A Practical Guide to Curating

February 5, 2014

Online course  / Duration: From August 14th to September 4th, 2014 / Application deadline: August 7th, 2014

Lecturer: Maeve Mulrennan


This course provides the basic tools to curate in the art field from start to finish. It examines the ideas and practicalities of curation, looking at what curating is and its potential, followed by practical sessions on developing a proposal and managing a project. The course includes two exercises, one research based and the other project management based.

Following the course, participants will learn practical tools to research and develop a curatorial proposal, project management skills and managing their curatorial practice. This course is an ideal primer for those who want to get started making exhibitions.

Participation fee: 145€

Language: English

Enroll here, you will receive payment instructions after enrolling

*Online material available 24/7 during the duration of the course and 4 weekly video-conferences every Thursday at 7pm Central European Time



Week 1:  Role of the curator

  • What are your expectations of curating?
  • What do curators do? Types of curators, difference between project manager, artists as curator, commercial gallerist, museum. Different models of curating
  • Different approaches to curating: what can be done, how your work fits into existing gallery / project space models
  • Managing & Positioning your curatorial practice
  • Curatorial case studies

Assignment: research a curatorial case study on a solo exhibition by a contemporary curator.


Week 2: Building your proposal with artists

  • Developing your proposal / what is your project?
  • Researching artists (studio visits, database, techniques)
  • Communicating your ideas to artists & developing curatorial ideas with artists
  • Writing the proposal
  • Inviting artists to participate & defining a working model

Assignment: Draft a proposal for a curatorial project.


Week 3: Working with a space

  • Working in a space; how to get a space, how to propose your project to a gallery
  • Insurance, Health & Safety, Transport & Art handling
  • Installing: guidelines for working with digital media, digital equipment
  • Examples of different layouts of 2D works
  • Devising an installation timetable; working with a technician / art handler & artists
  • Basic contracts: for artists, gallery spaces & technicians
  • The take down; the resources you need, invoices you need to send, other things you need to do to ‘tidy up’.


Week 4: Communicating your project

  • The audience: who are they, what do they expect, how to communicate with them on a marketing level and an artistic level.
  • What to do with your audience once you have them – public programming and engagement
  • Marketing & promotion; mediating your project to the public & the art community
  • The Vernissage: practical guidelines on what to do & why
  • Engaging a writer / critic
  • The importance of documenting your project & different examples


About Maeve Mulrennan

Maeve Mulrennan is Head of Visual Art & Education in Galway Arts Centre, Ireland. She received a BA in Fine Art (Painting) from Limerick School of Art & Design, a h.Dip in Arts Policy from NUI Galway an MA Visual Art Practices from IADT Dun Laoghaire and most recently a Diploma in English Literature, German and Sociology & Politics from NUI Galway. Currently Mulrennan is the Chairperson of Tulca Festival of Visual Art and lectures in the MA in Arts Policy in Huston School of Film and Digital Media. She has also curated the residency ‘Public House’ in Kildare. She has had articles and reviews published in the Visual Artists’ Newsletter, Circa Magazine, Billion and Paper Journal of Visual Art and Engage: The International Journal of Visual Art and Gallery Education. Her short fiction has been published in Wordlegs, the Galway Review and the Doire Press Chapbook Competition.


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