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How To Become An Independent Curator

How To Become An Independent Curator

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Sarah Sparkes


This course will provide you with an essential tool kit with which to become an independent curator. It has a track record for launching careers and educational paths in this field. The course is designed to help you think critically about the role of the curator and for you to identify and establish your own curatorial approach. 

You will be guided through the essentials of curating your own exhibition, gallery or on-going art project and the practicalities of organising this.

Please note that that the Wednesday evening course also includes meeting on a single Saturday from 10:00 - 16:00. 

Dates listed below:
  • Saturday 19 October 2019
  • Saturday 8 February 2020
  • Saturday 16 May 2020
  • The course will include gallery visits, covering a range of curatorial models, where you will meet and have the opportunity to speak with professionals in the field. It also includes a guest lecture from an established curator. For the part-time evening course, the gallery visit will be scheduled for the fifth week of the course on a Saturday.

    Working in small groups, you will create a proposal and presentation ready to translate into an actual exhibition. By the end of the course you will have the confidence and understanding of how to develop and present your own independently curated projects.

    Topics covered

    • Developing an idea or concept
    • Finding a venue
    • Liaising with artists  - including contracts and commission
    • Different curatorial approaches
    • Apply for funding and sponsorship
    • Forming partnerships
    • Networking
    • Working to budgets
    • Successfully marketing and documenting your exhibition
    • Writing a press release
    • Presenting/ pitching your project

    Below are links to projects by previous students on the course:

    Who should take this course?

    The course is designed for anyone considering embarking on a career as an independent curator or following an educational path in this field.

    It is suitable for those who wish to gain an insight into the practicalities of independent curating and an overview of career opportunities in this area.

    Entry requirements:  None.

    Level: The course welcomes beginners as well as students with some previous curating experience.

    Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

    Tutor Description

    Sarah Sparkes is an artist and independent curator whose practice explores the immaterial and how this may be visualised. Since 2008 she has run the curatorial research project GHost. She has organised numerous collaborative and solo projects, working with both U.K. and international artists and realising ambitious events and exhibitions in both public and private spaces - including the London Art Fair and Folkestone Triennial. She holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts and between 2009 - 2011 was a Research Fellow at the University of London. As well as leading and curating a number of visual arts projects, she frequently exhibits her own work which encompasses installation, painting, performance and film. She was the 2015 the winner of the MERU Art*Science Award, recently had a solo exhibition with New Art Projects. A qualified HE Lecturer, she has taught within both academic and non-academic environments and is currently lecturing in Fine Art and Independent Curating at a number of London institutions including Tate Modern and University of the Arts. She lectures and has published widely on her own practice and curatorial projects.


    Please bring with you to the first session:

    • notebook and pen
    • promotional material from an exhibition that has inspired you (this can include a link to a website).

    Available dates