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Art students can compete to earn apprenticeship opportunity of a lifetime

Competition deadline March 30 to attend the prestigious Venice Biennale

by Kelly Rankin

No, it's not a guest spot on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice TV show that's on offer -- it's the Venice Apprentice, a student competition with the prize being a position working at the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition.

The Venice Apprentice, loosely based on the television show Celebrity Apprentice, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for University of Toronto students from all disciplines. Instead of scheming against rival teams and executing business plans, students are asked to complete an online application form and write a 300-word essay by March 30. Details are available at:

"What is most important to the committee is that students demonstrate why their experience at U of T makes them an ideal candidate for this project," said Christopher Regimbal, curatorial assistant at Hart House's Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.

The top four candidates will be offered the opportunity to work one afternoon per week at the Barnicke Gallery with renowned curator Barbara Fischer, commissioner of the Canadian pavilion at the upcoming international art exhibition, and deputy commissioner Natalie De Vito during the month of April helping to co-ordinate the final touches on this major project. On April 30 the four candidates will be introduced at the Venice Send-Off Party at Hart House. In addition to being the official Toronto event for the Biennale, the Venice Send-Off Party is also a thank you to the event partners and Torontonians for their tremendous support.

The Venice Apprentice will be announced on May 4. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to travel to Venice for the opening and work closely with gallery staff preparing for the Biennale's VIP preview. Hart House, Aeroplan and the gallery are partnering to make the competition possible and highlight the gallery's participation in the the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia from June 7 to Nov. 22, 2009.

Fischer, executive director and chief curator of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery was selected in a nationwide competition to represent Canada as curator of the Biennale's Canadian pavilion. The pavilion will feature a new film-based project by internationally acclaimed Canadian artist Mark Lewis. The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is the first U of T gallery and only the third museum in Ontario to ever be selected in the competition. "Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is extremely proud to have been invited to participate in the Biennale and this is our way of sharing this opportunity with the students of the University of Toronto," said Regimbal.

To join the Canada Pavilion Venice Biennale Facebook Group, see the link on the 2009 Venice Biennale Apprenticeship homepage:

Further details about the Canada Pavilion are available at:

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