July 20, 2016

Call for inaugural Curator-in-Residence Program

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young), Power of People, Power of Place. Bemis Center, 2015. Apple wallpaper (Omaha Edition); inkjet print; various artworks from private collections. Courtesy of the artists David Burns and Austin Young. Photo: Colin Conces.

The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is now accepting applications from national and international curators for its inaugural Curator-in-Residence Program. Starting in January 2017, the successful candidate will participate in a one-year fully subsidized live/work residency as part of the Bemis Center’s acclaimed Artist-in-Residence Program. S/he will originate and present three exhibitions and related public programs inclusive of local and national artists. The Curator-in-Residence will work alongside residency and curatorial staff, and actively contribute to the overall vision of the Bemis’s renowned exhibition program.

Now celebrating its 35 year anniversary, the Bemis Center is thrilled to launch the first Curator-in-Residence Program in the state of Nebraska, infusing Omaha with thoughtful leaders in contemporary curatorial practice to engage the local arts community. Competitive applicants will possess a strong knowledge of international contemporary art and a genuine interest in researching and responding to cultural production in Omaha and the region. The Curator-in-Residence is part of the cultural fabric of the city, serving as a professional resource for local artists and arts professionals, and as an ambassador of the Bemis in the community. S/he is also an integral member of the Bemis’s Artist-in-Residence Program, sustaining an intellectual discourse surrounding contemporary art practice through studio visits, knowledge-sharing workshops, and other organized programs with fellow residents.

Reporting to the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs and the Artistic Director, Residency Programs, the Curator-in-Residence is a full-time temporary position. S/he will be involved in all curatorial and administrative aspects of organizing three exhibitions over a 12-month residency. The 2017 exhibition seasons are scheduled for February 2–April 29, June 1–August 26, and November 9–January 27. Exhibitions will be original, conceptually rigorous, and exemplify the true breadth and experimentation currently defining contemporary art. Duties include, but are not limited to, research, artist and donor relations, exhibition design and installation, writing/editing of scholarly texts and didactics, budgeting, conceptualizing and leading public programs, and exhibition tours. The Curator-in-Residence studio is for single occupancy only; Bemis is unable to accommodate partners, children, and pets at this time.

–Live/work residency period: January 4–December 15, 2017
–Monthly honorarium: 2,500 USD
–Relocation allowance: 2000 USD
–Ground transportation allowance: 300 USD/month
–Travel/research budget: 3,000 USD
–Free lodging in a sizable, well-appointed live/work studio with private bath and kitchen and complimentary utilities, laundry, and Wi-Fi
–Administrative staff support
–Dedicated gallery; approximately 2000 square feet; 12.6 foot ceilings; concrete floors

–Master’s degree in curatorial or museum studies, art history, or related field; or 5 years equivalent professional work experience in the field
–A minimum of 1–2 years curatorial experience in an academic, non-profit, and/or commercial gallery setting
–Strong knowledge of international contemporary art and a keen interest in understanding and working with Omaha’s cultural landscape are required
–Excellent verbal and written communications skills are essential
–Creative and strategic thinker with the capacity to take initiative and to work independently and as a team player in a fun, yet demanding arts organization
–It is understood the ideal candidate will understand and promote the Bemis Center’s mission and, as an ambassador of the organization, perform all Bemis-related duties in a professional, responsible manner.

To apply:

–A one-page cover letter outlining curatorial interests, professional experience, and what you aim to accomplish in a 12-month residency at the Bemis
–5 jpegs of previous exhibitions and public events
–1 academic or critical writing sample
–1 didactic writing sample for a “general” audience
–Contact information for three professional references


About Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Founded in 1981, by artists for artists, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts supports today’s artists through an international artist-in-residence program, temporary exhibitions and commissions, and innovative public programs. Located in the historic Old Market district, the Bemis Center serves a critical role in the presentation and understanding of contemporary art, bridging the community of Omaha to a global discourse surrounding cultural production today.


Media contact
Ellina Kevorkian, Artistic Director, Residency Programs:
[email protected], T 402 341 7130, ext. 27


Call for inaugural Curator-in-Residence Program at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

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