Lecturer in Contemporary Art in Society
The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki invites applications for a lectureship in contemporary art in society for a five-year term (1/8/2018 to 31/7/2023). The position is offered on a fixed-term basis because of the need for flexibility due to the continuous development of education, artistic renewal and changing teaching needs. The application period will open on 9 April 2018 and close on 30 April 2018, at 3 o’clock p.m. local Helsinki time (UTC +2). The lectureship in contemporary art in society is administratively based in the subject area of Joint Studies in Fine Art.
Launched in January 2013, the University of the Arts Helsinki is the result of the merger of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki. The total number of students is approximately 2,200.
The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki is an international academy that has trained visual artists since 1848. The study programmes leading to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in fine arts are offered in five subject areas: Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Time and Space Arts, and Joint Studies. In addition, the Academy of Fine Arts has Praxis – Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies, which grants Master of Fine Arts degrees. The Academy’s Doctoral Studies Programme offers doctoral degrees in fine arts. The Academy of Fine Arts has approximately 270 students.
Instruction at the Academy combines theory and practice to support students’ artistic development. The programmes emphasise individual instruction, allowing students to receive sustained personal guidance while working independently. The Academy of Fine Arts maintains a dynamic relationship with the world of fine arts as the Academy’s instructors pursue active artistic careers alongside their teaching duties.
The studies focus on the students’ personal artistic practice and its assessment. Discussion also plays an important role in the teaching of the Academy of Fine Arts, allowing the students to examine the processes and methods pertaining to their work, different contexts of presentation, and the relationship between the form and the contents of their work. By familiarising themselves with some of the central theoretical questions of contemporary art and participating in research-based artistic activities, the students will learn about how different forms of art are connected as well as their traditions and history.
The subject area of Joint Studies in Fine Art and education in contemporary art in society
The subject area of Joint Studies in Fine Art is responsible for organising the teaching in which all students at the Academy participate. These include first-year basic studies, courses in drawing and perception, writing studies, studies in the history, theory and philosophy of art, exhibition studies as well as thematic studies in the theory of art and the studies As an artist in society.
The goal of Joint Studies in Fine Art is to provide the students with conceptual and practical tools for understanding the various fields of contemporary art and their working methods. An understanding of the history, theory and research of contemporary art is necessary for the artists to carry out comprehensive, independent and critical analyses of contemporary art and present-day society.
The theoretical and practical study modules in Joint Studies in Fine Art form connections between different subject areas and fields of art, opening up new perspectives on the analysis of various topical phenomena in contemporary art. The courses offered focus on questions about the theory and philosophy of art as well as exhibition studies, but they also cover current topics related to contemporary art and the visual culture more broadly.
The subject area of Joint Studies in Fine Art is responsible for organising the obligatory courses on working life skills and studies As an artist in society in accordance with the degree requirements.
As an artist in society studies explore artistic activities in relation to society and the world of art. The students participating in the course will become acquainted with the organisation and structures within the field, the role of art mediators, support systems for fine art production and international activities as well as the basics of art and cultural politics. The students will also gain a more thorough understanding of how the environments, policies and changing societal contexts of artistic activities operate.
The module on working life skills presents the students with the basic information about taxation, copyrights, pension accrual and the organisations which protect the rights of visual artists. The students will also learn about the practical alternatives of starting a professional career and become prepared to work as professional artists.
The subject area also strives to develop education in art in public space in collaboration with the other subject areas of the Academy.
Duties of Lecturer in Contemporary Art in Society
The duties of Lecturer include carrying out teaching and supervision tasks related to their own field, following the developments and participating in the social interaction and international activities in their field and taking part in collaborative activities at the university level.
