3 December 2018

Artspace is seeking an assistant curator

The Artspace NZ Assistant Curator is a one-year development position in which you will gain a high-level of experience through direct involvement in Artspace’s programme development and production, while working within a team of four. In this role you will work alongside leading contemporary local and international artists and curators, actively participating in critical dialogue through our publications and public programmes.

The year of training and development will include both local and international opportunities for travel. Depending on the nature of your practice you are encouraged to use Artspace NZ’s expansive network as a tool for your own personal professional development. You will be involved in all stages of implementing Artspace NZ’s programme, while encouraged and supported to contribute your own ideas.

This role has evolved over more than ten years, first starting out as an internship, now entitled ‘Assistant Curator’ since last year. It has produced a clear track record within curatorial development in Aotearoa New Zealand where previous holders of the position now work as established curators, critics, writers and more in highly regarded national and international institutions or as successful freelancers.

As the ideal candidate you will be taking initiative, are good at multitasking, works concentrated and precise and are able to work within a small and dedicated team. Most importantly, you will be passionate about contemporary art. Some degree of technical or practical experience would also be an advantage.

You will likely also have an art history or fine arts background, a proven talent for writing / editing and a strong desire to be involved in curating at a professional level.

Key Responsibilities


  • Assist the Director to develop and deliver the programme
  • Assist with the installation and maintenance of exhibitions
  • Support participating artists and curators
  • Assist in the writing of exhibition texts
  • Prepare artist contracts

Public Programmes

  • Assist the Director to develop and implement Artspace NZ’s public programme
  • Conduct floor talks and gallery tours when required
  • Professional
  • Gain a broad knowledge of local and international contemporary art practice
  • Build a network of professional contacts
  • Assist the Director in hosting visiting artists, curators and other arts professionals when required


  • Assist with the maintenance of the mailing list and web content
  • Assist staff with general office administration as required
  • Personnel
  • Generate and manage the gallery invigilators
  • Liaise and improve contacts with current and past gallery invigilators


  • Internal
  • Fellow employees
  • Contractors / technicians
  • External
  • Exhibiting artists and the wider community of artists
  • Curators, critics, gallerists
  • Visitors to the gallery
  • Media
  • Patrons
  • Funders/Benefactors


  • Gallery invigilators

Skills & Competencies


  • Writing and editing skills
  • A critical perspective on contemporary art
  • Project and time management skills
  • Basic gallery maintenance and installation
  • Strong research skills and high attention to detail


  • Responsible
  • Able to work independently when required
  • Excellent communication with artists, curators, academics and other (art) professionals
  • Able to work effectively within a team and under pressure

Essential Experience

  • An understanding of and active attitude towards Te Reo and Te Ao Māori, kaupapa and tikanga Māori
  • Experience with working with artists
  • Basic technical and practical skills
  • Art handling
  • Extensive knowledge of contemporary art practices as well as its social context
  • An active interest in the understanding of cultural, mental and social health and its context in an organisation