Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators
The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator who is 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 an honorarium and mentorship, culminating in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph. 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 ideas with tangible public relevance.
Applications must include:
• Letter of introduction (one page): applicants should include contact information as well as articulate their curatorial values and philosophy and what the Middlebrook Prize means to them in the context of their career
• Exhibition proposal (maximum three pages): proposal must include curatorial statement, list of artists/artwork supported by a clear, compelling case for their inclusion, and description of potential outreach programming
• Exhibition budget up to $10,000 including: artist fees (per 2023 CARFAC fee schedule for Category II institutions), shipping via an accredited art transportation company, any special equipment requirements for the exhibition, a description of unique or unusual installation requirements, 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 gallery and detail the proposed layout of works in the floor plan (download the floorplan)
Applications are to be submitted in a single PDF document, with the subject line Middlebrook Prize, to email@example.com.
• The award winner must be under 30 years of age by December 31, 2023 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, 2023)
We welcome and encourage submissions from applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, women, and persons with disabilities.
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
2023 Middlebrook Prize Jurors
Musha Neluheni is an artist and curator from Johannesburg, South Africa. She held the position of Contemporary Curator and Acting Chief Curator at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. She was co-curator of the South African Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale. She served on the Standard Bank Art Committee and the Theme Panel for the South African Mint. Her exhibition There is Only Light, and Shadow won best curated show at the 2016 Turbine Art Fair. She holds a BFA from Rhodes University and has written for several publications including the online forum The Archival Platform.
Tamara Toledo is a Chilean-born, Toronto-based curator, artist, writer, and PhD candidate at York University. Her research focuses on hemispheric connections, decolonial methodologies, diasporic exhibition histories, and the legacies of the Cold war era in contemporary art. Her essays, reviews, and exhibition texts can be found in various publications including ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Art, and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal of the University of California. Toledo has worked in collections, research, programming, and curatorial research roles at A Space Gallery, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has shared her research through public talks, exhibition tours, guest lectures, panels, symposiums, and conferences held in multiple venues and institutions across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Toledo is co-founder of the Allende Arts Festival and of the nonprofit arts organization Latin American Canadian Art Projects. She is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery, the only space dedicated to contemporary Latin American art in Canada.
An alumna of the University of Winnipeg with a political science and business administration degree, Allison Yearwood is the Executive Director of Plug-In ICA in Winnipeg. She returned to her hometown from the Banff Centre, where she was Program Manager in the Indigenous Arts Department. Previously, Yearwood served as Art and Business Manager at Yamaji Art, an Aboriginal art centre in Australia, and was the General Manager of Collective of Black Artists in Toronto. She was also the Programming and Events Coordinator at the Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and was the first non-Indigenous staff member at Urban Shaman Gallery in Winnipeg. Yearwood advocates for racialized and disenfranchised groups to decolonize institutions of power from the ground up. She is exceptionally skilled in equity issues and a powerful and transformative voice for anti-racism action. Having served as the Program Manager for digital art residencies at Banff Centre she is a proponent of equity justice in media and digital production. Yearwood’s institutional critique articulates the creation of safe spaces for underserved communities within the institution. She currently is the Board Chair of aceartinc., serves as a member at large for Spiderwebshow Theatre, and is a member of the Equity Committee for CAMDO.
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.
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