Professional practice seminars – inspiring students to become cultural leaders

pic1As part of the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating, and the MA in Art History and Visual Culture students visit, meet with and learn from a wide range of arts professionals. This year 11 seminars and visits were organised these included:

Visits from: Matt Caines – Editor at the Guardian, who provided students with advice on how to get their work published; Hannah Standen, Producer at Artichoke who gave valuable insight into what’s involved in hosting live art events for over a million people – from dealing with health and safety through to artist liaison (with a number of students going on to complete project apprenticeships with Artichoke at the Lumiere London Festival); Claudia Lastra, General Manager at Arts Catalyst shared her experience of funding, policy and providing the administrative support needed to bring innovative art / science projects to life. Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Director of Art 16 spoke to students about working at an Art Fair, and the skills required to successfully develop positive gallery relationships; Mirjami Schupert, Freelance Curator, provided insights into life as a Curator at Large, and also spoke about the benefits of completing a PhD while pursuing professional practice. Our final visit was from Tony Guillan who is producer of the IK Prize at Tate Britain – in this session students got a really valuable insight into developing a commission from submissions through to realisation.

Alongside numerous professionals coming to our Kensington Campus, we also visited a number of arts organisations to meet with arts professionals in situ. In December we visited Contini Arts Uk, were the Gallery Director provided a 360 view of life inside a commercial gallery. In January we visited South London Gallery, and this time gained a 360 view of working in a small public gallery, with insights from education, development and curatorial staff. February saw us visit the National Maritime Museum, with students invited to participate in a curatorial consultation session with Dr James Davey – alongside a range of academics, students critiqued and advised on a new permanent gallery space which is currently in development. In February we also visited Creative United, who are based at Somerset House, during this visit we learnt about new models of funding the arts, and alternative career options, for example working with rather than in the arts.

We’ve had a busy year, with students gaining insight from across the creative industries, and from senior to junior staff. The aim of an MA is to provide students with both skills and knowledge, the diversity of our Professional Practice Series allows students to think outside the box, develop leadership skills, and begin to question and develop new arts management practices. To round of our Professional Practice Series, this week we visited We Built this City, an innovative shop, come gallery space which is reinventing souvenirs by stocking and commissioning London based artists work. Founder Alice Mayor spoke about her entrepreneurial journey, from developing relationships with estates agents to artists. At the end of the session students got to sample of We Built this Cities workshops – and took home their very own London inspired tote bag.

You can follow our visits on Twitter and Instagram: @ArtsMgmtMA

You can find out more about our MA Programmes here