October in Review for the School of Communication, Arts and Social Science

October in Review for the School of Communication, Arts and Social Science

MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating

The MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating is a one year intensive academic and professional skills programme that makes use of a strong international network of alumni and visiting professionals to ensure students gain skills, experiences and valuable contacts in the art world.

October has been a particularly busy month with students attending exhibition openings, art fairs, and meeting with professionals from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice), Arts Council England, Arts & Business, and Contini Arts.

Frieze Week

IMG_6200With the annual Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters attracting top international galleries, collectors and artists to London, October is an important month in the London Arts Calendar. Alongside the fair, a range of parties, gala dinners and private views spring up across the city, and this year students and faculty attended a wide range of these events. Some highlights included:

At the invitation of Richmond Alum, Margaree Cotton students attended the Oscar Murillo private view at David Zwirner. Margaree provided students with an informal tour of the exhibition, and chatted about her career to date. The students found both the private view and networking opportunity to be extremely useful as they begin to consider where they might like to undertake an internship (a central component of the MA programme).

Dr Alex Seago, Dean of the CASS Faculty at Richmond and an internationally renowned Pop Art Scholar, contributed to the Robert Indiana catalogue published by Contini Arts to coincide with their major new exhibition of his work Don’t Lose HOPE.  At the invitation of Diego Giolitti faculty and students attended the private view and gala dinner to celebrate the launch of this exhibition and publication.

To round up this busy week of openings, and networking, students attended the Frieze Art Fair, where Dr. Oonagh Murphy, a former employee of Frieze provided a tour on the operational management, planning and event logistics of the fair, as part of the core Management and Marketing Course.


IMG_6953After a hugely enjoyable Frieze week, attention focussed to our international study trip to Venice. Led by Dr. Oonagh Murphy, students spent four days exploring the Venice Biennale, and meeting with international staff and artists. On the first day of the visit, students led a tour of the Giardini, with each providing a tour of an individual national pavilion for the rest of the group. This was a challenging but rewarding experience, which provided the opportunity to gain experience talking about art in a public arena. Other highlights included the chance to have a guided tour at the Scottish Pavilion, and the opportunity to meet Elena Minarelli, Education Manager at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to find out more about their internship programme. Students were also encouraged to explore their own interests in Venice, with some taking the opportunity to find works by artists such as Tintoretto and Titian in situ.

Guest Lecturers

In October, and as part of the Arts Policy course, Adjunct Assistant Professor Kate Mattocks took students to the Arts Council England Offices to meet Peter Heslip, alongside a tour of the ACE offices Peter provided a valuable practical insight into how policy is created and delivered.

While on the Arts Management and Marketing Course, Jessica Stockford from Arts & Business delivered a guest lecture on governance and board management for charitable organisations. This technical lecture was a valuable foundation in the selection, management and servicing of boards.


As we come to mid-semester students are beginning to receive feedback from Faculty on their first assignments, and with small class sizes and a student-focused ethos Richmond provides detailed and constructive feedback to all students. Whilst there is an emphasis on context-specific learning this is always linked backed to our academic routes, with students completing assignments such as: An Audience Development Plan, Exhibition Review, and, Cultural Policy Brief in the first half of this semester.

Course Convenor Dr. Oonagh Murphy noted:

 “As both an academic and practitioner I know that the key to success in the art world is a versatile skills base, alongside experience, and personal connections. This is why at Richmond we place a significant emphasis on networking and context specific learning. If a class is better taught in a gallery than a classroom, then we will teach it in a gallery.  If a visiting professional can enhance a class then we will invite in a relevant practitioner. As a small institution we are able to respond to the interests of each of our students, and adjust the way teach to suit individual classes and courses”

Applications for 2016 – 2017 are now open. You can find out more about the MA in Visual Arts Management + Curating, and, MA in Art History and Visual Culture on our website or by contacting oonagh.murphy@richmond.ac.uk or wallis.r@richmond.ac.uk – you can also learn more about the Visual Arts Management Student Experience on Twitter @artsmgmtma

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