Position Title: Director/Curator

Position # 1251

Department: Owens Art Gallery

Classification: Admin Pay scale

Supervisor’s Title:
Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research

Posting Date: June 21, 2018

Apply by emailing: hr@mta.ca

Position Summary:

Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic and Research) and working closely with internal and external stakeholders, the Director/Curator of the Owens Art Gallery is responsible for providing strategic leadership and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Gallery. The Director/Curator is responsible for the Gallery’s budget, grant writing, and fundraising, and must be qualified to provide leadership to Gallery staff, including a Registrar/Preparator, a Curator of Education and Community Outreach, a Curator of Digital Engagement, and a Fine Art Conservator, as well as oversee its collection of over 3,000 works of art.

*Please refer to section B for the required Qualifications, Education and Skills.

Hours of Work: This is a full-time continuing position.

Date of Closure: Applications should be received by the Human Resources department on or before July 9, 2018. Please forward resumes to hr@mta.ca

Administer the year-round activities of the Owens Art Gallery

  • supervise gallery staff, including full-time permanent staff, full and part-time grant employees, and part-time student assistants.
  • supervise student fellowship holders (e.g., Crake ArtsWork Intern) and student mentees.
  • provide curatorial vision for the Gallery’s program of exhibitions and related activities.
  • initiate and curate (and/or contract and supervise guest-curators to organize) specificexhibitions of contemporary or historic art.
  • organize lectures, panel discussions and presentations by nationally and internationallyknown artists, art critics, curators, and art historians.
  • conduct independent research and studio visits (in Canada and abroad); developcuratorial theses, select works, negotiate loan agreements, develop artist contracts and curatorial agreements, write curatorial essays and other catalogue contents, oversee

  • catalogue design and production, and, in collaboration with the Gallery’s Preparator, oversee all exhibition installations and ensure the works are appropriately insured and presented.
  • edit all of the Gallery’s written materials and liaise with photographers, graphic designers, and printers involved in the production of publications.
  • maintain an awareness of local, regional, national, and international contemporary artistic practices and current trends and politics in the art world.
  • maintain awareness of current trends in gallery and museum education practices.Administer Gallery finances
  • plan and prepare the annual budget, oversee the accurate maintenance of the Gallery’s financial records, and be accountable for any variances in budget allocations.
  • supervise and approve spending.
  • maintain up-to-date knowledge of grants available from funding agencies.
  • write funding applications to granting agencies and for student summer employment.
  • plan and implement fund-raising activities, including annual fund-raisers.
  • collaborate with University Advancement in building donor relationships, solicitingdonations, gifts-in-kind, and sponsorships for exhibitions, publications, and collection acquisitions.

    Education and community outreach

    • liaise with Gallery Curator of Education and Community Outreach staff to develop programs for local schools, special populations, and others.
    • oversee the Gallery’s education and outreach program, targeting audiences and new publics both within and outside the university.Public relations, networking and relationship management

      • ensure the Gallery’s website is kept up-to-date.
      • write (or supervise the writing of) press releases, posters, flyers, advertisements, public

      service announcements, and invitations to gallery events; oversee the distribution of PR materials to local media (print, radio/TV, electronic), university departments, and art periodicals.

      • oversee the Gallery’s program of social media and digital outreach.
      • identify specific groups for information distribution; ensure all PR and invitation mailing

      lists, donor lists (including members of the Friends and Fellows of the Gallery) and lists

      of media deadlines are kept current.
      • act as liaison with University Advancement, Alumni, student groups, student newspaper,

      and radio.
      • give interviews for radio, television, newspapers and other media to promote Gallery

      events and attend all Gallery opening receptions and as much of the public programming

      as is feasible (often on evenings or weekends) and address the public at these events.
      • cultivate and sustain projects and programs with University faculty, students, and other members of the MTA community.
      • establish and maintain relationships with other galleries, exhibition venues, including university galleries, private and public galleries, and play a leadership role in advancing the Owens within these circles.
      • maintain and establish new relations to advance curatorial prospects including liaising with other galleries and artists

      • develop strong ties in the art community to establish both national and international artist, curator and exhibition exchanges in addition to leveraging opportunities to display public art.
      • keep current and maintain strong interactions with the international art sector; participate and showcase the Owens as a leader in the art community.
      • act as a steward for the gallery with a strategic outlook on showcasing the Gallery within the Art community.
      • Permanent collection and the Owens building
      • oversee the care and maintenance of the permanent collection (totaling nearly 3,000 works of art), as well as all new acquisitions.
      • oversee the maintenance of the public areas of the Gallery and the Owens building.
      • oversee the Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory and liaise with the Fine Art Conservator
      • in the preservation, restoration, and conservation of the Owens Collection.
      • consult with the Gallery’s Fine Art Conservator and Preparator to ensure that collection
      • works are properly matted, framed, catalogued, registered, photographed, insured, and stored; ensure that professional standards for exhibition installation and for temperature and humidity controls are implemented.
      • chair the Acquisitions Committee, schedule meetings, research and recommend acquisitions to the Committee.
      • in collaboration with the Registrar/Preparator, ensure that permanent collection records are appropriately maintained.
      • in collaboration with the Gallery Preparator and Building Manager, ensure that the Gallery ‘s security and alarm system is properly maintained, both in the vault and in public areas of the Gallery, and that security procedures are learned and followed by all staff.
      • liaise with Mount Allison Facilities Management and with the Registrar/Preparator to ensure that the physical space is well-maintained, clean, safe, accessible, and attractive.
      • ensure that artworks from the collection are available and installed in the President’s residence and office, reception area, and the office of the Provost.
      • oversee the University’s Art on Campus program.
      • manage the Fine Art Department’s archive of graduating student diploma works.

Oversee management, displays and programs for Colville House on the campus of Mount Allison

  • in collaboration with Gallery staff, develop displays, educational materials, and community outreach for Colville House, former home of Mount Allison alumnus and teacher, Alex Colville and his family.
  • ensure that the Colville House security and alarm system is properly maintained and that security procedures are learned and followed by all staff.
  • oversee the maintenance of Colville House.
  • collaborate with University Advancement in building donor relationships, solicitingdonations, gifts-in-kind, and sponsorships for Colville House.


The successful candidate must have a university degree in Art History, Fine Art or Curatorial/Museum Studies from a recognized academic institution, plus a minimum of five years of experience working in an art museum or art gallery. Considerable knowledge of contemporary art is essential. In addition, the successful candidate must have:

  • effective leadership, organizational, budget management and collaborative skills
  • experience with collections management and development
  • exceptional grant writing skills
  • experience with patron cultivation and management
  • strong capacity in establishing and leading external collaborative projects
  • exceptional interpersonal, written and speaking skills
  • the ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion and confidentiality
  • a thorough grounding in contemporary discourse around curatorial and exhibitionpractices

    In addition, evidence of a strong reputation and network of peers in the Canadian national arts sector will be considered an asset.