Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellow 2018

For the second year, Tilting Axis has facilitated, administered and designed an open call for our Curatorial Fellowship. In a strong partnership with the University of Texas at Austin Art Galleries at Black Studies we issued an open call to find and seek out a curator living and working in the Caribbean who would rise to the occasion to use the resources, collections and moment at hand to advance their practice in a nuanced and sensitive way. The jury panel comprising of Lise Ragbir, Joel Butler, Tobias Ostrander, Holly Bynoe, Annalee Davis, Eddie Chambers, Natalie Urquhart, Sara Herman and Mario Caro (9  in total) had the laborious task of deliberating an exceptionally strong pool of candidates from 7 countries.

The competition was stiff—reflecting the wealth of talent, and need for increased opportunities, for curators in the region. We are happy to announce that this year’s Tilting Axis 4 Curatorial Fellowship sponsored by and to take place at the University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded to—Natalie Willis, Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of The Bahamas.  At the University of Texas at Austin with access to collections of work by African American and Caribbean artists, Natalie hopes to look beyond nationalist dialogues and examine how shared history presents itself in different cultural phenotypes. As she says, “One root leads to many rhizomes and proliferations of blackness.”

About Natalie:

Natalie Willis is a British-Bahamian curator and cultural worker. Born and raised in The Bahamas, she received her BA (Hons) and MA in Fine Art at York St John University in the UK. Willis is currently working as an Assistant Curator at National Art Gallery of The Bahamas with a concerted focus on writing aimed at decolonising and decentralising the art archive, and adding to the literature on Bahamian and Caribbean visual culture and developing her burgeoning curating practice. Somewhere in a parallel universe, she still makes artwork.

As an emerging curator desperately trying to not contribute to the brain-drain of the Caribbean, she has dedicated her time at the NAGB to focusing on knowledge building and access through text and speaking to the way the colonial tourism of the late 1800s shaped the cultural and physical landscape of the Anglo-Caribbean.

Willis has been an invited speaker at the Caribbean Studies Association  Conference (2017), the Museums Association of the Caribbean Annual Conference (2016). Most recently, she took part in the Goldsmiths + British School at Rome Summer Intensive Course, themed “Curating the Contemporary”, in Rome in 2017.

Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellowship 2018 Open Call

As a direct outcome of the Tilting Axis meeting held at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands in May 2017, the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Art Galleries at Black Studies has come together with Tilting Axis to offer a Curatorial Fellowship to an emerging curator living and working in the Caribbean.

This Fellowship opportunity focuses on curators living and working within the Caribbean region, and is both research and practice-led, and mentor-based. The Fellow will receive a maximum of USD$5,500 towards a fee, travel, accommodation and living costs. The Fellowship is supported by University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Art Galleries at Black Studies.

This Fellowship includes round-trip airfare from any country within the Caribbean to Austin, Texas, where the Fellow will have access to private accomodation, in the award-winning home of Susanna and Richard Finnell, local collectors, for a period of four weeks. During this timeframe, the Fellow will be able to view and work with the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Art Galleries at Black Studies’ Collection along with the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies Collection, and the campus libraries.

This Fellowship also includes access to the 800-piece private Christian-Green Collection comprised of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American art works, with a dedicated focus on works from Haiti. The Fellow will also have access to the Christian-Green’s Reading Room and will be mentored by Lise Ragbir, the Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies at UT, with whom he/she will work to produce a fully funded exhibition in the Warfield Center’s Idea Lab Gallery, in the Fall of 2019.

Application Process:

Proposals will be judged by an international jury consisting of curators, academics, and museum professionals, after which shortlisted candidates (3) will be invited for an interview via Skype.

The Fellow will be selected on the basis of a letter of interest stating how this opportunity and access to collections and archives would inform and develop their curatorial practice, and why they think they would be a good candidate. The proposal should be no longer than 1000 words, and can be submitted to: tiltingaxis@gmail.com.

Please enclose CV and two references.

The Fellowship will be conducted over a four week period in either the Fall semester of 2018 or the Spring semester of 2019. Exact dates to be determined in consultation with the mentor.

The submission deadline for applications is May 18th, 2018, and the Curatorial Fellow will be announced at the upcoming Tilting Axis 4 meeting in the Dominican Republic on May 31st – June 2nd, 2018.

Jurors will be:

  • Lise Ragbir, the Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Eddie Chambers, Professor in the Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin
  • Holly Bynoe, ARC Magazine, The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Tilting Axis co-founder
  • Tobias Ostrander, Senior Curator, PAMM
  • Mario Caro, board member of Res Artis, Tilting Axis partner
  • Annalee Davis, Fresh Milk Barbados, Tilting Axis co-founder
  • Natalie Urquhart, Director, The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
  • Sara Hermann, Visual Arts Consultant, Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes
  • Joel Butler, Visual Arts and Exhibitions Coordinator, Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes