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for Curators

Curatorial Fellowship

The Curatorial Fellowship is a yearlong program created to give emerging craft curators a platform to explore and test new ideas about craft.

Steve Mann, Black Box Photography

This grant is now open and accepting applications! Get info→

Three Curatorial Fellows will be selected to fully develop and mount their proposed exhibition in the Center for Craft’s exhibition spaces, located in Asheville, North Carolina, during the 2023 exhibition season. Fellows will work closely with the Center for Craft program staff to produce the exhibition, develop didactic material and an exhibition catalog, as well as lead a curatorial talk for a Center for Craft program.

Since 2005, the Center for Craft has changed the shape of the field through its work, establishing benchmarks of historical research and backing major curatorial initiatives, even as it enables emerging makers and curators to get a foothold. In 2016, the Center announced the Curatorial Fellowship program.

Grant goals

Opportunities

To provide professional development and networking opportunities for emerging craft curators

Support

To cultivate emerging ideas within the field of craft

Recognition

To recognize and affirm emerging curatorial talent

Overview

2023 Curatorial Fellowship

Fellowship program supporting emerging craft curators to explore and test new ideas about craft.

Details

  • Award Amount:
  • Up to $5,000
  • Grant Period:
  • Through 2023

Timeline

  • Applications Open:
  • Nov 16, 2021
  • Orientation: 
  • January 14, 2022
  • Deadline:
  • Feb 18, 2022
  • Notification:
  • Apr 2022
  • Grant Period begins:
  • May 2022
  • Grant Period ends:
  • Through 2023

Curatorial Fellowship — Eligibility

Proposals are welcome from individuals, two-person teams, and collectives for exhibitions to be considered in the Center for Craft’s 2023 exhibition season. No prior curatorial experience is necessary. An experienced curator on staff will be available to provide guidance and support during the program. Additional consideration will be given to applicants beginning their career as a curator. The Center for Craft welcomes proposals that contribute to our on-going commitment to diversity representing a range of geographies, expertise, craft materials, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Applicants must be: 

Eligible to receive taxable income in the U.S. for the duration of the Fellowship and report this grant funding as income.

21 years of age or older

Applicants cannot be: 

Disqualified persons, such as substantial contributors to the Center for Craft as well as current employees, consultants, or board members of the Center for Craft, or immediate family members of such a person. Previous recipients of the Curatorial Fellowship are ineligible to apply.

Applicants must reside in the United States for the duration of the grant period. International travel will not be provided.

The Center for Craft prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or perceived disability, age, marital status, gender identity, veteran status, or any other protected category. The Center encourages applications from historically underrepresented populations. Applying does not constitute a promise or guarantee of being awarded a grant.

Curatorial Fellowship — Requirements

  • Fifty percent of the grant will be awarded upon execution of the grant agreement and receipt of the awardee’s W9. 
  • The final fifty percent of the grant will be awarded upon completion of mounting the exhibition, completion of the exhibition catalog and participation in a curatorial talk for a Center for Craft program. 
  • Allow permission for the Center for Craft to use the language and images from the recipient's application or other high-resolution images the recipient may want to provide in press releases, social media, and/or reports of work by recipients of the 2023 Curatorial Fellows.
  • An exhibition budget of $8,000 will be allotted to each Curatorial Fellow. Curatorial Fellows are responsible for creating a comprehensive exhibition checklist, coordinating shipping and/or special handling and installation instructions, writing exhibition labels, didactics, and catalog text, securing image rights, and participating in an educational program.
  • Pending return to safe travel, Curatorial Fellows must be able to travel to the Center for Craft twice during the duration of the Fellowship; once for a site visit during Summer/Fall 2022 and once to participate in an educational program in 2023. U.S. travel expenses will be covered by the Center for Craft for up to two curators per team. Please note that travel requirements are subject to change based on safety recommendations administered by the CDC and the Department of Health. 
  • Curatorial Fellows must be available for a monthly teleconference or videoconference meeting during regular business hours with the Center for Craft staff for the duration of the program (until exhibition is mounted).

