Emergence(y): Ort Gallery & ICF Emerging Curators Call Out

Emergence(y): Open Call to Emerging Curators


Ort Gallery and ICF are looking for 2x emerging curators to work with on a new project called ‘Emergence(y)’. Following the turbulent year of 2020 and the ongoing covid crisis we are looking for proposals from curators that look at the themes of Emergence, Care and/or Warmth.

Over the past 10 months Ort Gallery have gone through a period of self-reflection and review where they established the working method ‘Warmth’. They believe that the arts sector needs to become more caring, supportive and accountable in order to be truly inclusive and ensure marginalised and under-served creatives and audiences feel part of it. And want to support the people we work with by empathising and trusting them. Going forward they want Warmth to underpin all the work that we do because care is radical.

Ort have a strong desire to apply Warmth to their public programme by allowing the curators as much agency and freedom over the project as they require whilst supporting them throughout. We therefore invite you to submit your own proposal outlining what research interests you’d like to look at, identify an artist you’d like to work with and what outcomes you envisage – this could be an exhibition, an event, a publication, a residency, online activity, live performances… we are open to hearing your ideas!

Artwork by Karen McLean at Ort Gallery

As freelancers and creatives ourselves we appreciate that you might have other commitments and so we are happy for you to work out your own timeline with the artist. For example, you could decide to do a month-long residency followed by an exhibition of work created at Ort Gallery. Or, you could work together over 12 months, exploring ways of working, coming together at different points and documenting the experience in video form for an online audience.

Ort and ICF will support curators and artists with 2 to 4 dedicated mentoring sessions depending on needs and availability. Moreover, you will receive training in the form of workshops by Ort Gallery to support your journey. This will be tailored to you and your identified needs and wants.

Deadline & Interview Process
Please submit your expression of interest of no more than 500 words by Monday 8th November at 5pm to josie@ortgallery.co.uk. We are committed to widening access to our opportunities. You can send a video or voice recording instead of a written letter. Financial support is available to support access costs relating to the application. Please get in touch for more info.

Informal interviews will be held in early November with representatives from both ICF and Ort Gallery via zoom. We will send over questions ahead of the meeting. The successful applicants will be notified within a week of the interview.

Fees and Resources
· Curatorial/research fee of £1500 for work over an 12-month timeframe
· There is an artist fee available for the artist you choose to work with of £2000
· There is a materials fee of £1000 for the project to share between artist & curator
· Desk space at Ort Gallery
· Professional and project development support through ICF & Ort Gallery (see below)

Application Timeline
· Deadline: Monday 8th November 2021, 5pm
· Informal interviews: 15th-19th November 2021
· Project timeframe: November 2021 – November 2022 (Equivalent to 10x days at £150 day rate, timeframe to be worked out depending on project, see below)

· This opportunity is open to emerging and mid-career curators and researchers based in the UK
· We particularly want to address the imbalances in representation within the sector; we will prioritise applications from Black and Brown practitioners, those who identify as D/deaf, Disabled and/or LGBTQI+.

Artwork by Farwa Moledina 

Application Guidance Notes
Ort Gallery is committed to principles of diversity and equality and this is firmly established in our recruitment process. Personal information and the equal opportunities monitoring section of the application form are removed before consideration by the panel. No job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another on grounds of age, disability, gender / gender reassignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy / maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation (the protected characteristics under the Single Equality Act 2010).

Mentoring & Professional Development
• Freelance 101 workshop series: hands-on support for freelancers.
• Mentoring by ICF and Ort Gallery team members in regards to specific research interests. 2-4 mentoring sessions, depending on needs.
• Warmth training by Ort Gallery

Project Timeline
We want to ensure the selected curators have autonomy over their project and we will work with you to decide on the appropriate timeline for your own project. The following is a general guide.

November & December 2021 – Support curators with their methodology for the project & work with curators to put together an open call for the artist/select an artist to work with. 
January 2022 – Open Call to identify artists for the project, alternatively artists to be picked from network
February to April 2022 – Micro-Residencies of 2x curator & artist duo at Ort Gallery
Mentoring sessions, CPD sessions, (Warmth) training
Later in 2022 – Exhibitions / Events / Bursaries (dependent on duo) – showcasing project.

About International Curators Forum (ICF)
International Curators Forum (ICF) was founded by artists and curators in 2007 to offer a dynamic and evolving programme that responds to the conditions and contexts impacting creative practitioners through commissions, exhibitions, projects, publications and events. We provide tools and platforms for professional development and facilitate an open peer-to-peer network inviting participants to be part of a generative system of skills and knowledge transfer. Across all of our work, both critically and practically, we aim to challenge the barriers to equality and inclusivity within our industry.

Through all aspects of our programme we engage with diaspora as a critical framework through which we can address and complicate public discussion, test and explore new innovative curatorial models, and create space for artistic and discursive interventions into historical narratives and systems of representation. Based in London, ICF has conceived and produced projects with artists, curators and thinkers who engage with diaspora across the UK, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.

About Ort Gallery
Bridging gaps with Art and Warmth Ort Gallery is an artist-led exhibition space in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. We are on a social mission to challenge the traditional role of visual art spaces in Birmingham. We believe everyone should have access to high quality art experiences and aim to provide that standard. We contribute to making Birmingham more inclusive by actively rejecting the exclusivity often found in the visual arts sector. We celebrate the differences of all of our visitors, artists and staff for they are a part of our Ort community and inform our work. We are focused on investing in and engaging with community members of the Balsall Heath area that are often overlooked. We use our space to provide our community with art focused events, activities and volunteering opportunities. We believe that art holds transformative power for mental wellbeing, bridging community gaps and increasing employability. We believe that you are never too young, too old or too different to learn a new skill or engage with art. We are proud to provide exhibition opportunities to Black and Brown artists, those from working class backgrounds, the LGBTQ+ community and artists with disabilities.

Untitled design (1)