The specific duties of Lecturer in Contemporary Art in Society include:
planning courses and providing teaching in their own field, including:
coordinating and planning the studies As an artist in society
coordinating and planning the teaching for the courses in working life skills
teaching and coordinating the writing of grant and exhibition applications
coordinating and planning the teaching of art in public space
- counselling and supervising the students of the Academy of Fine Arts from all subject areas
- independent artistic and/or research activities
- participating in the planning of the teaching in Joint Studies in Fine Art and other subject areas
- participating in the collaborative activities between all subject areas in the Academy of Fine Arts and Joint Studies in Fine Art
- participating in community activities at the university (e.g. taking part in committees and work groups and performing the tasks related thereto; taking part in the student admissions)
- collaborating with the academies of the University of the Arts Helsinki as well as with other universities and institutions
- performing any other tasks assigned or pertaining to the lectureship
The lecturer’s duties will be specified and their quantitative ratios confirmed in the annual workload plan.
Eligibility and qualification requirements for Lecturer in Contemporary Art in Society
To be considered for a lectureship in Contemporary Art in Society, the applicant must hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field and demonstrate sufficient artistic and/or scientific merits and good teaching skills. Previous experience in the field will be taken into account when assessing the merits of the applicants.
The lecturer is also expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the education field. The successful candidate will show a good understanding of contemporary art and its societal contexts, possess an intimate knowledge of the art scene both internationally and in Finland, and have previous experience of participating in public art projects.
The appointee will also need to be prepared to engage in wide-ranging collaborations and to show an interest in promoting the status of artists and of free art.
Teaching will be given in Finnish, Swedish and English. The appointee is expected to have a good command of Finnish and English, and at least a satisfactory command of Swedish. Rector of the University of the Arts Helsinki may, at his discretion, exempt an applicant from the language requirements when they are not a prerequisite for a successful performance in the position, and when the exemption is necessary for the selection of a candidate who is the most competent in other respects.
Working hours and salary
The lecturer’s working hours will be based on a total annual workload of 1,624 hours, as defined in the collective agreement.
The job-specific salary component will be based on level 6 of the requirement scheme for teaching and research positions in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will receive a salary component based on personal work performance.
The selection process
The call for applications will be posted on the website and intranet of the University of the Arts Helsinki on April 9, 2018. The call for applications may also be published in other Finnish and international contexts. The application period will open on 9 April and close on 30 April at 3 o’clock p.m. local Helsinki time (UTC +2).
The Recruitment Committee of the Academy of Fine Arts prepares appointments to teaching positions at the Academy. The Recruitment Committee decides on the format for teaching demonstrations and interviews, selects the applicants who are invited to the teaching demonstrations and interviews, and prepares the appointment proposal. The most suitable candidate, based on an overall evaluation, will be selected for the position. An external suitability assessment and reference checks may be requested to assist in the decision-making process. The Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts selects the lecturer based on the proposal of the Recruitment Committee and concludes an employment contract with the selected candidate.
How to apply
Applications, together with the required appendices, should be submitted as a single PDF file to .
The application must include the following appendices:
- An informal statement on the applicant’s vision of the position, their specific strengths with respect to the position, as well as their views on the status and development of an artist and free art in society
- A written report of the applicant’s artistic and teaching merits relevant to the position
- A curriculum vitae
- A certificate of language skills.
Applications addressed to the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki are to be submitted by e-mail to . The applications must be submitted by the deadline of 30 April at 3. o’clock p.m., local Helsinki time (UTC +2). Late applications will not be considered. The subject line of the e-mail should be: “Lecturer in Contemporary Art in Society”.
For more information on the position, please contact Professor Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on the application process, please contact Personnel Manager Sanna Yliheljo (email@example.com)
Helsinki 6 April 2018
Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki
 Proficiency in Swedish or Finnish must be demonstrated as follows: 1) a certificate provided by a member or deputy member of the State Board of Language Examinations or another method described in Government Decree No 481/2003 (e.g. by completing a language test included in an academic undergraduate degree); 2) a certificate provided by a professor, assistant professor or lecturer who teaches the language in question at a Finnish institute of higher education; or 3) a passing grade in the language in question awarded in the Finnish matriculation examination.