Chair Open Rank Sculpture Individualized and Community Arts Programs

Job details:
California College of the Arts
Expiring Date: 23 July 2018
Date: 15 November 2017
Sector: Visual Arts
Function: Curator/Assistant Curator
Contract: Full Time
Salary: Salary according to the experience
Place of work: United States (San Francisco)
California College of the Arts

Job Description

Chair, Curatorial Practice Program (Open Rank)





May 2017


Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent non-profit art and design college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, film, visual and critical studies, comics, and writing. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups and community-run institutions. CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students and is in the process of a major campus unification project that will bring all college programs to one San Francisco location and ensure its academic excellence for the next century.



The Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers a fully accredited two-year Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Practice. The program is oriented to the work of the curator, placing exhibition practice, art history, and writing at the core of its curriculum. The first year offers courses focused specifically on exhibitions - their history, form and design - alongside courses in contemporary and global art history, theory and criticism, and, importantly, primary engagements with artworks and artists. The second year is focused on research-driven and project-based learning with the collaboration and mentorship of faculty: a written thesis project, pursued individually, and a collectively authored exhibition for CCA’s esteemed Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The core faculty, together with an international roster of visiting curators, writers, and artists, exposes students to a number of possible modes of operation in intensive seminars, critiques, and studio visits. Alongside the focus on exhibitions is an emphasis on the material qualities of objects and personal engagement with artists. This is achieved through seminars devoted to visual and textual analyses of artworks coupled by firsthand encounters with art in private and public collections. Meanwhile, the practice of developing conversations and relationships with artists is fostered through regular studio visits and interviews.



Established in 2003, CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice is the first of its kind in America and to-date has launched dozens of graduates onto expansive and rewarding career paths. The chair’s role is to build on that legacy by envisioning and directing a curriculum and program that responds to contemporary art and culture in order to prepare the next generation of curators to meet unprecedented challenges and opportunities within the curatorial field which has matured into a rich profession in contemporary art and culture.


The Chair of Curatorial Practice holds an essential leadership position in the suite of graduate programs in the Fine Arts Division at CCA and is a crucial partner in conceiving and strategizing pedagogic intersections among all the graduate programs within the four academic divisions, including Architecture, Design, and Humanities & Sciences. The successful candidate will approach curriculum development and programming as a creative and intellectual endeavor. They will demonstrate a capacity and interest in incorporating diverse cultural and global perspectives in shaping courses, pedagogic methodologies, community, and thus establishing core characteristics that define the program and steward it into the future. The chair will also provide an essential voice in envisioning the Curatorial Practice facilities in the new campus designed by Chicago-based architects Studio Gang.


The Chair position is full-time throughout the 9.5-month academic year, entailing additional summer responsibilities. The position is an open ranked faculty appointment, professor rank and tenure eligibility to be commensurate with experience. A program manager provides administrative and organizational support. The Dean and Associate Director of Fine Arts provide guidance and oversight for curriculum development, faculty selection, scheduling and accreditation reviews.



·    Provide vision and leadership in program development.

·           Conceive and steward a curriculum that combines global perspectives with innovative

pedagogical methodologies.

·       Identify and recruit qualified faculty in pursuit of pedagogic excellence, diversity, visibility, and

other program goals.

·    Manage and support faculty in their roles as teachers, mentors, and practitioners.

·    Identify and pursue partnerships with institutions and organizations that enrich the

curricular and academic life of Curatorial Practice students.

·    Build a strong community with regular, open communication between students, faculty

and staff.

·    Teach in the Curatorial Practice Program.

·    In partnership with Dean of Fine Arts and with the assistance of the program manager,

direct all aspects of the academic and administrative operations of the program.

·    Ensure compliance with WASC and NASAD accreditation standards and oversee the

program’s continual assessment.

·    Sustain public and alumni outreach and organize special events, including guest

lectures, exhibitions, and workshops.

·    Orchestrate intersections among other CCA Fine Arts programs and divisions.

·    Establish and enhance academic and professional networks for the program.

·    Promote the visibility of the Curatorial Practice program locally, nationally and globally, and

work collaboratively with Enrollment Services to establish and reach recruitment goals.

·    Oversee the academic achievement and pastoral care of first and second year Curatorial

Practice students, facilitate internships, advise on grant and job placement.

·    Perform additional duties as required.




Masters level university degree (or equivalent) with a minimum three years of teaching experience and eight years of professional experience in the field of curating. Applicants should present evidence of leadership ability and the potential to make significant contributions in their field of practice. They should have a strong commitment to education, be interested in urgent questions in the field of curating contemporary art, and possess a global perspective on curating and art institutions. Management experience in an academic or arts professional setting is desirable.

The ideal candidate will articulate a vision for the future of Curatorial Practice education. They will demonstrate the ability to lead faculty and students, and cultivate diverse practices that combine professional development, cultural awareness, and community engagement.



Commensurate with qualifications and includes a comprehensive benefits package.



Applications must be received by July 23, 2017 at 11:59pm PST.



Interested candidates may apply via an online application available at this address:


Qualified applicants must complete the online application by uploading the following materials:

- Letter of interest

- Teaching philosophy

- Statement about research and practice

- Curriculum vitae

- Portfolio of up to 20 images of exhibitions, projects, programs and publications and / or 10 minutes of video public talks or programs

- Three professional references


Should you need to contact us regarding your application, please email [email protected]


EEO Statement

As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

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