Job Opportunities

Position Title: Artistic Director 

SAVAC’s Mandate:

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to increasing the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, facilitating professional development and creating a community for our artists. SAVAC was founded to be an organization staffed by people of colour, committed to support the work of artists of colour.

We promote self-representation by developing artistic practice that is often informed by cultural identity through a range of mediums, aesthetics, forms, and techniques. We support work that (in)directly addresses the ways histories of people of colour are represented alongside the story of ongoing colonialism on Turtle Island and post-colonial histories of the global south. These works are challenging, experimental and offer multifarious perspectives on the contemporary world.

For over 20 years, SAVAC has operated without a gallery space as an explicit, political choice. Instead, as a means of pushing diversity mandates within the Canadian arts ecology beyond the minimum, we partner with galleries, institutions and museums to integrate artists and curators of colour into the curatorial and programming practices of those institutions.

Position Description:

Working collaboratively with the Executive Director and reporting to the Board of Directors, the Artistic Director is responsible for developing and implementing year-round exhibition programming, residencies, art events, educational workshops and special projects with a cohesive artistic vision. The ideal candidate for this position is a motivated arts professional and cultural worker who is passionate about contemporary art, maintains an understanding of contemporary Global South and/or diasporic arts practices, and has expansive networks within arts and cultural communities in Toronto and beyond. 

Duties and responsibilities:

Programming

  • Develop a cohesive artistic vision with high quality and relevant programming that responds to current artistic and political trends;
  • Implement all aspects of programs, including but not limited to:
    • Research artists working in a variety of mediums;
    • Conduct regular artist studio visits with potential exhibiting artists;
    • Facilitate annual and themed calls for submissions;
    • Produce a schedule of exhibitions from local, national and international artists;
    • Coordinate installation of artworks with artists and curators;
    • Produce thoughtful and responsive exhibition design;
    • Coordinate public events and receptions; talks, tours and screenings;
    • Produce or coordinate written materials for web and print related to art programs;
    • Ensure the continuity of ongoing bi-annual or annual SAVAC programs including Monitor film and video program, Missed Connections residency and pedagogical platform, and Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens, as well as other regular co-presentation and collaborations.
    • Program events and activities in SAVAC’s space at 401 Richmond;
    • Program exhibitions, screenings and other events in collaboration with other art spaces in Toronto and other national and international locations; and
    • Work with Communications Coordinator to develop a targeted outreach strategy;
  • Maintain communication and relationships with artists and programming partners;
  • Coordinate the Ontario Arts Council’s Exhibition Assistance Grant;
  • Act as a representative of the organization within the sector; and
  • Attend exhibitions, screenings, events and keep abreast of trends within the local and international art world.

Financial and Office Administration 

  • Responsible for writing programming sections of grants;
  • Produce and maintain programming budget for all programming events;
  • Provide support in different aspects of the organization—in administration, artistic, marketing, outreach and community relations;
  • Develop, implement and supervise programs and services that are consistent with the organization’s mission and Strategic Plan and that meet the needs of SAVAC communities;
  • Working with the Communications Coordinator, contribute  to SAVAC’s Quarterly Newsletter by providing audiences with up to date information about current and upcoming events
  • Write contracts for artists, guest curators, and writers; and
  • Develop and maintain pre-existing and new co-presentation partnerships.

 Qualifications, Skills, and Experience: 

  • Minimum 5 years overall experience in artistic programming or educational background in related disciplines e.g., Art History, Curatorial Studies, Visual Culture etc., or equivalent paid or volunteer experience in the sector
  • Knowledge of, and or experience with:
    • The Canadian public granting system
    • Board governed artist-run centres in Canada
    • Contemporary art from the global south
    • Writing and maintaining programming/project budgets
    • Installing a variety of exhibitions
    • Working in different artistic mediums
    • The barriers faced by artists of colour
  • Strong written English in a variety of writing styles including curatorial essays, grant-writing language, promotional writing and email correspondence
  • Knowledge of a second language is preferred
  • Able to troubleshoot and creatively problem solve in areas of budgeting, exhibition design and installation
  • Ability to work in to work independently and cooperatively without supervision in a small, engaged hybrid workplace
  • Proven leadership ability when working with junior and contract staff, guest contributors and artists
  • Strong project management skills to undertake and realise collaborative exhibition projects including a high capacity to multitask and meet deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including experience in public speaking and moderating panels

Notes on Working Conditions:

  • Must be comfortable with flexible work environment and variable work schedule
  • Some lifting and moving may be involved
  • SAVAC’s office is located at 401 Richmond St W. in Toronto, Ontario. SAVAC is currently working in a hybrid model (some in-office and some remote work)

Position Details:

The Artistic Director reports to the Board of Directors and works closely with the Executive Director. Total compensation includes health benefits through a group insurance plan and three weeks paid vacation with additional unpaid leave possible as approved by the Director/Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis.

Number of hours/week: 30 hours/week

Duration: 2 year renewable contract

Preferred Start Date: October 17th (negotiable)

Why work for SAVAC?

  • Collaborative, nimble and responsive programming style 
  • Anti-racist, equity-focused, QTBIPOC-centered work environment
  • Opportunities for expanding your cultural network within Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and other areas internationally
  • Support for independent artistic and curatorial careers and opportunities
  • Support for professional development through attendance of courses, workshops and/or conferences

Please submit applications to board@savac.net with the subject line: Artistic Director Application.

In your application, please include your CV, a one-page cover letter and a one-page statement answering the following question: Given SAVAC’s 25 years of programming, what 2 – 3 themes or narratives would you pursue as Artistic Director over the first 2 years of your contract? Why do you think those themes and/or narratives are important in this broader moment in Canadian contemporary art?

Starting salary $42k, to commensurate with experience &
annual cost of living increases

 

Deadline Date: Sept 30th, 2022 5pm EST

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Suite 450
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
Canada

1 (416) 542-1661
info@savac.net

Office Closed
Monday - Thursday
10am - 5pm
by remote appointment only

SUBSCRIBE

Stay up to date about upcoming submission deadlines, workshops,
exhibitions, and events at SAVAC.

Canada Council for the Arts Ontario Arts Council Toronto Arts Council Ontario Trillium Foundation