Steering Group

CVAN EM’s Regional Director is supported by a growing Steering Group, made up of representatives from regional organisations and artists working across the East Midlands. Steering Group members act as advisors and advocates. Representatives supporting CVAN EM activity independent of organisational backing receive a nominal fee to attend quarterly Steering Group meetings.

The wider role of the CVAN EM Steering Group is to:

  • Shape, challenge and inform all CVAN EM policy and activity.
  • Call upon, encourage, and offer up a growing plurality of voices, practices and experiences within the arts and culture sector.
  • Be actively involved in a critical discussion of contemporary forms of labour, agency, and equity for arts workers.
  • Share models of good practice in promoting intersectionality, equity, and social justice.
  • Support in building and strengthening sustainable infrastructures, relationships, and platforms across the region.

With Art Fund support CVAN EM will deliver a period of consultation and activity From July – December 2021. Our Professional Network Grants project focuses on establishing a firm foundation for CVAN EM to positively impact on regional public programmes and commissioning. The project will develop on the knowledge, experience, and skills of the Network’s members, with a focus on the CVAN EM Steering Group. It will include the recruitment of new representatives on increasing representation.

The Steering Group is currently made up of the following people:

Angela Bartram (Chair)

Angela Bartram is an artist working with objects, sound, video, print, performance event and published text, concerning thresholds of the human body, gallery or museum, definitions of the human and animal as companion species and strategies for documenting the ephemeral.

Bartram is Professor of Contemporary Art and Head of Arts Research and the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre at the University of Derby. Bartram is Executive Board member for the Society for Artistic Research, CHEAD Research Alliance Strategy Group member, National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE) Collaborations Champion Network member, peer reviewer for Project Anywhere global exhibition programme (University of Melbourne) Emotion, Space and Society journal, the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR), and the Austrian Science Fund, and consultant for The Danish National School of Performing Arts journal and Kingdom University (Bahrain). Additionally she is a Chair of the steering group for Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands. She has a PhD from Middlesex University.

Daniel Sean Kelly

Daniel is an artist based in Leicester and co-director of Two Queens, an artist-run gallery and studios located in the city. Working largely in painting, printmaking and ceramics, his work seeks to create a speculative space for the imagining of other realities – a science fictional universe comprised only of objects existing in the world up to this point. He has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally. He is an alumnus of the free, alternative postgraduate programme The School of the Damned and a graduate of MA Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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.

Mercè Santos Mir (maternity cover for Melanie Kidd)

Mercè Santos Mir is a curator and cultural producer based in Nottingham. She is the Public Programmes Producer at New Art Exchange, where she curates a wide range of critically engaged events. Mercè previously worked at Nottingham Contemporary and has over ten years of experience practicing across exhibitions and public programmes. She also does freelance work collaborating with organisations such as the Institute of Mental Health at The University of Nottingham, and with independent artists.

Mercè’s interests lie within feminist practices and the politics of care, and she is passionate about death positivity, mourning rituals, and the occult. She is also part of the Three Ecologies Research Group – with whom she hosts a monthly reading and discussion group on contemporary ecologies.

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.

Ruchita Shaikh

Ruchita is a Visual Arts graduate with a post-graduate qualification in Industrial Design (ceramics) from the National institute of Design India. Ruchita joined Artcore in 2000 in India and is now the Executive Director of Artcore in Derby. Ruchita represents on the Culture and Leisure Board of Derby City Council and is a trustee of Community Action Derby since last 5years. She is also an active member of the local Neighbourhood Board. She feels strongly that art is an effective, empathetic tool to bring people together.