Curatorial Fellowship — Review Process

All proposals should investigate and promote the work of three to ten artists working in craft and will be evaluated on full completion of application and according to the criteria listed below:

  • Critical engagement with contemporary practices of making 
  • Emerging ideas and approaches to the field of craft
  • Feasibility based on the timeline, expertise, and budget reflected in the application

Applications are first reviewed by the Center for Craft Director of Programs and Curator and Gallery Manager according to the stated grant goals and criteria, and in line with the Center’s mission. A top tier of applications is identified. Each top application is then read by at least two outside experts and references checked. A final grouping is selected by the Director of Programs and Curator in close consultation with the Gallery Manager and approved by the Executive Director.

Considerations in final selection:

The Center for Craft respects, values, and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives that make each person who they are. We foster open communication of diverse perspectives and bring a broad range of individuals together to enrich and support programming. Ultimately we will compose a set of recipients that prioritizes diversity and represents a range of ideas, subject matter, and curatorial approaches. 

Please note that the Center for Craft exhibition spaces are located on the ground floor in the heart of downtown Asheville, North Carolina’s cultural district. Please review photographs of previous exhibitions as well as the gallery floor plan before submitting your proposal. Please note, the gallery layout may be subject to change.




Curatorial Fellowship — How to Apply

APPLICATION DEADLINE 

Applications must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than February 18, 2022, at 11:59 pm ET. Please note that a non-refundable application fee of $5 is required with each application. Payment must be submitted via SlideRoom. 

NOTIFICATION

Notifications will be sent via email by April 2022. The email address listed on the application form will be used to send out notifications. Please be sure that it is a valid account that you check regularly.

How to Apply 

Applicants must apply using the online application program SlideRoom at https://centerforcraft.slideroom.com/#/Login. Applicants will be required to pay a nonrefundable $5 application fee. Please review the sample application below before beginning your application. All applicants should create a login to be able to partially complete the form and return to finish it at a later date. Before submitting your application, you will be directed to a confirmation page where you can review your form and return to edit or delete your uploaded files as needed. Your application can not be accessed once submitted. Applicants will receive a confirmation email once the application form has been successfully received. A virtual application information session will be held on January 11, 2022.

Collaborators

Applicants who wish to apply as collaborators need only submit one application form and application fee. One member of the collaborative team must be selected as the main applicant; their contact information will be used for all preliminary correspondence and notification.

2023 Curatorial Fellowship Award - SAMPLE APPLICATION This is only a sample application. All applications must be completed in SlideRoom. 

Proposals to be submitted via SlideRoom as follows: 

Demographic Survey 

Please note that the data from the demographics section will only be used anonymously for grant writing and reporting and as part of an overall understanding of who the Center for Craft serves. Center for Craft has and upholds an organizational nondiscrimination policy. Completion This survey will in no way affect your application. You must complete the form; however, you may answer each question with the “prefer not to answer” option. Thank you.

  • How did you learn about this opportunity? 
  • Have you applied for a Center for Craft grant before? 
  • What is your age?
  • What is your gender identity? 
  • What are your pronouns? 
  • Do you identify as LGBTQ? 
  • Do you identify as Latinx/Hispanic?
  • What category best describes your race?
  • What is the highest level of school you have completed? If currently enrolled, mark the highest degree/level already achieved.
  • Would you like to receive the Center for Craft newsletters?

Cover Sheet 

  1. Applicant name(s)
  2. Online portfolio or website 
  3. Are you able to receive income in the United States or U.S. territories taxable by the United States or U.S. territories for the duration of the project period? (yes or no)
  4. Are you over 21 years old? (yes or no) 
  5. Please provide an exhibition title. 

Application

  1. Exhibition Proposal (Short): Please briefly describe the content of the proposed exhibition. (75 words)
  2. Exhibition Proposal (Extended): Please describe the content of the proposed exhibition including outlining the curatorial idea, research methods, and proposed display strategies. (1000 words)

Short answer: Applicants should address each of the following questions in 400 words or less:

  1. How does the proposed exhibition approach the concept of craft?
  2. Why is the proposed exhibition relevant today?
  3. Name three recent, significant written works or exhibitions that are pertinent to the proposed exhibition (historiography). Describe how the proposed exhibition would extend, questions, or push this conversation forward.
  4. Please provide a list of proposed artists? A list of at least three and up to ten proposed artists, including last name, first name, primary media, primary location, and up to two sentences explaining how their work relates to the theme of the exhibition. Please indicate if the applicant has corresponded with the artist and if the artist’s work is available for the show.
  5. Images: Applicants may upload up to 20 samples of proposed artwork to be included in the exhibition. You have the option of uploading any combination of images or video links (from video hosting sites such as vimeo, flickr or youtube.) During the review process only the first 2 minutes of each video sample so please edit your materials accordingly. Images should be in JPEG format no larger than 1600 pixels on any side @ 300 dpi. Name each jpeg file with “Applicant’s Last NameArtist’s Last NameNumber.jpg,” i.e. “Smith_ Jones1.jpg'', “SmithAdams_2.jpg” etc. Each uploaded image or video link must be accompanied by a corresponding Image Description, which lists the Artist Name, Title, Year, Medium, Dimensions of the artwork. You may include a brief description (up to 50 words) of the artwork in lieu of or in addition to the artwork information. This list should correspond to the order in which the images were uploaded.
  6. Attachment: CV should be uploaded as a PDF format. Please name your CV file “Curator’s LastNameFirstName.doc/docx/pdf”, i.e. “SmithRobert.xxx.” All collaborating partner’s information and CV must also be submitted. (no more than 4 pages total) 
  7. Please list two professional references  
  8. Optional media attachment: Support materials such as exhibition reviews or catalogs. 

PLEASE NOTE: Applications containing images and documents that are not labeled or uploaded according to the guidelines above will NOT be reviewed. Images will not be accepted by email. Submitting an application does not constitute a promise or guarantee of acceptance.

Curatorial Fellowship — FAQ

What is the final deadline for submitting my online application form?

All applications must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than Monday, February 18, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET.

What are the dimensions of the Center for Craft gallery space? 

The Center for Craft has three gallery spaces where the Curatorial Fellowship exhibitions might be displayed, ranging from 260 ft² - 675 ft² and 46 ft - 72 ft in running wall space.

Bresler Front Gallery: approx. 675 ft², 65.6 ft of running wall space  
Bresler Back Gallery: approx. 650 ft², 72 ft of running wall space
John Cram Back Gallery: approx. 260 ft², 46 ft of running wall space

May I mail a hard copy of my application materials to the Center for Craft’s office? 

No, hard copy submissions will not be accepted. The application must be completed and submitted through SlideRoom.

I have video samples as well as jpegs of the work examples proposed for my exhibition. Can I submit samples of both?

You may upload up to 20 images or video links from your personal site or video hosting sites (such as vimeo, flickr or youtube) of your recent work. You can upload any combination totaling 20. Remember, during the review process only the first 2 minutes of each video sample so please edit your materials accordingly.

Can I work on my application and return to complete it at a later date?

Yes, creating a SlideRoom account will enable you to complete the form in several online sessions.

I just submitted my application but I want to return to it and make an edit. Is this possible?

No, once your application is submitted, you will not be able to return to the form or change any submitted information. The application fee must also be paid at the time of submitting your application as you will not be able to log-in again to access the payment page again.

Will I receive confirmation that my application has been received?

Yes, applicants will receive a confirmation email once the application form and application fee have been received.

How do I pay the application fee?

Payment must be submitted via credit card through the SlideRoom application form system. After you complete and submit your application, you will be directed to a confirmation page and a link to pay your application fee. The application fee must be paid at the time of submitting your application as you will not be able to log-in to access the payment page.

Can I apply as part of a collaborative team?

Yes, curatorial teams of two people or more may apply together for their shared project. Applicants who wish to apply as collaborators need only submit one application form and application fee. One member of the collaborative team must be selected as the main applicant; their contact information will be used for all preliminary correspondence and notification. Please note that the Center for Craft will only cover the U.S. travel expense of up to two collaborators per project.

Do the images I submit in the application need to be the exact pieces in the exhibition? Once I’m selected may I add/subtract pieces I used in my submission?

The submitted proposal should include as many of the artists exhibiting work in the exhibition as possible. The strongest proposals are the most specific and will include the artwork intended for the exhibition. Once selected, the curator may add or subtract pieces after discussion with the Center for Craft staff. The selected proposal is chosen based on the exhibition as a whole so it is important for the proposal to be fully formed.

What does the exhibition budget cover?

The $8,000 exhibition budget should be used to cover the entire cost of the exhibition to include shipping, crating, framing, exhibition design and build, installation, demo costs, art commissions/artist fees, loan fees, customs, couriers, and interpretive materials such as show graphics, labels, and so on.\

What does the Center for Craft provide for the exhibition?

