Emerging Curator program

photo-icon Skye Murtagh

The Emerging Curator Program is an initiative of the City of Adelaide, delivered in partnership with local art organisation Guildhouse. The program engages with recent curatorial Arts graduates and emerging curatorial practitioners to further support their professional pathway and applied development.

Successfully running since its inception in December 2013, the program awards them the role of professional curatorial programming at both the iconic Adelaide Town Hall Main Foyer and Art Pod, the contemporary 24/7 gallery located at the City of Adelaide’s offices at 25 Pirie Street.

But in the Emerging Curator Program the City of Adelaide awarded me a role, where I built a considerable body of curatorial experience and exposure that will undoubtedly further my career development.” – Carollyn Kavanagh, inaugural Emerging Creator 2013.

2020 Emerging Curator - ART WORKS Guildhouse

Delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide, ART WORKS 2020 is a program of residencies and creative engagements, designed to provide a city-based platform for artists and writers to pursue new ways of working and engaging with audiences. 

This is the third year of the ART WORKS program, which delivers on the City’s Cultural Strategy 2016-23 for Adelaide to be recognised as a cultural incubator where people, enterprises and audiences flourish.

Current Exhibition

Steph fuller spaces
photo-icon Image: Steph Fuller, Quiet Street (detail), 2013. Image courtesy the artist.


27 October 2020 - 5 March 2021

Adelaide Town Hall Foyer and Mankurri-api Kuu (Reconciliation room) 

Curated by Steph Cibich

Like it or not, things have changed. The current pandemic has impacted every aspect of contemporary life. Since the birth of the Industrial Revolution, more and more people are living in dense urban city centres. Now, COVID-19 has capsized how we go about our daily lives. It has called into question our deep-seated methods of contact and the way in which we navigate and experience our domestic, urban and ecological environments, forcing us to find new meanings and new ways of working in the wake of this existential virus.

S P A C E S explores the way we navigate through and experience our surroundings. Examined through the lens of emerging and established South Australian artists, the works in this exhibition resonate with existing interpretations of ‘everyday spaces’ and encourage new meanings which align with a globalised, COVID-safe environment. Inspired by conversations between ART WORKS Emerging Curator, Steph Cibich and ART WORKS Artist in Residence, Jane Skeer, S P A C E S conveys an eclectic representation of personal and shared experiences.

Alongside Skeer, S P A C E S includes work by Steph Fuller, Jonathan Kim, Hailey Lane, Tara Rowhani-Farid, Darren Siwes, Rhoda Tjitayi and Tony Wilson. Together, these artists offer a reflection of our pre-COVID way of life, and advocate for continued agility, empathy and creative thinking during these challenging times. The collective power of these works inspire new ways of navigating future S P A C E S whilst offering a poignant demonstration of the ways in which art is a necessity to make meaning in our darkest hours.

This exhibition is presented at the Adelaide Town Hall as part of the 2020 ART WORKS Emerging Curator Program, delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide.

Previous Emerging Curators

ART WORKS | Our Future in the Landscape 25 February to 3 July 2020

In her inaugural exhibition for the ART WORKS 2020 program, Emerging Curator Steph Cibich has curated an exhibition of South Australian contemporary artists titled Our Future in the Landscape.

Climate change is affecting us all.

In 2020, there is not one country, nor one city, unaffected by factors relating to climate change. In light of recent national and international events, the urgency for climate action dominates political, social and cultural debate. Despite differences in opinion, the issue now extends beyond harrowing environmental concerns into all aspects of contemporary life including urban and regional environments, energy consumption, food production, scientific and technological advancements, business development, council strategies, community engagement and the arts. Ironically, in an increasingly divided society, it is one issue that has the potential to bring people together.

Our Future in the Landscape harnesses the power of multiple voices to illuminate urban and ecological responses to climate change, as explored through the lens of South Australian artists.

