Steering Group

CVAN EM’s Steering Group, on a voluntary basis, oversees and supports the delivery of our projects and engages with and advocates for the network. Members are recruited for their expertise and their commitment to our mission and aims. They represent key regional organisations and the independent sector, and include artists. The Group currently features the following people:

Angela Bartram

Angela works in live art, video and sculpture and published text. Her practice concerns threshold and ‘in-between’ spaces of the human body, gallery or museum, definitions of the human and animal within companion species relationships and alternative strategies for documenting the ephemeral. Amongst others, the work has been exhibited at Karst in Plymouth (2016), Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC (2016), Miami International Performance Festival (2014 and 2013), Grace Exhibition Space in New York City (2014, 2012), Bristol Live Open Platform at Arnolfini (2012), Action Art Now for O U I International Performance in York (2011), EAST International in Norwich (2009) The Animal Gaze (London 2008, Plymouth 2009, Sheffield 2011), and Animalism in Bradford (2009). Published texts include her co-edited volume Recto-Verso: Redefining the Sketchbook (Eds: Bartram, El Bizri, Gittens (Ashgate: 2014)), and chapters in Collaborative Art in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge: 2016), Intimacy Across Visceral and Digital Performance (Palgrave MacMillan: 2012) and Mutual Dependencies (Artwords: 2011). Bartram completed a PhD at Middlesex University and is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln (UK) in the department of fine art.

Andrew Hewitt

Andrew is an artist and academic teaching practice and theory University of Northampton. He is founding co-editor of Art and the Public Sphere Journal, a cross-disciplinary journal that combines the study of art, politics and geography. Andy has worked collaboratively with Dave Beech and Mel Jordan as the Freee art collective since 2004. Freee has worked with public and professional arts organisations and galleries, nationally and internationally. These include: Liverpool Biennial; Venice Biennial; BAK, Utrecht; SMART, Amsterdam; Culturgest Porto; ICA, London; Collective Gallery Edinburgh; and Wysing Arts, Cambridge. 

Ashley Gallant

Ashley is Collections Access Officer (Contemporary Art) at The Collection & Usher Gallery in Lincoln. After graduating in Fine art in 2008, producing kinetic light sculptures, Ashley and his peers set up artist run studio complex and gallery, Backlit, in Nottingham, where he worked with graduates and students to curate and explore ideas of presentation and with established artists such as Mark Titchner and Brian Griffiths to present works in progress. This curatorial practice sat alongside a collaborative arts practice, which took in performance and video works. Shows include lothringer 13 Munich and Stedefreunde Berlin. Recent projects at The Collection include The Russell Chantry by Lothar Gotz and

Benedict Carpenter

Ben is Associate Head of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at De Montfort University, and has taught in art schools and universities since 1998. He is also an artist and studied sculpture at Chelsea School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, London. Ben was awarded the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2001, and has completed sited sculptural projects for clients including Arts Council Commissions North and the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.

Clare Edwards

Clare is Director at The National Centre for Craft & Design, the largest centre in England for the promotion, exhibition and celebration of contemporary craft and design and heads up Design Factory and Design-Nation, two national network organisations that offer a unique resource for the support, develop and promote some of Britain’s leading designer-makers. Clare leads the three organisations in a joint mission to deliver new opportunities and strengthen business and creative development in the contemporary design and crafts sector across the UK. Clare works at an executive level whilst still continuing to provide advice and support to some of the UK’s leading designer-makers and has a skillset ranging from business and project management; market development; fund raising, accountancy, event planning, organisational development; leadership; business mentoring, audience development strategic marketing and communications. Clare is currently an active member of Lincolnshire One Venues (LOV), Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands (CVAN-EM) and CraftNet. She also leads NK Arts Partnership, a NPO consortium in the East Midlands comprising Design Factory, Design-Nation, The National Centre for Craft & Design and artsNK.

Irene Aristizábal

Irene is Head of Exhibitions, Nottingham Contemporary. In 2010 she was the recipient of the H+F Curatorial Grant and worked as Guest Curator at the FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, Dunkirk. Prior to moving to London, she co-directed the not-for-profit space Bétonsalon in Paris. She has curated exhibitions and projects at the Miro Foundation, Barcelona; La Maison Rouge, Paris; the Museum of Health Sciences, Bogota; Form Content, London and LOOP festive, Barcelona. Originally from Colombia Irene graduated from an MA in Curating Contemporary Art of the Royal College of Art in London in 2008 and has a background is in Art Theory and History of Art, and a specialism in Contemporary Art and Photography.

