The Shemer Art Center will be awarding another Guest Curator Position along with a monetary award funded by contributions from the Roney Family Foundation. Being a curator offers unique career opportunities for students who have always been fascinated by museums, the arts and history and who are seeking to gain or expand their professional experience in the arts.  Since this field has expanded in recent years, the curator’s job description covers a range of responsibilities. Applicants for the Guest Curator Position should study subjects such as museum studies, art history, studio arts, and/or exhibit administration.

Job Description:

The work of a guest curator involves the management and organization of the annual New Art in Arizona exhibition in the 5 galleries of the Shemer Art Center. The main job of the curator is to participate in the selection and installation of artwork made by the scholarship winners of the current year. Art work must include that submitted by each applicant (3 pieces each) plus 1-3 additional pieces made by the artists and chosen by the Guest Curator. When choosing additional work, the curator should choose the work with a particular theme or topic in mind.

The Guest Curator should be able to work independently and in a timely manner so to assure the success of the exhibition. Shemer representatives can be of assistance during normal business hours. The Guest Curator may request guidance at any time from the AAG Scholarship Chair who will serve as an adviser to provide support and information.


Thanks to Shemer Art Center and financial contributions from the Roney Family Foundation, Guest Curators are given monetary support for their efforts.One person is chosen each spring to serve as the Guest Curator for the following award year. Guest Curators work on and off between about late February and mid April with a majority of the work taking place during installation and the few weeks prior to the installation. For their efforts and time Guest Curators are awarded with a financial contribution. Last year the amount dispersed into the chosen student’s account was  $1000.00 and the same amount will be given to this year’s Guest Curator. In comparison to the AAG Scholarships, monies from Shemer are deposited into the student bursar account during the spring (rather than fall) of the year the Guest curator is to serve.


Guest Curators are also given a year membership with AAG. Members can enjoy the benefits of networking with over 350 artists, receiving information about upcoming exhibitions, workshops and opportunities and participating in numerous AAG activities. Members also have the opportunity to volunteer with AAG (a 501(c)3 nonprofit ) in varying ways. Such an opportunity is great (especially for students) for gaining experience in working within an arts organization and amongst dedicated artists as well as for boosting one’s resume. In the past, some winners have gone on to volunteer as the scholarship chairs/co-chairs and/or on the exhibitions committee and have participated in some of the guild’s activities. All applicants are welcome to become members and active participants in one of Arizona’s oldest arts organizations!

How to apply: 

In the application, fill out all appropriate sections. Those interested in the Art Scholarship should fill out the sections labeled (SA) and those applying for the Guest Curator Position fill out sections labeled (GCP). Applicants can apply for both awards and may be chosen for both. Guest Curator applicants must choose five jpeg images from the collection of previous winner samples on the Image Gallery page, CLICK HERE to see. The five images should be chosen with a specific theme in mind as a “curator” and submitted on a PC and MAC compatible CD in a specific order to be viewed. The application has a written element, a “Curator’s Statement”, which should explain the rationale for the artwork chosen. The stronger the “curators statement” and its defense of the 5 works chosen, the more likely an applicant will be picked. Applications must be complete and agreements forms must be read and signed. Signed agreement forms serve as a commitment to serving as the Guest Curator in the following spring if awarded. Here is a downloadable Application.


  1. All applicants must be continuing full-time, undergraduate or graduate students at a college or university in Arizona with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, state residency is not a requirement.
  2. Students must be studying, as a minor or major: museum studies, art history, studio arts, and/or exhibit administration.
  3. The application is open to continuing international students as long as the above and below requirements are met.
  4. Previous winners of AAG Scholarships and/or a Guest Curator Position are ineligible.
  5. Winners of an award must be able and willing to transport themselves to and from the gallery in Phoenix, as AAG nor the Shemer Art Center can offer transportation or additional monetary support for transport.
  6. The guest curator (and Shemer Art Center) is not responsible for shipping or delivering to or from the gallery unless they choose to do so. If it is agreed between the artist and Guest Curator that the work will be delivered or shipped by the Guest Curator, once the work leaves Shemer Art Center, Shemer, the Guest Curator and AAG are not responsible for any damages that may occur.  Here is a copy of Shemer’s Loan Agreement
  7. Artwork / statements submitted for a previous AAG scholarship/guest curator  competition is NOT eligible.
  8. Submission materials cannot be returned to the applicants.

All application packets must be mailed to:

AAG Scholarship 
Gayla R. Bonnell

2360 E. Cheryl Dr.

Phoenix, AZ 85028

Submission postmarked deadline is February 6th, 2015 – NO EXCEPTIONS.

Be sure to use the checklist on the application and adhere to the timeline below. Agreement forms must be thoroughly read and signed.


There are a number of responsibilities curators are expected to perform. A CD or USB with a timeline, examples and information will be given to each Guest Curator so they may have a starting point or reference if needed.

Process: To conduct a successful show, curators should understand the content of the work to be displayed and discover a theme or topic to explore in the show. The arrangement of the work and how it is displayed can reflect these things. The curator will be responsible for conducting drop-off/pick-up duties and times, overseeing paperwork requirements (i.e. loan agreement and copyright release forms), installation of the show, exhibit signage and publication, title cards, show cards, programs,  and other publicity information. Shemer Art Center has many templates and can provide advice or information when asked.  Publicity: Successful curators will get the word out! They oversee the development and distribution of information through the media, fliers, invitations and social media. All printing may be done at the Shemer Art Center or will be sent by Shemer to a printing company at no cost to the Guest Curator. Costs: If there are any related exhibition costs (not including transport or shipping) will be reimbursed after the exhibition. Costs should not exceed amount listed in information packet given to Guest Curator. 
Curator’s Statement: A curator’s statement about the show is important. Not only does it place the artwork in historical or contemporary context, it is used in press releases and the program. A basic program should be put together by the curator to document the show and so to be handed out at the opening reception. Recognition of Donors: In any opportunity weather through a posted letter, in title or show cards and during the reception, recognition should be given to all jurors and current donors to AAG Scholarships and Guest Curator Position. If appropriate, invitations should be sent to donors or those responsible for managing donated funds. Many individuals have chosen this specific program and some have given thousands of dollars, they deserve recognition. Sales: Guest Curators are not responsible for handling sales. However they can help make it happen! Prices of work can be listed on title cards and in the program or on a price list. Preparation: Awardee’s are encouraged to shadow or meet with the Guest Curator of the current application award year, so to gain an understanding of the process. Current Guest Curators should be open to discussing the process and timeline, with the next Guest Curator.


Application postmarked deadline: Friday February 6th 2015
Notification, via email only: by or before February 22nd 2015
Exhibition dates: March 19th – April 30th 2015
Drop off of artwork: March 13th – 14th 2015
Installation: March 24th -25th 2015.
The Awards Reception: 7-9 PM, Thursday, March 26th 2015
Take down of exhibition: May 1st-2nd, 2015
Pick-up of work: May 1st – 2nd 2015
Winner presentations at AAG: May 19, 2015


Please contact Scholarship Chair, Tristyn Bustamante at

To go back to the scholarship main page  CLICK HERE