EMVAN's steering group is responsible for the development and ongoing management of the Network, overseeing its strategy, policies and activity. It is made up of leaders and experts within the region's visual arts sector and features the following people:
Yasmin Canvin, Director, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art
Yasmin Canvin is the Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, an independent arts organisation that works with artists and audiences to develop an innovative, high quality programme that explores and reflects on our relationship with the rural and urban environment through contemporary art practice. Previously Yasmin has worked as an independent curator, as well as for Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery (now Smith’s Row), Angel Row Gallery, the Mead Gallery and Ikon Gallery. Her approach is informed by her interest in artistic and cultural diversity, cross-disciplinary artists’ practice, social issues and the relationship between artists and audiences. Independent curatorial projects include; Aftershock; Conflict, Violence and Resolution in Contemporary Art, 16 international artists reflected on communal conflict and violence through drawing, painting, photography and video (Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art & UH Galleries, 2007) and Paper Cuts, installations and video by 8 artists exploring vulnerability and personal narratives (toured to 4 venues, 2006/07). Yasmin has also initiated and managed professional development programmes, international research trips and events for artists and curators, including the engage Conference, When Art and Context Leads to Meaning – International Artists’ Practice, Education and Interpretation (Bradford, 2007) and research trips to India and Australia. She is a Trustee for QUAD and on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Visual Art and Gallery Education.
Deborah Dean, Visual Arts & Exhibitions Manager, Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Deborah has over twenty years experience of curating exhibitions and collections of contemporary and historic art, managing art programmes and working with artists. She is currently the Visual Arts & Exhibitions Manager for Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, based at Nottingham Castle, where her role is to develop the Visual Arts team and programme. This includes overall responsibility for exhibitions and for the City’s collections of Fine Art, Decorative Art and Costume and Textiles, building on previous experience as Manager of Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum (1990-1998). Prior to this, she was Director of Angel Row Gallery Nottingham (1998-2007), during which time she also worked for the City Council on the development of Nottingham Contemporary (2003-2007), and commissioned temporary outdoor installations by artists such as Nathan Coley and Lucy Orta. During both visits of the British Art Show to Nottingham (in 2006 and 2010) she helped to support the development of Sideshow, a season of artist-led activity taking place across the city at the same time. She studied History of Art at the University of Warwick (1981-84), followed by Gallery Studies at the University of Manchester (1986-7) and two years running a small contemporary gallery space in Hull. She is on the Steering Group of East Midlands Visual Arts Network and is a founding Board member of Beacon.
Louise Dunning, Exhibition Officer, Derby Museums and Art Gallery
Louise has 12 years experience of curating contemporary and collections-based exhibitions at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford's House Museum and The Silk Mill. She has curated a wide variety of art including photography, sculpture, craft, fine art, film, drawing and prints as well as artist interventions around the Museums. The exhibitions programme often includes exhibitions which combine artwork with Collections, offering artists the opportunity to work with and respond to the extensive and diverse Collections that the Museum holds. Interventions around the Museums are also an area that the programme will continue to support
Ashley Gallant, Collections Access Officer (Contemporary Art), The Collection Lincoln and Usher Gallery
After graduating in Fine art in 2008, producing kinetic light sculptures, Ashley and his peers set up an artist run studio complex and gallery - Backlit Nottingham. Working closely with early career artists Backlit soon started to help graduates and students to curate and explore ideas of presentation aswell as working with established artists such as Mark Titchner and Brian Griffiths to present works in progress. This curatorial practice sat alongside an arts practice working collaboratively with fellow Backlit director Matthew Chesney which took in performance and video works. Shows include lothringer 13 Munich and Stedefreunde Berlin. Gallant then proceeded to undertake an MA scholarship in curating based at Nottingham Castle working with the reuse of materials. Since then he has worked on acquisitions schemes at the Herbert in Coventry and is lead of the Contemporary art programme at The Collection in Lincoln. His interest areas form around representations of conflict, clinical uses of craft and the representation of the unseen or underground activities.
Skinder Hundal, Chief Executive, New Art Exchange, Nottingham
Skinder joined NAE in October 2008, prior to which he was based at sampad, a leading UK development agency for South Asian and cross cultural arts, hosted by Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham. New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK that promotes, develops and exhibits contemporary visual arts and artists, championing the voice of culturally diverse and non-Eurocentric perspectives in visual arts culture on a local to international level. In his career Skinder has pioneered several significant projects and strategic initiatives impacting on cultural leaders, young people, culturally diverse communities and artists. His experience and expertise cover community and economic regeneration; enterprise development; research; business planning and organisational development; marketing/PR and audience development. He has also been involved in presenting and producing radio programmes and arts administration within cross cultural arts. He has a particular interest in finding and nurturing untapped talent and growing audiences from hard to reach communities.
Keith Jeffrey, Director, QUAD, Derby and EMVAN chair
Keith has led a wide and varied career over the last 25 years and has headed up some of the most innovative arts centres in the UK. Currently he is CEO of QUAD, Derby’s £11m centre for art and film, which opened in Sept 2008. It has 2 cinemas, galleries and workshops as well as the first regional BFI mediatheque. Now attracting 300 000 visitors a year QUAD’s opening programme has been wide and diverse including a major commission from Jane & Louise Wilson and establishing FORMAT as the UK’s leading photography festival. Keith is also an Executive Producer of the QUAD Shorts Scheme and co-Director of Derby Feste, Derby’s Festival of Street arts and performance. Prior to this, Keith was Chief Executive of Kirklees Media Centre, a £3.5 million development in the heart of Huddersfield, Chief Executive at the National Glass Centre, Director of “Illuminate”, a major region wide festival of the arts in Yorkshire and Deputy Director of the BALTIC, Gateshead.
