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 standards and current trends in community-engaged artistic and curatorial practice, this position 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 also engages with students and faculty across the academic community of Queen’s University and with the wider public, offering periodic talks, seminars and tours, engaging in shared research initiatives, and supervising internships, practica and research studentships.

The schedule for this position requires the incumbent to work flexible hours from time to time in support of Agnes public and academic events.

Job Description

• Oversees all aspects of the Indigenous curatorial program, including exhibitions, public and academic programs, residencies, publications, collections and commissions.
• Conceptualizes and produces exhibitions across communities, cultures, histories and geographies, including research, budgeting, fundraising, administration, installation design, interpretive materials and catalogues. Serves as coordinating curator for select guest-curated or loan exhibitions.
• Researches, negotiates, and proposes purchases and donations of art for Agnes’s collection, including writing justifications and preparing documentary materials for donor receipting and database records. Respectfully and mindfully expands the representation of contemporary Indigenous art at Agnes.
• Manages the care and access of the Indigenous art collection according to best museum practices, Indigenous-led protocols and cultural sensitivities, including communicating with artists, artists’ estates and community members; directing collections and installation staff and contract conservators; working with the Associate Curator, Indigenous Care and Relations; liaising with the Indigenous Advisory Circle on collections; facilitating community visits with and rematriation/repatriation of historicized ancestors at Agnes; assessing loan and reproduction requests; conducting oral and written research to provide culturally accurate and appropriate interpretive materials and records.
• Assists in securing grants and sponsorships in support of curatorial and operational activities, including identifying funding opportunities, providing necessary materials and writing applications.
• Works creatively with public and academic programs to develop resources and provide opportunities for audience engagement with collections and exhibitions, including talks, seminars, workshops, performances, studios and tours, both digital and in-person.
• Cultivates relationships with artists, elders, knowledge keepers, communities, colleagues, collectors, funders, scholars, peer institutions and community centres in support of Indigenous art and culture at Agnes. Represents, communicates and promotes, as appropriate, Agnes’s Indigenous collections, exhibitions and programs by maintaining an active participation in the field.
• Reviews translations of interpretive materials and helps to maintain a roster of potential translators.
• Leads and participates in creative concept and planning processes with curatorial staff and colleagues (internal and external) to develop exhibitions, programs, collections and residencies in the context of Agnes’s overall schedule and vision. Works collaboratively and responsively as part of Agnes’s staff in a team environment.
• Provides work direction and technical/function guidance to contract employees and volunteers, as required. Assigns tasks for and supervises internships, practica and research studentships. Schedules and assigns work, and oversees its completion. Coordinates and monitors work flow. Provides input on work performance to management staff.
• Undertakes additional responsibilities as needed, in support of Agnes.

• In-depth knowledge of Indigenous art, culture, histories, traditions, knowledge systems, and contemporary issues, on a local, national and global scale. Preference will be given to those who have lived Indigenous experience of and/or existing relations with Indigenous communities.
• Demonstrated record of innovative curating or writing about Indigenous art and culture.
• Graduate-level education in a related discipline such as Indigenous studies, art history, cultural history, curatorial studies or museum studies is considered an asset.
• Dedicated interest in and/or curatorial experience of working with or within an art gallery and/or museum and/or cultural centre through a decolonial lens.
• Familiarity with and knowledge of culturally appropriate approaches to collecting and interpreting Indigenous art and culture in a university or art museum setting.
• Understanding of and respect for the ethical and operational protocols of a public art museum.
• Existing network of contacts within Indigenous art communities is considered an asset.
• Acute collection and oral history research methods is considered an asset.
• Knowledge of Indigenous language(s) is considered an asset.
• Satisfactory Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check required.
• Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.

• Ability to apply an anti-oppressive and anti-racist analysis to decision making and program development, taking into account current issues faced by Indigenous communities and other racialized and equity-deserving groups.
• Superior written and oral communication that is accessible to specialized and diverse audiences.
• Ability to exercise sound judgement in working both independently with minimal supervision and collaboratively with staff, community, volunteers, and students. Respects diversity and promotes equity and inclusion in the workplace.
• Exceptional interpersonal skills, combined with capability to inspire others. Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships in community and across relevant sectors.
• Ability to interact and communicate professionally with a diverse audience, including artists, community members, donors and funders.
• Strong organizational and monitoring skills with a keen attention to detail. Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks, prioritize work flow, track budgets, and see a project through from idea to production.
• Commitment to respectful and Indigenous-centred curatorial principles and practices.

• Prioritizes work and time amongst multiple competing demands. Contributes to decisions with regard to establishing priorities, setting goals, long-term planning and curatorial development.
• Determines effective and collaborative working relationships with staff, colleagues, students, faculty and artists.
• Determines the relevance of research material.
• Recommends communications content, through the lens of equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity and accessibility (EDIIA).
• Makes daily curatorial decisions and resolves problems within policy guidelines; determines when complex problems or sensitive issues should be referred to senior staff and develops appropriate responses to external requests.
• Determines the most effective ways to design, deliver and present exhibitions and programming.
• Makes recommendations for acquisitions of works of art to the Internal and External Acquisition Committees.
• Identifies, researches, and recommends potential funding sources.
• Devises research projects for undergraduate and graduate student interns.
• Determines priorities and makes decisions about contracted specialists (e.g. designers or editors) and occasional casual or short-term employees’/students’ utilization and the assignment of work to achieve optimum productivity.
• Monitors and assesses output and the quality of employees’ work, and recommends need for formal training or development plans to management and identifies possible staff performance and/or disciplinary issues.

Employment Equity and Accessibility Statement

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at

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