Lucy Phillips

Lucy has been Director of Leicester Print Workshop, the Midlands centre for fine art printmaking, since April 2008. Over the past three years she managed its relocation to a refurbished, fit for purpose centre in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter. Having originally studied the history of art, design and film at Sheffield Polytechnic, she has spent her working life in the arts and voluntary sectors raising funds and managing projects. Lucy is currently CVAN EM Chair and is a member of the national CVAN steering group. She also sits on the Leicester City Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Panel and is a member of Leicester Visual Arts.

Melanie Kidd

Melanie has been Director of Programmes at New Art Exchange in Nottingham since 2012, a role for which she oversees the strategic development of exhibitions, audience development, community engagement and learning programmes. She is the senior curator within the organisation, and her practice as a curator and creative producer combines an interest in visual arts, design and contemporary craft with a specific focus on British artists from diverse backgrounds and socially engaged/participatory practice. Projects include newly commissioned exhibitions with Zarina Bhimji, Hurvin Anderson, John Akomfrah, Mahtab Hussain, Max Kandhola, Yara El-Sherbini, Common Culture and Faiza Butt. Melanie led on the production of the EM15 pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale with a project called Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf.

Peter Bonnell

Peter has been Senior Curator at QUAD since 2012, where he has led on a range of projects, including the mass participation film work ‘Derby Soap Opera’ with the artist and filmmaker Marinella Senatore, involving almost 15,000 Derby Residents, group exhibitions Illuminated and The Pride and the Passion: Contemporary Art, Football and The Derby County Collection and solo shows with artists Lindsay Seers, Benedict Drew and Susan MacWilliamBefore this, Peter was Curator at ArtSway, in the New Forest, where he was responsible for the exhibitions, residency and commissioning programmes and the education programme. He studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University and did an MFA at the University of Arkansas. Graduating with an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London, Peter co-curated This much is certain working directly with the artists Jeremy Deller and Dexter Dalwood.

Sally Sheinman

Sally is a prolific painter with an interest in contemporary technology and its potential uses in art production. Sally is a conscientious artist with a deep concern for communities (past, present and mythical), people, science and the role of the individual as a contextual starting point for creating accessible but thought provoking work.  Her current project is WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU? ( an international awarded winning project which is ongoing, interactive and digital. She is an American and grew up on a dairy farm close to the Canadian border. She has also previously worked on Wall Street. Sally received a BA degree from the State University of New York at Albany and undertook postgraduate studies at Hunter College, New York City where her tutors included Tony Smith and Robert Morris. Sally has lived in Britain for the last 25 years and is currently working in Northampton.

Tristram Aver

Tristram is currently Curator of Temporary Exhibitions where he has worked at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery for the over 8 years, leading on the exhibition programme for the past 4. As well as running artist-led studios and galleries, he has over 15 years’ experience managing and curating many high-profile contemporary and visual arts projects with artists, collections, curators and institutions worldwide. Tristram is also an artist has produced work for major UK museums and galleries. Recent group exhibitions include The Secret Art Prize Finalist Exhibition, Curious Duke Gallery, London (2016); The Griffin Gallery Open, London (2015); And stand a ruin amidst ruins (solo), Newstead Abbey, Nottingham (2015) and There is a pleasure in the pathless woods (solo), Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham (2014). His work is also in significant private collections including the Bayswater Media Group, London, and The Stremmel Gallery Collection, Reno, Nevada.

Yasmin Canvin

Yasmin is the Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, a peripatetic visual arts organisation that commissions artistic dialogue between artists and audiences, people and place across north Northamptonshire. The programme infiltrates the everyday, fusing urban culture with rural landscapes and bringing rural perspectives into the urban environment.  Fermynwoods explores areas of commonality and divergence between the visual arts and non-arts sectors to develop inter-disciplinary artistic practice.  Previous curatorial projects include: touring exhibitions (Aftershock; Conflict, Violence and Resolution in Contemporary Art, Self and Paper Cuts); professional development activity (engage conference When Art and Context Leads to Meaning – International Artists’ Practice, Education and Interpretation) and leading research trips to Australia and India.

The Steering Group is supported by CVAN EM’s staff team.