Visual Arts Development and Touring

SPARK is an Artback NT initiative that responds to an identified gap in Northern Territory curatorial pathways. The annual SPARK NT Curator Program, launched in 2017, supports an independent or emerging curator, residing in the Northern Territory, to develop an exhibition project for tour. SPARK is designed to foster critical thinking in art and curatorial practice within the Territory and provide Northern Territory artists with opportunities to showcase their work within a curated touring exhibition.

The third SPARK exhibition will be developed in 2019 for tour throughout the Territory in 2020. Artback NT, with support from Catalyst – Australian Arts and Culture Fund, contributes the following financial support towards the successful SPARK project:

  • $10,000 curatorial fee
  • $10,000 budget towards research (travel/consultation) and development (artist/loan fees and signage/design)

Exhibition proposals will be assessed against evidence of:

  1. Artistic Merit
  2. Audience Engagement
  3. Viability for regional touring

The successful curator will be selected through a competitive application process. The panel will be made up of Artback NT Visual Arts staff and SPARK partner organisations including the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre, Nyinkka Nyunyu Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre, Araluen Arts Centre and DESART.

Applications have closed for the third SPARK NT Curator Program. For more information about the program see SPARK NT Curator Guidelines

In 2017 the inaugural SPARK NT Curator, Clare Armitage, developed the exhibition Fecund: Fertile Worlds touring the Territory in 2018.

In 2018 Darwin based educator, artist and curator, Sarah Pirrie, was announced as the SPARK NT Curator and will initiate and develop her exhibition We Eat We Are from May 2018 for tour in 2019.

As part of the SPARK initiative, in July 2018, Artback NT presented in partnership with Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre, the SPARK NT Symposium: Curatorial Practice Unpacked. Details below.


Jo Foster and Neridah Stockley

Visual Arts Development and Touring Managers

PO Box 4582
Alice Springs, NT 0871

08 8953 5941