Executive Director and Chief Curator

Resume posted by Christian Bernard Singer in Museum and Gallery.

Desired position type: 'Full-Time/ Part-Time/ Contract'
Location: Wiarton Ontario, Canada


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Summary

Passionate arts and culture leader with proven track record of developing and executing ambitious projects on time and under budget. Energetic advocate for artists and arts institutions both within and outside of the culture sector. Strong believer of the power of networking, development, fiscal responsibility, sharing, mentorship and diplomacy. Curator of over 75 exhibitions including three major retrospectives. Championing artists (including artists of diversity) who push boundaries, materially and conceptually, while opening pathways to meaningful and resonant experiences for viewers.

In his own work, Singer is best known for incorporating living and preserved plant life with glass, clay, bronze, found objects, and video into installation-environments and land art works that turn on notions of place, memory and time-passing. Since 1997, his work has been shown in commercial galleries in Canada and U.S., and since 2004, he has been included numerous museum and land art invitational exhibitions across the country. His work is represented in Vernon, BC by Headbones Gallery.

Education

2003 MFA – Sculpture, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2000 A.O.C.A.D. – Fine Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), Toronto
1999 École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (atelier Anne Rochette), Paris, France

Experience

2018 Independent Curator

Activities include: Creating a catalogue raisonné of over 1,500 works by Claire (Weissman) Wilks (1933-2017), curating Claire Wilks: What the Hand Sees for the Sheldon Rose Gallery (Toronto), serving as Gallery Director, Jubilee Arts National, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (Toronto), and developing three national touring exhibitions by Claire Wilks, Julie Oakes and Cheryl Wilson Smith.

2015-17 Senior Curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery

Directed the artistic vision of the Gallery’s contemporary and historic exhibition programming, inspired by the iconic and innovative Canadian artist, Tom Thomson. Thomson’s artistic legacy and mythic story became jumping-off points to feature contemporary Canadian and Indigenous artists, who explored ideas around land, identity and nationhood.

–        Directed and mentored curatorial, sponsorships, marketing and membership staff;

–        Co-wrote successful Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts grants under new funding models;

–        Raised over $300K in additional grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Celebrate Ontario, OAC Multi-Arts, Canadian Heritage, Grey Bruce Community Foundation, Young Canada Works and others;

–        Member of the Incorporation and Expansion Planning Committee;

–        Initiated numerous community partnerships including Art Spin, Kepple Croft Gardens, Art Toronto, Ojibwe Cultural Centre and others;

–        Developed new sponsorship packages (both general and program specific) and identified prospective sponsors, raising over $100K annually;

–        Updated the Gallery’s weekly e-news, netting an engagement rate of 50% (from 15%);

–        Created all marketing and promotional materials (including ad design);

–        Mentored staff’s writing skills (particularly curatorial);

–        Edited and proofed all written materials produced by the Gallery (bilingual);

–        Recommender for OAC Exhibition Assistance grants.

2009-15 Curator, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo

Directed the artistic vision of Canada’s only museum devoted to exhibiting, collecting and studying contemporary ceramic, glass and enamel art. Celebrated recognized fine craft masters while successfully steering the museum and its supporters towards an appreciation of cutting-edge contemporary expressions of these media such as installation, new media, new technologies and ephemeral art. Encouraged exhibiting artists to create new works, respond to the architectonic features of the exhibition spaces, increase the scale of their work and take risks while supporting their efforts conceptually and technically. Ensured that artists were paid well above CARFAC rates through sponsorships, donations, project grants and creative allocation of resources.

–      Conceived, developed and organized over 35 original exhibitions (through to 2016);

–      Wrote artistic direction and contributed additional writing for operational funding applications – achieved multi-year funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Waterloo as well as Museums Assistance Program (MAP) and Trillium grants;

–      Wrote funding and sponsorship requests for exhibitions and related programming;

–      Annual grants and sponsorships earnings averaging between $150K to $200K;

–      Produced 15 exhibition catalogues (including texts) and directed all aspects of catalogue production;

–      Researched, developed and documented the Permanent Collection, adding important contemporary and Canadian Cultural Property works;

–      Managed the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics and the RBC Award for Glass ($10K each) including jury selection, awards promotion, relationships with sponsors and organization of the Awards gala.

2007-09 Director and Curator, Rouge Contemporary Projects, Toronto

–      Launched a commercial art gallery in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood – a project that included a complete renovation and redesign of the physical space;

–      Organised and presented Judy Chicago: A Survey of Major Works (curated by Virginia Eichhorn), the first-ever Canadian survey exhibition for Chicago featuring over 100 works, spanning the artist’s 40-year career;

–      Represented artists Jack Butler, Judy Chicago, Alfred Engerer, Daniel Hanequand, Gertrude Kearns, Francis Muscat, Julie Oakes, Tina Poplawski, Tyler Rock and others.

2006-08 Curator/Associate Director, Lehmann Leskiw Fine Art, Toronto

–      Managed the day-to-day activities of a commercial gallery for contemporary art during the prolonged absence of the Gallery’s owners;

–      Curated and installed exhibitions, wrote exhibition, catalogue and promotional texts.

2004-05 Artistic/Executive Director, CAFKA.05 – Contemporary Art Forum | Kitchener and Area

–      Developed, implemented, and presented an art festival of 21 national and international artist projects installed in and around City Hall in Kitchener CAFKA.05 with Board of Directors and volunteers;

–      Provided artistic knowledge, support, and input to Organizing Committee by assessing artists’ needs / technical details and co-ordinated installation of artists’ projects;

–      Liaised between artists and City of Kitchener events staff and committees;

–      Raised over $150K in government and foundation grants (including Ontario Arts Council and City of Kitchener support and multi-year grants from Trillium and Musagetes foundations);

–      Raised over $25K in regional corporate and small business support by producing specifically targeted fundraising packages and establishing on-going partnerships;

–      Secured volunteers, advertising, equipment and other in-kind donations;

–      Wrote exhibition didactics and texts for program booklet and CAFKA Web site;

–      Managed CAFKA office and supervised a small staff and 50 volunteers.

1993-94 Administrative Services Manager, Touring Office, Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa.

Managed the day-to-day administrative operations of the office and guided a staff of 14 through severe budget cuts and downsizing.

–      Built an effective team by moving the group towards a more co-operative and integrated approach to job-sharing and more effective allocation of resources;

–      Wrote English and French grant recommendations, correspondence, and reports;

–      Co-ordinated the logistics relating to a national conference organized by the Office.

1992-93 Program Officer, Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, Industry Canada, Ottawa.
1989-91 Publicist, First Canadian Artists, Toronto.
1988-89 Project Grants Officer, Arts Branch, Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications, Toronto.
1985-86 Gallery Assistant, Galerie Evan, Toronto.
1985 Costume Designer/Department Head, Kawartha Summer Theatre, Lindsay (ON).
1984-85 Assistant Costume Designer, The Company Theatre, Toronto.

Skills

  • • Artistic and Operational Leadership
  • • Public and Private Arts Sector Management
  • • Program Planning and Management
  • • Human Resources Management and Mentorship
  • • Financial Planning and Management
  • • Fundraising and Sponsorship
  • • Extensive Grant-writing Experience
  • • Marketing and Publicity (including social media)
  • • Public Speaking (museums and conferences)
  • • University-level Teaching Experience
  • • Writing: Didactics, Catalogues and Articles
  • • Community Relations and Advocacy
  • • Relationship-Builder and Collaborator
  • • Consultant to Arts Organizations and Artists
  • • Jurying and Peer Committee Memberships
  • • Bilingual English/French Communications

Spoken Languages

    Fluent in English and French

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