Featuring work by Nici Cumpston, Louise Flaherty, Jake Holmes, James Tylor, Lara Tilbrook and the SA Artists for Climate Change collective, presented at the Adelaide Town Hall as part of ART WORKS Emerging Curator Program and delivered by Guildhouse in partnership with the City of Adelaide, this exhibition demonstrates and encourages positive climate action declaring our collective responsibility to actively address one of the most pressing issues of our age.

ART WORKS | You’re only human, after all 6 July - 23 October 2020

Curated by ART WORKS 2020 Emerging Curator Steph Cibich

We are bound by something we cannot see. Our emotional and intuitive responses are part of every human experience. When strong, these feelings spark connections with other people, objects, surroundings and create meaning in our lives. Such bonds inform our personal identity and facilitate relationships within communities. Despite our differences, we are all connected by what we feel.

You’re only human, after all offers a safe and immersive space to consider these ideas as expressed through art. Inspired by ART WORKS 2020 Artist in Residence, Jasmine Ann Dixon and her investigations into emotionally charged paintings, this exhibition features a breadth of emerging and established South Australian artists. Alongside Dixon is the work of Maxwell Callaghan, Tony Kearney, Anna Platten, Margaret Richards, Lee Walter and Raymond Zada. These artists draw on themes of emotional expression and human connectedness in an eclectic display of works of various mediums and styles. In this way, You’re only human, after all offers creative insight into the authentic, relatable and sometimes uncomfortable truths regarding how it feels to be a human being.

Chiranjika Grasby, Christina Massolino and Jack McBride. 

The three selected curators were worked closely with Carclew and mentored Jill Newman (Manager - Arts in Health at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation), to curate two multidisciplinary art exhibitions over an eight-month period, including one for SALA Festival.

The exhibitions ran from May until November 2019.

Ursula Halpin and Mia Van Den Bos

As part of the Emerging Curator program presented in partnership with Helpmann Academy, Ursula Halpin and Mia Van Den Bos (mentored by Liz Nowell, CEO, ACE Open), presented concurrent exhibitions across the council gallery spaces. The exhibitions ran from November 2018 to April 2019.

Gabrielle Lane and Carly Dodd

In 2018 the Emerging Curator Program partnered with Carclew and registered as part of SALA Festival. Emerging Curators Gabrielle Lane and Carly Dodd (mentored by Jill Newman), presented concurrent exhibitions titled ‘identity. Connection’ in four gallery spaces from 31 May to 3 September 2018.

Andrew Purvis

Andrew was curator on exhibitions from January 2017 to January 2018.

For the 2017 Emerging Curator Program, Purvis’s objective was to get out there, explore, meet artists, discover fantastic, vital practices. He then brought them back, put them up and shone a light on them, so the whole city could enjoy them too. The desire for connection really informed his programming and many of the curatorial decisions he made.

Joanna Kitto

Joanna was curator on exhibitions from December 2015 to January 2017.

Driven by an awareness of South Australia’s rich artistic landscape, Kitto’s key aim as Emerging Curator was to present new and dynamic voices in contemporary art, to inspire an ongoing relationship between the visual arts and diverse audiences. To achieve this, she sought to engage with festivals and partner with likeminded organisations to present the work of local and national artists from across the emerging, mid- and established career spectrum.

Fresh perspectives in Adelaide-based contemporary art were crucial, as was the presentation of Adelaide’s strong cohort of female artists.

Polly Dance

Polly was curator on exhibitions from November 2014 to December 2015.

As City of Adelaide’s 2014-15 Emerging Curator, Polly was focused on curating accessible, vibrant and innovative contemporary art exhibitions that engage new audiences and artists.

Polly aimed to develop new partnerships, collaborations and conversations across sites and practices, while also initiating professional development opportunities that lead to positive and unique exhibition outcomes. Find out more about Polly Dance.

Need more information?

For more information about the Emerging Curator exhibitions, see the Art Pod program. For information about the program, please contact:

Logan Macdonald, Public Art Planner

08 8203 7894

Send an email