Visual Arts Development and Touring

SPARK NT is an Artback NT initiative that responds to an identified gap in Northern Territory curatorial pathways. The SPARK NT Curator Program was launched in 2017 to support an independent or emerging curator, residing in the Northern Territory, to develop an exhibition project for tour. SPARK NT 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 NT exhibition is being 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 NT project:

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

Exhibition proposals are assessed against evidence of:

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

The successful curator is selected through a competitive application process. The panel consists of Artback NT Visual Arts staff and SPARK NT partner organisations including the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & 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 which toured the Northern Territory in 2018.

In 2018 Darwin based educator, artist and curator, Sarah Pirrie, was announced as the SPARK NT Curator. She developed the exhibition We Eat We Are which opened in 2019 and is currently touring through the Northern Territory 2019-2020.

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

The 2019 SPARK NT Curator is writer, activist and arts worker Carmen Ansaldo. Her exhibition Groundswell: recent movements within art and territory is currently being developed to tour the Territory in 2020.


Jo Foster and Neridah Stockley

Visual Arts Development and Touring Managers

PO Box 4582
Alice Springs, NT 0871

08 8953 5941