SPARK NT was an Artback NT initiative that responded 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 was 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 successful curators were selected through a competitive application process, and assessed by aindustry panel. The panel consisted 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.
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.
The 2019 SPARK NT Curator selected, was writer, activist and arts worker Carmen Ansaldo. Her exhibition Groundswell: recent movements within art and territory is currently touring.
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