The Block Museum of Art seeks a guest co-curator for an exhibition that will take a deliberate and inclusive approach to recounting an art history of Chicago from Native American perspectives. The project has received a two-year research and development grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of their Art Design Chicago 2024 initiative.

Chicago sits on the homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa; as well as the Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk nations. The site has long been a cultural and economic hub for Native American peoples and is currently home to a diverse Native community. With this acknowledgement as a critical reference and call to action, Indigenous Chicago will explore the confluences that have shaped and continue to shape Native American creative practices in the Chicago region. The curatorial approach will engage in dialogue between the past and the present through a collaborative, decolonizing process that includes Native Americans in leading the process and that upholds Indigenous curatorial methodologies of inclusivity, reciprocity, and research shaped by the priorities of Native American communities.

The role of guest co-curator is critical to the project’s methodology of inclusive collaboration with Native American and Indigenous specialists. The guest co-curator will work as an equal partner on the three-member curatorial team, and will interface with advisors from Northwestern University, Chicago’s Native American communities, and with subject specialists nationally.

A candidate does not need to be resident at the Block Museum to undertake the role of guest co-curator. The position’s responsibilities during the Research and Development phase will include:

– Contribute to developing the project’s collaborative process

– Participate in formal and informal project team meetings

– Assist in planning and participate in small group convenings with project advisors and partners

– Undertake project research with the curatorial team, including travel based on Northwestern University Covid-19 travel guidelines

– Contribute to developing the scope, themes, and intellectual content of the exhibition

– Contribute to developing the exhibition’s object check-list

– Contribute to preliminary conceptualization of the exhibition’s presentation strategy

– Participate in preliminary planning for the project’s companion publication, engagement programming, and virtual components.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree or equivalent experience in art history, anthropology, performance studies, visual studies, or a related field and specialization in Native American studies with a focus on the Great Lakes region; experience in developing collaborative projects that foreground Native American partnerships and perspectives; object based curatorial experience; and experience writing for generalist and specialist audiences.

About The Block: The Block plays an active role at Northwestern University, a leading research university situated in the Greater Chicago area. The museum presents a rigorous and diverse program that reaches across time, place, culture, and media; acting as a convener for interdisciplinary conversations; being an innovative “third space” for teaching and learning; and collaborating with and supporting faculty and students.

Compensation: The guest co-curator will receive an honorarium of $15,000 for a two-year term, which will be paid in three equal installments. Expenses for up to two one-week residencies in Evanston and planned research support and travel will also be compensated. Pending funding, the contract will be renewable for a second term that will continue through the implementation and presentation of the exhibition.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter stating your interest and a CV to and include “Indigenous Chicago Guest Co-Curator” in the subject line of your email.

Recommended Posts