Some news which has been keeping us busy is that Beryl Graham has taken
over course leadership of the MA Curating at Sunderland University, and
will be teaching the module "Visions of Curating" and Sarah Cook will
be teaching "Mechanics of Curating". All this means further integration
of new media into the context of curating contemporary art, and hec,
it's a good course, we'd recommend it!
If your interested in the course, feel free to contact us informally to
discuss it, and further details are below.
MA CURATING AT SUNDERLAND
Being a successful curator in the 21st Century can involve
organisation, management, display and production across a wide range of
fields – from contemporary art exhibitions to musical events, from
museum displays to practical workshops. Like artists, curators develop
their own practice at individual and collaborative levels.
MA Curating at the University of Sunderland is the only course in the
UK to specialise in the concerns of curating across the fields of Art,
Design, Media & Culture. This innovative and ground-breaking
post-graduate programme (incorporating Post-Graduate Certificate,
Post-Graduate Diploma and Masters levels) is also the only one of its
type internationally to combine the curation of artefacts and objects
from the worlds of Fine Art and Applied Art and Design alongside the
initiation and organisation of projects, exhibitions and events by (and
with) contemporary artists and cultural practitioners.
This new programme will highlight the histories of how people have
collected and displayed culture whilst investigating and testing the
methods and skills needed to be a curator today. It is designed to
accommodate many kinds of curator; from the arts administrator and
events co-ordinator to the artist-curator and curator-artist; from the
design exhibitor to the gallery education worker; from the new media
curator to those individuals who work in alternative and ad hoc
contexts of cultural organisation and event programming.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE IN CONTEXT
MA Curating complements other initiatives at the University of
Sunderland such as the ongoing investigation into curating new media
art (www.crumbweb.org - an international resource for curators). The
University of Sunderland has become a leading centre in academic and
professional research on exhibiting digital and new media contemporary
art. MA Curating draws on the wide range of professional curating
experience and expertise of staff from Glass to Fine Art, Design
History to Performance. The programme puts the expanding culture of the
North East of England in an international context. It offers the
student a dynamic learning environment close to BALTIC Centre for
Contemporary Art, The Sage and a host of other galleries, projects and
freelance initiatives across the region. In addition, MA Curating
offers the skills necessary to impact upon practice via its
AIM OF THE PROGRAMME
The Programme provides a breadth of knowledge and expertise necessary
to critically navigate the multifaceted and expanding field of curating
in the current climate. MA Curating focuses on the practice of its
participants via individual and collaborative projects and offers a far
reaching historical and theoretical programme through writing and
The course offers expertise from curators and academics at the
forefront of their discipline:
· Prof. Beryl Graham, Programme Leader (curator of ‘Serious Games’,
co-author of ‘Rethinking Curating’, co-editor of CRUMB).
· Dr. Tim Brennan, Head of Department, Arts & Design (artist and
· Mike Collier, Lecturer (curator, artist and consultant).
· Dr. Sarah Cook, post-doctoral research fellow, co-curator of
'Database Imaginary',co-author of ‘Rethinking Curating’,and co-editor
· Dr. Carol McKay, Senior Lecturer, Photography, Video and Digital
Imaging (writer and academic).
Additional contributing staff include:
Prof. Sylva Petrova, (specialism: glass)
Jack Dawson, Senior Lecturer (specialism: Design History and Theory)
Neil Ewins, Lecturer (specialism: Design History and Theory)
Prof. Peter Davies, (Art Consultant)
Visiting Speakers have included:
• Kathy Rae Huffman, formerly Curator at the Long Beach Museum of Art,
California, director of Hull Time Based Arts, and Director of Visual
Arts at Cornerhouse, Manchester.
• Caitlin Jones, formerly of Guggenheim Museum, New York, and curator
of Seeing Double, now director of Western Front, Vancouver.
This programme involves a practice-based approach to learning whilst
providing a thorough understanding of the theoretical and historical
underpinnings of curating. MA Curating is structured through 5 modules
(also incorporating postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma
levels of attainment). The following is a brief description of the
Genealogies of Curating(CURM01, Postgraduate Certificate)
This module studies a range of histories connected to the development
of contemporary curating. This initial seminar and lecture based module
establishes a substantial basis for the practice of curating in all its
forms and begins by introducing contemporary curating as a
multi-faceted and historically deep-rooted concept.
Mechanics of Curating(CURM02, Postgraduate Certificate)
This module brings together the main procedures of exhibition
organizing as objects of study. It looks at a range of practical
aspects that form the professional basis of any curator whether they
are working or intend to work in the public or private sectors. The
module establishes this via a combination of workshops led by
professionals working in the field, group visits to cultural
organizations in the region and keynote presentations by core staff.
Curating a Region(CURM03, Postgraduate Diploma)
This module builds on the practical concerns of Contemporary Art &
Design infrastructures in a region. It will examine the relationship of
local/regional production to an international market and global
culture. It takes as its main object of study the environment of the
North-East and investigates the role artists have played in the growth
of arts provision. Curating a Regionis delivered via a combination of
field trips and lecture/seminars.
Visions of Curating(CURM04, Postgraduate Diploma)
This module interrogates models of curatorial practice both in and out
of the museum. It looks, in particular, at the ways in which artists
have adopted the ideas and practices of curating into their work, the
role of the collection, and models of the distribution of art derived
from media. The module provides a platform for further enquiry into new
and emerging models of curatorial practice. It asks: What are the
possible future models of curating contemporary art? The module is
delivered via lecture/seminars including case studies.
Curatorial Practice(CURM05, Masters level)
In this final module, students work either individually or
collaboratively on a project of their own, either in association with a
regional cultural institution or independently in the region (or
further a field if applicable). Projects do not necessarily have to be
realized as completed cultural events/exhibitions but exist as
‘display’ [presentation of advanced research]. The written aspects of
the module (Project Report) contextualise the practical aspect with any
topic covered previously in the programme.
Each module involves a submission of an essay, written case study (with
visual material) or in the case of Curatorial Practice (CURM05) a
Through application form and interview or in the case of overseas
candidates by written application, telephone interview and or written
correspondence. (For more detailed information on applications please
contact Tim Brennan (Programme Leader) or the School of Art, Design,
Media & Culture office, University of Sunderland (contact details
The duration of the course is: one year full-time, 2 years part-time.
It is modular in structure offering Post-graduate Certificate, Diploma,
and Masters levels.
If you are interested in being part of this new and dynamic research
culture of curating at the University of Sunderland please contact:
MA Curating Programme Leader
University of Sunderland
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or Tim Brennan [log in to unmask]