Open Call for Curators for New Spaces Project, Derry

Application deadline extension: Friday 11 May

Visual Artists Ireland, Northern Ireland invite curators to take part in New Spaces. This year long project offers four emerging curators the unique opportunity to develop all aspects of their practice by providing the space and budget to produce four exhibitions with artists of their selection, mentorship from experienced curators Mary Cremin (Void), Sara Greavu (CCA Derry~Londonderry) alongside two other high profile curators based in Northern Ireland and assistance throughout from project officers Rob Hilken & Anne Marie McKee.

New Spaces is a programme of 16 contemporary art exhibitions in four unconventional spaces across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area. Curators will be selected from an open call and will each produce four exhibitions over an eight month period. Each exhibition will run for up to 4 weeks.

View the full project brief here: New Spaces – Call for Curators

Project Aims

● Create opportunities for artists and curators
● Increase the number of skilled arts professionals/producers
● Retain talent in the region
● Develop long-term private sector partners
● Enhance the reputation of Derry City and Strabane as a centre of artistic excellence


The programme will include a programme of support and mentoring for selected curators that will be delivered by Visual Artists Ireland in partnership with local arts partners, Void gallery, CCA, Derry~Londonderry, and Nerve Visual. The mentoring programme will see participants work with experienced curators to develop their proposals, gain project management skills and enhance their professional networks.

Mary Cremin, New Spaces project mentor and Director of Void Gallery, has recently been selected to curate the Irish Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

A two-day workshop – Project Management for the Visual Arts – will be delivered within the first month of the project.

The Spaces

We are currently in the process of finalising the venue partners. Venues will be high footfall, unconventional spaces in the Derry City and Strabane District Council. Confirmed at this stage are the Walled City Brewery, Gwyn’s Café and Pavilion, Brooke Park and The Cottage, Craft Village. The final venue is to be confirmed.

Curators will each produce four exhibitions, one in each of the four venues. It is anticipated that the first exhibitions of the programme will open on 23rd June 2018. The details of all exhibitions in the programme should be finalised prior to the programme going to print at the beginning of June.


● Curators will receive a fee of £250 per exhibition
● There is a fee of £200 per artist or artist collective (one fee per exhibition)
● There is a limited budget available for travel and transportation
● There is a limited budget available for installation costs

Each exhibition has a budget for one artist, or artist collective. There is also a limited budget for transportation of artworks and installation costs. Budgets must agreed in advance with the project officer. Special consideration should be given to project logistics within proposals. VAI artist payment guidelines dictate that the available fee will not be suitable for experienced artists or commissioning new work.

How to Apply

Curators are invited to submit proposals for two exhibitions according to the brief.

● Outlined proposal for Walled City Brewery and Gwyn’s Café and Pavilion, Brooke Park
● Covering letter that outlines your suitability according to the criteria outlined in the brief (no more than one side of A4)
● CV

Send your applications to:

If you have any questions about the position please contact Rob Hilken on the above email address or by telephone on 028 9587 0361

Principal Funder Arts Council NI through Lottery Funds in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council.

More information at:

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