Pathways to becoming a curator

ArtsHub speaks to two curators to discover how they found their way to their current roles.
Curator. Image is a black and white shot of a woman with shoulder length hair, and a hand on her hip, wearing a black dress, and looking off to the site. her face is half in shadow.

The pathway to becoming a curator can seem mysterious. Art schools may rarely discuss it, where the focus is often on becoming a practising artist. At least one Australian school is known to have had its curatorial class killed off during the COVID pandemic.

ArtsHub talks to two curators to find out more about the profession in 2024 and how they made it their career.

Laura Brinin is a true success story, working in what she describes as her “dream gallery” where she mixes curating, management, mentorship, sales and event planning. ‘I wear a lot of hats!’ she says of her role as Curator at Side Gallery in the leafy suburb of Red Hill, Brisbane. Her career wasn’t always straightforward, however. Brinin says she realised early on that the Australian art scene was competitive and saturated, compelling her to pursue a trade qualification in order to have a back-up and keep her options open.

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Rebekah Walkarden is an emerging artist and curator working in Tulmur/Ipswich Queensland. Her artwork uses varied materials from metal and glass work, found objects and animation to express internal memories and emotional states, while her curatorial interests lie in bringing together mediums and messages to contextualise diverse perspectives. She is currently interested in exhibitions that mix artisanal and craft-based mediums with more traditional wall art.