Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery: Director/Chief Curator

Posted on December 20, 2019

The Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia (UBC) – Vancouver campus invites applications for the position of Director and Chief Curator, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, with an anticipated start date as early as July 1, 2020.

This directorship appointment is expected to be for an initial five-year term, with the possibility of reappointment upon successful review. The successful candidate must also be appointable at a senior professorial rank in order to hold a concurrent academic appointment.


About the University

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.

UBC-Vancouver’s Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam people, with whom UBC shares a framework Memorandum of Affiliation. For information relating to Indigenous initiatives that are available at UBC, visit the UBC Vancouver Indigenous Portal at indigenous.ubc.ca.


About the Gallery

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC has an international reputation for its innovative work in the field of contemporary art. The Gallery promotes understanding and discussion of contemporary art and contemporary issues in art history, criticism and curating, with a focus on our region in an international context.

Through research, acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, loans, travelling exhibitions, special projects, education and outreach programs, the Gallery participates in the national and international community of institutions concerned with contemporary art.

Founded as the UBC Fine Arts Gallery in 1948, the Belkin’s history has a deep interconnection with the development of contemporary art practice in Vancouver. As a collecting institution, the Belkin is designated as a Category A institution, and houses the University Art Collection of over 4,500 objects—one of the largest public collections of art in British Columbia—and a substantial archive.

Operating as a unit of the Faculty of Arts, the Gallery is closely tied to the Department of Art History, Visual and Theory and participates in the training of student curators in the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program. The Gallery plays a key role in an ambitious outdoor art plan for the Vancouver campus.


Responsibilities

Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, the Director/Chief Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is responsible for the overall artistic vision and operations of the Gallery, including exhibitions, collections, acquisitions, programs and direction and management of the Gallery’s professional staff.

The Director/Chief Curator is responsible for overseeing the long-term vision for the Gallery, including developing and carrying out the Gallery’s strategic plan for programming, staffing and facility needs, and expansion.

The Director/Chief Curator oversees the Gallery’s fiscal responsibilities to the University and external funders, including approving the Gallery’s annual budget plans, approving research and project grants, authorizing expenditures, and ensuring operations and programming initiatives are undertaken within available resources and in accordance with UBC and external agencies’ policies and guidelines.

The Director/Chief Curator is also responsible for overseeing fund development and fundraising for the Gallery’s operations, acquisitions, programming, research, and special projects, and works closely with UBC Development on stewardship of the Gallery’s major donors.

Chief curatorial responsibilities include overseeing and working with the Gallery’s curatorial team in developing a program of contemporary art exhibitions and programming; overseeing the development of the University art collection, the Belkin Archives, and the outdoor art collection by researching and recommending acquisitions (purchases and donations) and deaccessions; and approving outgoing loans.


Requirements

The successful candidate is expected to have a strong record in scholarly and curatorial practices in contemporary art, experience in museum and collections management and working in a gallery/museum environment, a commitment to and proven ability in fundraising, liaising with different levels of government, and grant writing, critical writing skills, and demonstrated leadership and administrative skills and experience including effectiveness in leading, managing and working with a team of professional staff.

In addition, the successful candidate will have an excellent record of high quality undergraduate and graduate teaching, and graduate supervision, and will be expected to teach and supervise graduate students in the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory (AHVA), including course offerings in the Critical and Curatorial Studies Program (CCST) and leading the CCST Practicum.

The successful candidate will be able to articulate a defined curatorial vision for the future and an appreciation of the values and strengths the Gallery carries forward. They will be expected to demonstrate the ability to lead an organization through change and develop a forward-thinking strategic plan for addressing growth; develop and strengthen relationships across the University and with external constituents in a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative environment; take a proactive role in fundraising by cultivating and soliciting new funding sources; cultivate relationships with individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government funding agencies; and foster a collaborative, respectful, and inclusive environment for students, staff, faculty, and community partners.

Applicants with a PhD degree or appropriate terminal degree are preferred, but a combination of education and appropriate curatorial and publishing experience would be considered.

We seek applicants with a distinguished record of research publications, creative works, and/or professional contributions and scholarly activity commensurate with appointment at the rank of Professor (Associate Professor at a senior level may be considered), and scholars who will have attained wide recognition, nationally and internationally, in their field(s).

The field of specialization within contemporary art is open; however, the successful candidate will have excellent knowledge and understanding of contemporary visual art practices and critical theory; the ideal candidate would also have an understanding of the Gallery’s collection and the ability to put the local conversation around art in Vancouver/Canada in an international dialogue.


How to Apply

Apply online by 4:00pm, February 10, 2020 at: https://ardo.air.arts.ubc.ca/?p=3340.

Applicants must upload a single bookmarked PDF file containing the following items, in the order listed: letter of application; curriculum vitae; and statements (1 page each) summarizing their (a) research/creative program, (b) vision for contemporary art exhibition and programming in a research-intensive University, (c) experience in and approach to administrative and leadership roles, (d) teaching philosophy/practice, and (e) experience working with a diverse student body and contributions or potential contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion.

Applicants are also asked to provide names and contact information for at least four referees who may be approached at a later date to provide confidential and objective assessment of the applicant’s suitability for the Belkin directorship position and a professorial appointment.

Enquiries may be directed to Associate Dean Gillian Creese, via email (arts.headships@ubc.ca) with “BELKIN director search” in the subject line.

Review of applications will begin in February 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. At a later stage, long-listed applicants will be asked to provide evidence of teaching effectiveness.

The position is subject to final budgetary approval. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Commitment to Equity and Diversity

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.

We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.


For Further Information

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery https://belkin.ubc.ca/

Belkin Permanent Collection, Outdoor Art Collection, Archives https://belkin.ubc.ca/collections/

Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) https://ahva.ubc.ca/

Critical and Curatorial Studies Program (CCST) https://ahva.ubc.ca/graduate/ma-in-ccst-program/