2024 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators – Call for Submissions
The Art Gallery of Guelph is accepting submissions until Friday, January 26, 2024, at 5 pm ET for the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators.
Founded in 2012, the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator under 30 with the aim to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada. Hosted and administered by the Art Gallery of Guelph, the winner is selected by a jury of arts leaders and receives a $5,000 honorarium as well as mentorship in the development of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph. The 2024 Middlebrook Prize jury is composed of Alyssa Fearon (Director/Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery), Tarah Hogue (Independent Curator and Writer), and Renée van der Avoird (Associate Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario).
Submissions are assessed based on artistic quality as well as conceptual strength of the proposed exhibition. The successful applicant’s exhibition will be presented as part of the Art Gallery of Guelph’s Fall 2024 season. By supporting and mobilizing Canadian creative talent, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, environmental, social, and cultural upheaval. Proposals should emphasize contemporary Canadian art with attention to audience, community, and social relevance.
Applications must include:
• Letter of introduction: applicants should articulate their curatorial values and philosophy as well as the meaning of the Middlebrook Prize in terms of their career
• Two-page exhibition proposal: proposal must include curatorial statement, list of artists/artworks supported by a clear, compelling case for their inclusion, and a description of potential outreach programming
• Exhibition budget up to $10,000 including: artist fees (per 2024 CARFAC fee schedule for Category II institutions), estimated shipping via an accredited art transportation company, any special equipment requirements for the exhibition, a description of unique or unusual installation requirements, and projected travel/accommodation expenses for artist(s)/curator
• One sample of critical writing: curatorial essay or published article/review, for example
• Curriculum vitae: current, maximum 3 pages
• Support images (10): with descriptions (artist name, title, date, medium, dimensions) including 5 images supporting exhibition proposal and 5 images documenting past curatorial work
• Floor plan: carefully consider the scale of the space and detail the proposed layout of works in the floor plan (mpfycc-floor-plan)
Applications are to be submitted in a single PDF document, with the subject line Middlebrook Prize, to email@example.com. We welcome and encourage submissions from applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, women, and persons with disabilities.
• The award winner must be under 30 years of age by December 31, 2024 and is required to demonstrate proof of age on signing of the exhibition contract
• The Prize is open to Canadian citizens, as well as non-Canadians currently living and working in Canada
• If the Prize is awarded to a non-Canadian curator, they must be resident in Canada for the full term of the Prize (March 1 through December 31, 2024)
• Call for Submissions: November 15, 2023 – January 26, 2024
• Award Presentation: March 2024
• Exhibition Dates: September – December 2024
2024 Jury Members:
Alyssa Fearon holds the position of Director/Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Integral to Fearon’s curatorial practice is a community-based approach that seeks to foster connections with groups that have been historically and systemically excluded from the gallery milieu. In 2018, Fearon was inaugural Curator of Nuit Blanche Toronto’s Scarborough zone. Fearon was also Curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, 2018 – 2020. Raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Fearon is now based on Treaty 4 territory in Regina, Saskatchewan. She holds an MBA in Arts Management from the Schulich School of Business, an MA in Art History from York University, and was a Salzburg Global Fellow.
Tarah Hogue is a curator and writer in Saskatoon, Canada, located in Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis. Raised on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 territories in Alberta, she is of Métis and white settler ancestry, and is a citizen of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. Her writing and curatorial work attends to the complexities of place, being-in-motion, and Indigeneity, and is grounded in collaborative and conciliatory approaches. Hogue is currently the Curator of Indigenous Art at Remai Modern, and has previously held positions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, grunt gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Her recent exhibition, Storied Objects: Métis Art in Relation, curated with advisor Sherry Farrell Racette, received an Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2023. In 2019, Hogue received the Hnatyshyn Foundation – TD Bank Group Award for Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art. She has authored catalogue essays for artists such as Maureen Gruben, Tania Willard, Adrian Stimson, Henry Tsang, Judy Watson, and Jin-me Yoon. Her writing has also been published in C Magazine, Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, and elsewhere. She holds a master’s degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Queen’s University.
Renée van der Avoird is the Associate Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Prior to joining the AGO in 2018, she held positions as Associate Curator/Registrar at the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie; Assistant Director of Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; and Curatorial Mentor at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Arts and French Language & Literature from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, and a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. Her writing has been in published in periodicals including C Magazine, Border Crossings, and various exhibition catalogues, including Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-1940 published by the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany. Van der Avoird’s area of specialty is modern and contemporary Canadian women artists. She is a member of Aisle 4, a curatorial collective based in Toronto that initiates and promotes socially engaged artwork through collaborations with artists from a range of disciplines.
The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, The Guelph Community Foundation Musagetes Fund, as well as private donations.
Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, Guelph Community Foundation: Musagetes Fund, Expertfile
About the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators
Founded in 2012, Middlebrook Prize is a national prize awarded annually to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada while encouraging social connectedness and a shared sense of community. Selected by jury of arts professionals, each winner is a curator under 30 who receives an honorarium as well as curatorial mentorship in the development of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph.
2013 | Katherine Dennis | as perennial as the grass
2014 | Natasha Chaykowski and Alison Cooley | I’m Feeling Lucky
2015 | Adam Barbu | The Queer Feeling of Tomorrow
2016 | Isabelle and Sophie Lynch | Blood, Sweat, and Tears
2017 | Yasmin Nurming-Por | My Curiosities Are Not Your Curios
2018 | Lauren Fournier | epistemologies of the moon
2019 | Missy Leblanc | Tina Guyani – Deer Road
2020 | Maya Wilson-Sanchez | Grounding
2021 | Mitra Fakhrashrafi and Vince Rozario | Collective Offerings
2022 | Erin Szikora | Homecoming & For Catherine
2023 | Holly Chang | The Third Scenario & Seeing the Land, Feeling the Sea
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