CuratorSpace is a website which delivers the tools you need to manage art opportunities efficiently and stay in control.

A new website is making it easier for people and organisations to create exciting and well­-managed art opportunities all over the country. It’s called CuratorSpace and is the result of a collaboration between an artist and a web developer in Leeds.

The Art House, The Old Library Project Commission
The Art House, The Old Library Project Commission, Limited Edition Works for Fundraising, Ltd Edition Wall Panels by Daniel Heath. Photo credit: The Art House

CuratorSpace is an online resource for anyone who wants to organise art opportunities for exhibitions, residencies, commissions, and more. It allows people to set up and manage their opportunities, share the details with artists and other participants, select contributions and keep track of all the many different communications that often arise. It also makes it easier for artists and contributors to offer their work for selection.

CuratorSpace has been designed and built by Leeds­ based team Louise Atkinson and Philip Bennison. Louise is an experienced artist/curator herself, and Philip is an innovative web developer. The site helps manage open calls by dealing with some of the time ­consuming administration, whilst adding useful tools that make storing and sharing important data and information a simple, secure and efficient process.

CuratorSpace fulfils a need Louise identified from her own work. She said, “I’ve been working as an artist and organising exhibitions for about 15 years. Initially Facebook groups made organising shows easier, but soon opportunities were being shared on different networks, with responses coming back through email, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc. making it very difficult to manage, especially if I was organising more than one event at once.

East Street Arts, Open Studios 2014
East Street Arts, Open Studios 2014. Photo credit: East Street Arts

The Art House, SOMETIMES Residency
The Art House, SOMETIMES Residency, ‘The Inmate World’, video installation by Amelia Crouch. Photo credit: The Art House

“After a conversation with web developer Philip Bennison about how we could create simple tools to help people organising exhibitions to manage submissions from artists, CuratorSpace was born.”
CuratorSpace was launched last year and has already picked up a number of key users – including the complex multi­-site events of Saltaire Inspired and the prestigious East Street Arts, a Leeds­ based artists organisation with a national reach and reputation.

Bradford’s National Media Museum is using CuratorSpace to commission an artist in residence for The Season of Light 2015 – a series of installations and events responding to the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies. More recently, B­side Festival in Dorset have begun using it for their commissions and have been able to create a separate application form in French for French artists – which only goes to show just how adaptable the system is.

The Tetley, The Imaginary Museum curated by Louise Atkinson
The Tetley, The Imaginary Museum curated by Louise Atkinson. Photo credit: Philip Bennison

East Street Arts have been increasingly using CuratorSpace to help manage their events. Lydia Catterall says “because applications remain outside individual email inboxes there’s no
risk of losing anything or missing anyone’s application. Everything is ordered, tidy and in the same format, and our staff can get access anytime they need. What’s more, CuratorSpace is flexible enough to meet our changing needs as we add new spaces, events and projects locally and nationally.”

June Russell from Saltaire Inspired said “managing a call­out online has simply never been easier, and we recommend CuratorSpace highly.”

Louise and Philip are constantly developing the site and its facilities, “we are delighted that the project is getting use by bigger organisations as well as smaller curators and artists – it is what the site was designed for”.

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