The Center for Craft will provide the gallery/exhibition space, insurance, staffing during gallery opening hours, administrative support including marketing, postcard invitations, and email invites. The Center for Craft will provide a registrar to arrange shipping and object reports, art handlers for installation and graphic design support within reason. Additionally, the Center for Craft will organize an opening reception and related programming. An experienced curator on staff will be available to provide guidance and support during the program. An honorarium of $5,000 will be awarded to the selected applicant. There will be no other financial support.

What is the responsibility of the selected curator?

Curatorial Fellows are responsible for creating a comprehensive exhibition checklist, shipping and/or special handling and installation instructions, writing exhibition labels and didactics, and participating in an educational program.

Pending return to safe travel, Curatorial Fellows must be able to travel to the Center for Craft twice during the duration of the Fellowship; once for a site visit during Summer/Fall 2022 and once to participate in an educational program in 2023. U.S. travel expenses will be covered by the Center for Craft for up to two curators per team. Please note that travel requirements are subject to change based on safety recommendations administered by the CDC and the Department of Health. 

Curatorial Fellows must be available for a monthly teleconference or videoconference meeting during regular business hours with the Center for Craft staff for the duration of the program (until the exhibition is mounted).

How much time is allocated for the installation of the exhibition?

Each exhibition should be installed within 3-4 days. The installation will be completed by a team of art handlers selected by the Center for Craft.

Does the Center for Craft have equipment to borrow for the exhibition such as projectors, monitors, media players, pedestals etc. or should we include those items in my budget?

The Center for Craft does have a limited supply of basic media and installation equipment that can be utilized by the selected curator. Please contact the Center for Craft directly regarding specific inquiries for equipment prior to completing your budget. A full list of available basic media and installation equipment will be provided to the selected Curatorial Fellows.

Can I submit an exhibition with an open call or a residency component?

No. Open calls must be completed prior to submitting a proposal and residencies cannot be a component of the exhibition

Can my show be virtual or off-site?No. All exhibitions must take place in one of the gallery spaces at the Center for Craft. Though parts of the exhibition may be in public or other spaces, something must be on view within the walls of the gallery for the scheduled duration of approximately 3 months, during hours assigned by the Center for Craft.

Can my proposed show include sales of work?

No. The Center for Craft gallery is an educational gallery and works are not offered for sale.

Can I submit a proposal for a solo show or an exhibition of my own work? 

No. All proposals must include at least three (3) artists. Including yourself in an exhibition proposal is allowed yet should be clearly stated. In addition, proposals will not be accepted for exhibitions where multiple people work on one person's idea (artists projects). 

Can I submit more than one proposal? Can I submit an exhibition that has been presented elsewhere before?

No.

I have a question that wasn’t answered. How can I reach the Center for Craft?

If you have any further questions, please contact grants@centerforcraft.org


recipients

Meet the 2023
Curatorial Fellowship Recipients

Headshot of Sonya Abrego

Crafting Denim

$5,000

Sonya Abrego

Brooklyn, NY

In workshops across the nation, independent makers are creating jeans by hand, using antiquated equipment and specialty denim. This exhibition explores jeans as contemporary craft. Historically a product of industry, jeans are being recast by a new cohort of makers using choice materials, tools, and small-batch fabrication. 'Crafting Denim' explains why and how jeans exist at the intersections of industry and craft, modernity and tradition.

Learn more
Headshot of Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

Something earned, Something left behind

$5,000

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

Minneapolis, MN

This show is an investigation and analysis of material culture, and the transactional and political languages of objects. Through this exhibition I am researching and concerned with rectifying the site at which POC are left outside the wall of Craft. Few objects in the world are apolitical in their historical affiliations, I am interested in how culturally the political and economic decidedness of object has impacted its meaning and worth.

Learn more
Headshot of Oscar Salguero

rock_data

$5,000

Oscar Salguero

Brooklyn, NY

From ancient petroglyphs to rovers scanning boulders on Mars, we have a mysterious connection with rocks. rock_data brings a selection of artworks that reimagine the concept of rocks for a new generation, turning them from passive geological specimens or mineral resources into vessels of critical data and speculative fiction. In an era ripe for new narratives and planetary consciousness, it is key to read, feel, and listen to rocks in new ways.

