Curate Life Collection competition / by Sophia Van Wyk

Curate Life Collection competition Calling all aspiring Curators

You are invited to come up with a curatorial concept and exhibition layout to exhibit the Life Collection at the Museum of African Design (MOAD). The winner will have the whole MOAD Project Space to put up their exhibition! The winner and two runner up winners will receive internships at the prestigious SABC Collection!

In a strong curatorial concept, the 'Curator' takes on the role of ‘Overseer’ or ‘Guardian’ not only of the works, but also of the audience for which they are exhibited. Great care needs to be taken to assess the needs of the museum visitor, and what resources and stories the collection may share. A clear statement of intent should address why the exhibition should be undertaken, who it is for, and how the audience will experience and learn during (and after) their visit. A checklist of the works in the show (recommended max. 30), and diagrams or descriptions of the exhibition design and reasoning should be part of the concept.

The Curate Life Collection competition is open from Monday, 18 May to Friday, 3 July 2015. Click here to view the Life Collection artworks and artists' info. Select from the works and come up with your curated exhibition.



The panel of judges consists of the MOAD Director, Aaron Kohn, one of the Life Collection custodians, Marcus Neustetter and the SABC and independent Curator, Koulla Xinisteris. They will select the first prize winner and two runner up winners. A curatorial information workshop will be facilitated by the SABC Curator and the custodian of the Life Collection on 21 June. Further information on the workshop will be communicated on the MOAD website and FB page. The winner’s exhibition will run from 31 July to 4 October 2015 at MOAD.



The first prize winner will be awarded the opportunity to exhibit their proposed exhibition at MOAD. The first prize winner and two runner up winners will have the opportunity to participate in an internship with the SABC Art Collection. The internship will be the equivalent of a month period spread over the time that is convenient for the winners and the SABC Curator in 2015 or 2016. As intern you will gain invaluable experience by assisting the SABC Curator in her daily duties such as cataloguing artworks, updating the art website and other creative tasks. The three winners will be profiled on MOAD’s social media and website.


To enter

Step 1: Read the competition Rules Step 2: Email the following info to Sophia van Wyk; by 3 July, till 4pm.

  • Name & surname
  • Sex
  • Age
  • The city and province you are living in
  • Title of your proposed exhibition
  • Curatorial concept in 500 word

Tips for writing your curatorial concept:

  • State the intent and concept of your exhibition.
  • Qualify why you have selected certain artworks.
  • Qualify why they should be exhibited together.
  • Look at the Life Collection Artists' Statements and Biographies of the artists to guide you in terms of the curatorial content.
  • Provide a layout of your proposed exhibition in the MOAD Project Space. Download the Project Space floor plan below to map your exhibition out. Include the list of artworks you will use for your exhibition. It is recommended to select a maximum of 30 artworks to display in your exhibition. Take into account the amount of artworks and sizes of the artworks that you select and if they are able to hang in the Project Space.

MOAD Project Space floor plan



  1. The competition will run from Monday, 18 May to Friday, 3 July 2015 at 4pm.
  2. The judges’ decision is final
  3. To participate in the competition you will need to be located in Gauteng
  4. The winners will be announced via MOAD Facebook and website on 8 July 2015.
  5. The winners will be contacted to arrange for the prizes
  6. The winner must have their own transport to MOAD for the installation of their exhibition during the week of 20 to 24 July 2015.
  7. The winner and runner up winners must have their own transportation to participate in the SABC internship in Johannesburg.