Visual Arts South West appoints new co-Chairs to Steering Group

Image Credit: Jamie Eastman and Louise Coysh

www.vasw.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are.php

Visual Arts South West is pleased to announce the appointment of two co-Chairs to its Steering Group, succeeding the outgoing Chair, Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island, who is taking up the role of Director at Tate Liverpool.

Helen leaves at an exciting time for VASW following successful Grants for the Arts funding. To ensure momentum, she will be succeeded by two co-Chairs, both of whom already sit on the Steering Group.

Louise Coysh (Associate Director, Arts & Culture, University of Southampton) and Jamie Eastman (Director of Arts, The Edge, University of Bath) will lead the Steering Group, building our profile and relationships as we move forward with our website development and programme strands.

On their appointment Louise and Jamie commented: “Visual Art South West is a vital network, binding together a rich visual arts ecology over a broad geographic region. We are delighted to have been appointed co-Chairs and together with our fellow Steering Group members look forward to supporting the VASW community and Network Manager in the years ahead. We thank the outgoing Chair, Helen Legg, for her commitment to the network and wish her the very best for the future.”

Helen, along with Spike Island, has generously guided VASW through some challenging times with regards to funding and partnerships, and her influence will be sorely missed.

VASW’s Steering Group is one of many important ways that we as an organisation support an increasingly vibrant visual arts scene in the South West. With individual contact, advocacy, partnerships, programme strands, and through our popular website and social media channels, the Steering Group helps share knowledge and expertise while contributing to VASW’s Strategic Framework and is the largest UK region as part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN).

The group is made up of representatives including NPOs, artists, freelancers, Higher Education and bridging organisations. The appointments of the co-Chairs were voted by and welcomed by the Steering Group, who have been invigorated by the addition of three new members. Emily Bull (Creative Youth Network), Zoe Li (Somerset Art Works) and Lara Goodband (Exeter Cultural Partnerships) join Ben Borthwick, Vice Chair (Plymouth Art Centre); Alexander Stevenson (artist); Judith Robinson (Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery); Ellen Wilkinson (VASW Web Editor and artist) and Gordon Dalton (Network Manager and artist).

Gordon said: “VASW is stronger and more effective when together we are positively challenging ourselves, listening to others and being adaptable to change, in order to develop the network and increase its impact. As a region we value artists and organisations of all sizes and will continue to build an audience-friendly and diverse network.”

VASW would also like to thank outgoing Steering Group members for their contributions including Megan Dunford (artist), Patrick Lowry, (Back Lane West and artist) and Sarah Bowden (Hardwick Gallery).

New programme strands, opportunities and bursaries will be advertised shortly as part of VASW’s successful Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England, which includes significant website development, Young People’s programme, Temperature Test research, Leadership Programme and Go & See / Come & See travel bursaries.

www.vasw.org.uk

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Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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