Hosted by Culture Coventry at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
In partnership with International Curators Forum

Beyond the Frame Curators Masterclass at Haus der Kunst, Munich (February 2017). Image courtesy International Curators Forum.

In partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and International Curators Forum, we are welcoming applications from curators, in particular those from underrepresented backgrounds, to develop a New Art West Midlands exhibition for autumn 2020.

Hosted by Culture Coventry at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, we are looking for a dynamic individual with the vision and ambition to reflect the West Midlands’ visual arts in the widest sense.

The role is supported by International Curators Forum, bringing access to international networks and contexts – part of a distinctive professional development package that aims to create pathways into future opportunities.

Resulting in an exhibition of depth and relevance, and benefitting a broad constituency of diverse artists and audiences, the curator will apply a distinctive approach and perspective that extends beyond the mainstream to represent the region’s very best talent.

Applications should be submitted via our online application portal

Deadline 5pm, Monday 5 August 2019



Coventry will be the UK’s City of Culture in 2021. Our project is part of a strategic collaboration with Coventry City Council, Coventry University and the Coventry Art Forum (CAF) focused on raising the profile and quality of visual arts in the city – both in the run up to, and beyond, 2021. Together our ambition is to significantly increase the reach, visibility and impact of the visual arts to new audiences.


Established in 2013 as an annual survey exhibition featuring new graduates from the region’s art schools, New Art West Midlands has been successful in supporting the development of early career practitioners. Our new model puts risk-taking and partnerships at the core. Moving from a multi-city approach showing graduate work, the new model supports production of new work by early career artists alongside established practitioners, responding to a single city context (Coventry) and curatorial focus through a dedicated Curator in Residence. The single city approach increases our ability to engage audiences in a holistic way with visual arts practice, bringing greater depth and impact to the visitor experience.


Our partnership with the Herbert and International Curators Forum ensures excellence, and brings experience of delivering projects at the highest level. Culture Coventry through the Herbert has a long track record of supporting and presenting contemporary art. Among a range of other projects, International Curators Forum’s Diaspora Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale received acclaim for challenging the prevalence of national pavilions within international biennial exhibitions. Together, our work aims to support regional talent within a global context.


The Curator in Residence opportunity has been created to support a curator to work closely with the team at the Herbert. Through a professional and critical dialogue, the successful candidate will contribute to the shape of a wider programme for Culture Coventry.

The Curator in Residence will be expected to:

  • Devise, plan and revise where necessary with partners an outline of a personal work plan for the year, that considers key tasks and objectives on a quarterly basis which will include on/ offsite working from the Herbert
  • Research and curate a group exhibition for the Herbert for autumn 2020
  • Work directly with 6 pre-selected artists from New Art West Midlands 2019 graduate cohort, supporting the development of new work for presentation, and lead in identifying and selecting 6 mid-career artists from the region who have established national and international recognition for their practice
  • Identify and apply for additional sources of income with support from New Art West Midlands and our partners
  • Engage with New Art West Midlands’ Engine – the professional development programme for the region – through studio visits/portfolio sessions and the Curatorial Research Group
  • Advocate visual arts practice and curatorial excellence in the region


Fees and resources

  • Curatorial Fee of £7,500 (fixed)
  • Travel and accommodation expenses available up to £1,500
  • A working space at the Herbert, with support from curatorial and technical teams
  • Professional Development support through International Curators Forum and regional Curatorial Research Group


  • Deadline: 5 August 2019
  • Interviews: Coventry, Friday 16 August 2019
  • Residency timeframe: October 2019 – October 2020*
  • Exhibition: September – November 2020

(*attendance in Coventry will be required at key stages, and agreeable upon appointment)  


  • This opportunity is open to curators with an aim to support professional development by enabling access to exhibition space, resources, audiences and professional networks.
  • Curators based in, or affiliated with, the West Midlands are eligible to apply.
  • The Curator in Residence will be selected based on the strength of their application and interview, and evidence of their ability to deliver in the role.
  • We particularly want to address the imbalances in representation within the sector; we will prioritise applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, those who identify as Deaf/Disabled and/or LGBTQI, or practitioners whose work is intersectional in approach.


  • Applications should be made via our online application portal, and include the following information*:
  • A statement (between 500 and 1000 words) describing your interest in the Curator in Residence opportunity, the benefits to your practice, and an indication of how you might approach the brief.
  • A short description (250 – 500 words) of a key exhibition or project that you have previously developed, delivered or contributed to.
  • An outline of specific skills you hope to develop, what you feel your professional development needs are and/or possible mentoring you would like to get out of the experience.
  • Your CV.
  • A maximum of 4 images and supporting web links.
  • A completed Equalities Monitoring Form.


* We are committed to widening access to our opportunities. Audio or video recorded applications may be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube by those facing barriers in applying. Financial support is available to support access costs relating to the application.
If you have any support requirements or would like to discuss access, please do get in touch with: or telephone 0121 300 4309.


About New Art West Midlands

New Art West Midlands is the Contemporary Visual Arts Network for the region. Our purpose is to strengthen and develop the contemporary visual arts sector in the West Midlands, creating defining opportunities for West Midlands’ artists and curators, and working collectively to safeguard the future of artists and our sector.

About Culture Coventry

Culture Coventry is the trust that manages three of Coventry’s finest visitor attractions: Coventry Transport Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world; the award-winning Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, which celebrates the city’s culture, history and arts; and the Lunt Roman Fort, a fully excavated and partially reconstructed turf and timber fort, including the only gyrus in the Roman Empire. Between them, the attractions proudly tell stories of Coventry’s unique history to over 800,000 visitors per year from around the world.

About International Curators Forum (ICF)

Since 2007 International Curators Forum has developed and offered professional development opportunities for artists and curators: connecting professionals at all stages of their career around the world through its programme of organised international networking trips, masterclasses, residencies and mentoring. The 2016/18 programmes Beyond The Frame and Diaspora Pavilion were nationally and internationally notable for their innovative proposals and approaches towards addressing professional development and cultural diversity.

ICF also curates exhibitions and events that address diasporic culture in a global context, selected projects include: Tactical Interventions (Venice, Kassel, Munster, Istanbul, 2007), The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age (Sydney Biennial, 2010), Caribbean Pavilion (Liverpool Biennial 2010), Curating the International Diaspora (Martinique, Barbados, Sharjah, Gwangju 2016/17), and Diaspora Pavilion (Venice/Wolverhampton 2017/18)

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