Call for Curators

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center

Portland, OR


Curator-in-Residence Program Accepting Applicants

Portland, Oregon-based Disjecta Contemporary Art Center is accepting proposals for a Curator-in-Residence for its 2018-2019 exhibition season.

Disjecta houses an expansive exhibition space for the presentation of visual arts at the regional, national and international level that speaks to the region’s diverse interests, talents and identities.

The Curator-in-Residence program provides an opportunity for emerging curatorial talent to develop and expand the scope of their practice through a one-year residency. Rotated on an annual cycle, the program seeks to provide a nationally recognized curatorial opportunity in the underserved state of Oregon, to stimulate significant contemporary discourse that is able to cross disciplines, to engage new artists and patrons, and to raise the visibility of Portland’s art scene. Curators engage with a broad range of artists to create a series of exhibitions in Disjecta’s dynamic 3,500-square-foot space.

Throughout the season (fall 2018 through spring 2019) the Curator-in-Residence will organize three exhibitions. The nature of Disjecta’s exhibition space and mission facilitate contemporary work that is large scale, installation-based, specific to the site, or project-based—though these should not be considered limitations. Disjecta encourages artists and guest curators to challenge themselves and viewers, to take intelligent risks, and to expand definitions of disciplines.

Disjecta Curators-in-Residence include: Julia Greenway (current), Michele Fiedler (2016-17), Chiara Giovando (2015-16), Rachel Adams (2014-15), Summer Guthery (2013-14), Josephine Zarkovich (2012-13), and Jenene Nagy (2011-12).


Disjecta Contemporary Art Center builds ambitious programs that promote artists and engage communities by providing a catalytic platform for forward-thinking work by visual and performing artists. Dynamic programs showcase new ideas and engage new audiences while fueling collaborations between artists, curators, and viewers to impact and intervene in the larger contemporary arts dialogue. Disjecta exacts equal rigor from local and national artists, while recognizing and supporting the talent of the region.

In 2010 Disjecta became a non-profit 501(c)3 art organization, after years of hosting art and events at spaces throughout Portland. We began the two major mission programs – the Portland Biennial and our annual season of exhibitions by Curators-in-Residence.

The Curator-in-Residence program is the first of its kind in the region. Curators have used the CiR and Portland Biennial programs to further their careers, going on to work in galleries and museums such as:
·Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
·The Studio Museum in Harlem
·Anderson Ranch Arts Center
·University at Buffalo Art Galleries
·Linfield Gallery at Linfield College
·as well as founding their own organizations

2016 saw the most expansive Portland Biennial yet, curated by Michelle Grabner (co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennial in NYC).


Scope of Work

  • Solicit and select artists for three exhibitions from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019 (one or more exhibitions must emphasize regional Pacific Northwest artists).
  • In collaboration with Disjecta staff, oversee exhibition planning, manage and stay within budgets for each exhibition (budgets include honorariums and exhibition production costs), and coordinate artists schedules for installation and events.
  • Write and speak about the artists’ work for a variety of audiences including those knowledgable in contemporary art and those new to it. Be able to convey key messages about artists’ work and exhibitions to Disjecta staff for media materials, and varied group events and tours.
  • Assist in planning and attend opening receptions, group tours/curator talks, artist talks, performances, and workshops with exhibiting artists. Each exhibition should have three or more events or programs for the public.
  • Communicate the mission and goals of Disjecta while bringing a unique curatorial vision to the program.
  • Prepare exhibition models and sketches as required.
  • Participate in fundraising duties as needed or assigned.


  • Minimum three years curatorial experience. Graduate-level education in curatorial studies or a related field is preferred but not required.
  • Awareness of contemporary arts issues, practices and artists. A clear and distinct curatorial vision that is consistent with Disjecta’s mission.
  • Knowledge of or willingness to become familiar with regional contemporary art.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team within a larger arts organization.
  • Ability to organize and communicate messages effectively through writing and public presentation to different audiences.
  • Ability to manage large exhibitions, stay within budgets, and meet deadlines. 

Financial Considerations

Curatorial stipend is $6,000.  Please note, it is not a requirement that the curator reside in Portland for the duration of the program; however travel will be a necessity and candidates must be able to demonstrate flexibility of schedule. 



Proposals are due to Disjecta by Friday, October 6, 2017 Midnight PST. All applications must be sent via email to Jessica Breedlove Latham at [email protected] The subject line must read: Curator-in Residence 2018-19 Application. Qualified candidates will be contacted in December 2017. No phone calls please. Please include the following:

  1. Curatorial statement and vision for the Disjecta Curator-in-Residence Program.
  2. Professional resume.
  3. Examples of past curatorial work, including images and critical reviews.
  4. Two writing samples for different audiences (ex. academic/art groups, a broader audience new to art).
  5. Three professional references. 

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