Friday, August 14, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions: Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship Application

Below are some common questions about the Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship. As more questions arise, we will update them here. If you have questions, please ask! The full call for applicants is online here. Deadline for applications is September 23 at 5 pm.

Who participated in the Fellowship previously?
The 2010 Fellows included curators, educators, writers and artists from the region. Read about the 2010 Fellows here.  The 2012 Fellowship will be the second installment of the program.

Am I too old/too young/too experienced/too inexperienced for this program?
This program is not geared towards a certain age. We want this program to deepen the pool of capable, inspired curators and writers working on ambitious projects that include Oklahoma artists. If you want to write about or curate living artists’ work and have some experience engaging critically with their work, you are our prospective participants.

OVAC wants the participants to have varied experience levels. Although some background showing you have a passion in this field and ability to write critically is required, the program is open to people with varying levels of experience.

Since masters and PhD students are eligible and you are working with a university, is the program focused on student participants?
No. The program is open to student applicants who are ambitious and prepared to engage with the field professionally. The program is focused on professionals working in or wanting to work more in the field, willing to dedicate themselves to study, practice, feedback, and the network of peers.

Can I participate if a work for an institution, the government, myself or if I don't work in the arts?
Yes. Employees of institutions including but not limited to museums and universities, are eligible. Due to the focused nature of this program, employees of partnering organizations are also eligible.

Why can participants only be within 350 miles from Oklahoma City?
OVAC wants writers and curators from the region to have an opportunity to connect. Also, OVAC seeks to better connect Oklahoma artists, curators and writers to the community beyond our state lines. 350 miles is a proximity that makes an easy drive. All Oklahoma residents are eligible. See map of distance here.

What does the curriculum include?
Shannon Fitzgerald, lead mentor, has designed the curriculum to help give an overview of the field with points of entry for visiting mentors. The curriculum is designed to introduce theoretical concepts to those that may not have a background in art theory and practical professional knowledge to those who may not have on-the-job art writing/curatorial experience.

Workshop days will cover:
-Looking at contemporary art (orientation)
-Writing about art in museums and academia (also public panel)
-What does a curator do? (also public panel)
-Criticism, critique and publishing (also public panel)

Fellows will participate in dialogue with their colleagues and the mentors throughout.

What type of work samples should I submit?
You may submit work samples that demonstrate your conceptual grounding and writing ability. Samples could include essays, articles, reviews and more.  Samples may be published or unpublished. 

I don’t want to apply, but am curious about these topics. Will there be a way to participate other than as a Fellow?
Yes! Public panels by the visiting mentors will take place during three of the program days in 2012. You will be welcome to attend these free events. Also, OVAC will document the program, offering information, writing and resources on the program blog throughout.

Other Resources:
“What is a Curator?” article, Art Focus Oklahoma, May/June 2009, page 24

Curating from museum perspective:

Academic studies about curatorial practice & art criticism with descriptions of the field:
Bard Center for Curatorial Studies
California College of the Arts who also produce symposia and publishes texts that are downloadable
Graduate School in Art Criticism

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