Simon Lake, Curator of Fine Art: Collections & Interpretation, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Simon studied at Manchester Polytechnic (School of Art and Design) gaining a BA (Hons) Fine Art in 1984, followed by further postgraduate qualifications in art conservation and museum studies at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Beginning work at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in 1991, his role developed from that of picture conservator into curator and he assumed his present post in 2005, when he bcame responsible for the Leicester Arts and Museums Service’s Fine Art collections, including the acclaimed early 20th century German Expressionist art collection. His current role includes researching and developing new exhibitions using the Fine Art collections, developing potential new acquisitions and partnership working with a range of community groups, artists and organisations with the collections as a major resource.
Saira Lloyd, Artist and Curator and Director of Synapse Arts
Saira's career combines an artistic practice with a curatorial one. She has a BA in Genetics and obtained the MA in Art and Design: Advanced Practice and Theories from the University of Derby in 2007 during which she developed her interest in inherited cultural identity as well as art theory and curation. Her growing curatorial portfolio includes: un/bound at The Work Station, Sheffield; Art in the Dome in Buxton; One Step Beyond Fringe Exhibition in Derby Cathedral, Deda, Royal Derby Hospital and Banks' Mill Studios; Speak Freely Festival at Derby University, Deda and St Werburgh's Church; Memory & Migration at Deda, Derby; SYNAPSE festival at Derby University, Royal Derby Hospital, Deda and Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donnington; BBC Big Screens in Derby and Leicester, as well as a work placement at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago, USA. In addition to her own practice Saira fuses themes of a scientific nature with her exploration of memory. She manages festivals and has many links with arts organisations and artists across the region making her increasingly part of the artistic network involved in the provision of arts across the region. She also has a particular interest in the provision of professional support for entry level and emergent artists and is engaged in creating opportunies for them to present and profile their work to and interact with curators and producers, and those practising in areas such as self development, fundraising and income generation and financial management.
Lucy Phillips, Director, Leicester Print Workshop
Lucy is the Director of Leicester Print Workshop, the regional centre for fine art printmaking; she is also a member of the Board of Charnwood Arts, a dynamic, internationally-experienced organisation dedicated to connecting communities through arts activities based in the Loughborough. Working four days a week at the Workshop she also works in a freelance capacity in fundraising and project planning in the voluntary sector. Lucy says “Whilst not a practitioner I am a great enthusiast for the visual arts in its broadest sense with a specific interest in printmaking and craft and so consider myself very fortunate to work within the East Midlands cultural world. Living and working in Leicester I also play an active role in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Visual Arts Group.”
John Plowman, Artist and Co-director Beacon Art Project
John is an artist whose expanded practice encompasses both studio and curatorial activity through which he explores his interest in the production of art, its site(s) of production and exhibition. He has exhibited in numerous one person and group exhibitions in this country and abroad. Beacon, established in 2004, with Nicola Streeten, engages critically with urban cultural values within the context of presenting contemporary art in non-gallery spaces offering a new perspective on art practice through collaboration between artist, audience and institution.
Sally is an experienced visual artist who has been based in the UK for over 20 years. For the majority of this time she has been located in the East Midlands region, working out of a studio in central Northampton. She is committed to developing her professional career, working with many of the key arts and cultural organisations in the East Midlands. She has held major exhibitions at Leicester University; Leicester Museum; The City Gallery, Leicester; Angel Row, Nottingham; The Collection, Lincoln; East Midlands Airport. I was also commissioned to work with five National Trust properties in the East Midlands in 2011. Sally has also worked across the UK with organisations including Towner, Eastbourne, firstsite, Colchester, University of Hertfordshire galleries, mac Birmingham, Ikon Birmingham. My practice regularly extends beyond the gallery to include public commissions for ACE, NHS, Rainbow Children’s hospice, Central Middlesex Hospital and Liberty plc. In 2008 she was selected for Axis’s Open Frequency showcase. Her work has gained critical attention from curators and critics including Martin Herbert and I also been Saatchi Critics Choice. Her work has been discussed by Nigel Wrench on BBC Radio 4’s PM show and by Judi Hermann on Woman’s Hour. Sally is currently the East Midlands representative on the AIR COUNCIL. AIR is the voice of artists, AIR identifies issues that impact on artists’ practice and campaigns for measures to enhance artists’ lives and professional status.
Jeremy Webster, Haead of Exhibitions, National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford
Jeremy initially I trained as a human geographer at Aberystwyth University but then turned to painting. After completing a foundation in painting at the Grimsby School of Art Jeremy went on to complete a teacher training course in art and design. For the following four years he pursued his own artistic work during which he taught life drawing for Huddersfield College of Higher Education. From 1992 he started work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park where for six years he managed the front of house teams, galleries and shops. This was followed by one year at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as a Front of House Manager then subsequently as Training and Information Officer for the Art House a charity for artists that specialised in working with artists with disabilities. In 2000 Jeremy took employment at the City of Lincoln Council as the Public Art Officer working on three large scale public art commissions and two major Arts and Business funded projects. Since 2003 Jeremy has worked for Lincolnshire County Council, initially at the Usher Art Gallery as Principal Keeper and then at The Collection - a £13m new build museum and gallery which opened in 2005 to house the archaeological collections and a temporary exhibition space - where he managed the contemporary art programme. Since the beginning of 2012 Jeremy has worked as Head of Exhibitions at National Centre for Craft and Design.
Isobel Whitelegg, Curator of Public Programmes, Nottingham Contemporary