Learn more

Desire Paths

Lauren Kalman and Matt Lambert

Desire Paths looks at makers both within the discourse of craft and ones that exist on the periphery of the craftscape who focus on the movement of the body towards something desirable. These desires of the body are in relationship to: nature, tech, self, and society. Using architectural theory and queer curatorial strategies,Desire Paths will examine the possibilities and futures of bodies, revealing connections between the corporeal and craft.

Elizabeth Essner is a Brooklyn-based independent Design Specialist with a focus on modern and contemporary craft. In addition to conducting research and appraising, Essner is a regular contributor to Modern magazine. A graduate of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, Essner has previously been an auction house specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and worked for New York design galleries: R & Company and Historical Design


Lily Kane is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Publications at R & Company gallery in New York, NY. In 2006, while serving as the director of education at the American Craft Council, Kane was part of a team to revive the organization's annual conference. Kane has also contributed pieces to magazines, including Modern and American Craft. A Nashville native, Kane attended Vassar College and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meaghan Roddy is a Senior Specialist and Vice President in the Design Department at Phillips auction house in New York, specializing in 20th- and 21st-century design and decorative arts. She was previously a design specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and has been consulted for print and television features on design, including Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, Art +Auction, The Art Newspaper,Die Zeitungen, and Modern magazine.  A Maryland native, Roddy studied at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Learn more

The Computer Pays Its Debt: Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985

Kayleigh Perkov

The Computer Pays Its Debt: Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985 examines craftswomen who used digital technology in their practice. Craft scholarship has reacted to computer-aided design with a mixture of celebration and anxiety. Much of this discourse fails to examine the historical precedence of digital tools in craft practice extending to the 1960s. A focus on feedback between person and machine will nuance scholarship, while an emphasis on women elucidates their underappreciated role.

Elizabeth Essner is a Brooklyn-based independent Design Specialist with a focus on modern and contemporary craft. In addition to conducting research and appraising, Essner is a regular contributor to Modern magazine. A graduate of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, Essner has previously been an auction house specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and worked for New York design galleries: R & Company and Historical Design


Lily Kane is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Publications at R & Company gallery in New York, NY. In 2006, while serving as the director of education at the American Craft Council, Kane was part of a team to revive the organization's annual conference. Kane has also contributed pieces to magazines, including Modern and American Craft. A Nashville native, Kane attended Vassar College and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meaghan Roddy is a Senior Specialist and Vice President in the Design Department at Phillips auction house in New York, specializing in 20th- and 21st-century design and decorative arts. She was previously a design specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and has been consulted for print and television features on design, including Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, Art +Auction, The Art Newspaper,Die Zeitungen, and Modern magazine.  A Maryland native, Roddy studied at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Learn more

Funk You: Contemporary Sculpture and Funk Ceramics

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

Funk You: Contemporary Sculpture and Funk Ceramics brings together sculptures in clay bycontemporary artists that echo themes and aesthetics of 1960s–70s Funk ceramics. Put in conversation with historical pieces, the line between past and present is blurred, bridging the gap between the current generation and the pioneering artists who paved the way for ceramics to be imaginative, expressive, critical, and unapologetic.

Elizabeth Essner is a Brooklyn-based independent Design Specialist with a focus on modern and contemporary craft. In addition to conducting research and appraising, Essner is a regular contributor to Modern magazine. A graduate of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, Essner has previously been an auction house specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and worked for New York design galleries: R & Company and Historical Design


Lily Kane is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Publications at R & Company gallery in New York, NY. In 2006, while serving as the director of education at the American Craft Council, Kane was part of a team to revive the organization's annual conference. Kane has also contributed pieces to magazines, including Modern and American Craft. A Nashville native, Kane attended Vassar College and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meaghan Roddy is a Senior Specialist and Vice President in the Design Department at Phillips auction house in New York, specializing in 20th- and 21st-century design and decorative arts. She was previously a design specialist at Rago Auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey, and has been consulted for print and television features on design, including Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, Art +Auction, The Art Newspaper,Die Zeitungen, and Modern magazine.  A Maryland native, Roddy studied at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Learn more

Selection Panelists

Field Building

The Center for Craft Curatorial Fellowship program is made possible by the John & Robyn Horn Foundation.

The

Center

for

Craft

Curatorial

Fellowship

is

made

possible

by

the

John

&

Robyn

Horn

Foundation.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is a trusted partner in philanthropy.  We help donors and nonprofits achieve their charitable goals, now and forever.

Field Building