The Team

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  1. Our Board

    JUDE KELLY OBE is founder and chair of Metal, having spent the first three years of Metal's development as our artistic director. She went on to play an instrumental role in securing the 2012 Olympic Games for London and was artistic director at London Southbank Centre for 12 years. She is currently founder and artistic director of WOW – the Women of the World festival. Jude is joined on our board by the actor, Sir Ian McKellen, writers Paul Morley, and Yasmin Alibhai Brown, BBC radio presenter DJ Nihal Arthanayake, Jamie Beddard who is Co-Director of Diverse City, Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre, and freelance director, writer and actor, Andrea Stark Director of Employment, Skills and Culture at the London Borough of Islington, and industry experts Ian Thompson and Mark Blenkinsop.

  2. Patrons

    David Hockney

  3. Colette Bailey: Artistic Director and Chief Executive

    Colette has worked to develop Metal since the company's inception in 2002. She works across all three Metal sites and brings extensive experience of working in large scale public arenas via public art consultancy, exhibitions, participatory design and education projects. She was managing director of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (RBS) from 1998 – 2002 and is a freelance writer and commentator on the arts and has published articles in a number of journals and publications. She recently created Estuary, a major new arts festival along the banks of the Thames in South Essex and North Kent. The first edition, Estuary 2016 was co-curated with Gareth Evans of the Whitechapel Gallery & Sue Jones of Whitstable Biennale.

  4. Shaun Curtis: Director, Liverpool

    Shaun joined Metal following four years working across Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool, as Curator of Young People's Programmes. In these roles he worked internationally and curated, commissioned, and produced many multidisciplinary performances, exhibitions and events; often with a focus on the intersection between music and visual art. Prior to this, Shaun also worked in programming, education and participation capacities for DaDaFest International (Disability and Deaf Arts), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Liverpool Biennial. During his career Shaun has worked in collaboration with many artists and creative organisations across a broad spectrum of disciplines including; Warp Records, Punchdrunk Theatre Company, Actress, Jeremy Deller, Matthew Herbert, Oneohtrix Point Never, Martin Creed and Kate Tempest.

  5. Jenny Porter: Senior Project Manager

    Jenny is an experienced project manager, producer and curator. For five years she curated the annual Liverpool Art Prize exhibition, working closely with a wide range of contemporary visual artists based in Merseyside. Jenny is passionate about engaging diverse audiences, particularly people who may not see the arts as something for them. She also continues her own practice as a visual artist and has a passion for film and artists' moving image.

  6. Mark Richards: Director, Peterborough

    Mark joined Metal in May 2013, after eight years at Arts Council England based in Cambridge. Through his various senior management roles for ACE, he has developed a very strong understanding of the east region, its strengths and challenges. He has also worked within local government, arts venues of varying scales, as a Higher Education tutor and a practising visual artist. He has an MA in European Cultural Planning.

  7. Sarah Haythornthwaite: Senior Project Manager

    Sarah brings a wide range of experience to Metal having previously worked as Arts Service Manager for Vivacity, Peterborough’s culture and leisure trust, The Bluecoat in Liverpool and Knowsley Borough Council. She comes from a background in arts management and arts participation, developing collaborative relationships between artists and new audiences.

  8. Ruth Campbell-Ekins: Project Manager

    Ruth has been at Metal Peterborough since its inception and has recently been promoted to Project Manager. She is a practicing artist having studied at Central St Martins and London College of Communication. She has an MA in Photography.

  9. Hannah Saunders

    Hannah provides support for projects, events and artists-in-residence. She has previously worked for The National Archives, Creative People and Places, The Witt & Conway Images Libraries and The British Journal of Photography. Her undergraduate degree in Documentary Photography was followed by an MA in The Supernatural Middle-Ages from The Courtauld Institute of Art. Her own practice revolves around translating historical and literary themes into tangible visual works, and she is passionate about advocating archives and exploring women’s history on a local level.

  10. Andrea Cunningham: Assistant Regional Director

    Andrea joins Metal from a career in museums and galleries spanning over 20 years. Most recently as Head of Learning & Skills at the V&A Museum of Childhood and previously as Head of Informal Learning & Access at the National Maritime Museum. An art historian by training, she has enjoyed working across a range of organisations such as the Museum’s Association, the National Gallery, Tate Modern and Orlean’s House Gallery & Borough Arts Service. Bringing skills from learning, public engagement, exhibition & interpretation development to cross-disciplinary public programming, Andrea’s practice is characterised by audience-centred, socially engaged and participatory approaches to creativity. A resident of Leigh-On-Sea, she values the importance of people and place in the creative landscape.

  11. Sean McLoughlin: Senior Producer

    Sean is responsible for producing Metal's large-scale programme and events. He is the event director for Village Green and is an experienced music promoter, having been instrumental in the development of a number of festivals across Essex. In his role at Southend's YMCA (2001 – 2007) he developed the pioneering Cue Music recording studio and accredited Open College Network course for young people. He is skilled at developing and delivering a wide range of arts projects across disciplines.

  12. Michaela Freeman: Senior Project Manager

    Michaela is Metal's Senior Project Manager for Estuary 2020, having previously looked after digital projects and marketing. She worked at National Gallery and Academy of Fine Art in Prague, Flowers East Gallery in London, ran a publishing company Divus and edited State art magazine. She also works as a freelance curator and writer; with an MA in Fine Art Administration and Curatorship from Goldsmiths College.

    Twitter: @misafreeman

  13. Thea Behrman: Senior Project Manager, Estuary 2020

    Thea joined Metal in September 2019 as Senior Project Manager for Estuary 2020. She relishes collaborating with partners, artists and curators to create exceptional public artworks and participatory programmes to create surprising experiences for the broadest possible audience. Her career has embraced partnership development, fundraising, communications and co-devising arts programmes for a range of organisations including Furtherfield and 2NQ in Finsbury Park, Creative Foundation, Coin Street Community Builders and London Symphony Orchestra. She is also a trumpet player and school governor.

  14. Nicky Bettell: Finance Administrator

    Nicky Bettell is the Finance Administrator at Metal. Nicky’s background is both from the Arts with a Photography degree from Manchester Metropolitan University and finance having returned to further education after having children to study for her Accounting qualifications. Nicky grew up and lives in the Leigh-on-sea / Chalkwell area. She is passionate about the local community with its ‘village’ feel and how businesses, schools, groups and residents work together to maintain the unique atmosphere.

  15. Stephanie Stevenson: Company Administrator

    Stephanie provides project support and a warm welcome for artists in residence. With a working knowledge of French and Italian, she comes from a background of Travel and Tourism working as an International Tour Manager. She has also worked extensively in administrative positions in training, banking and media.

  16. Emma Mills: Mental Health Wellbeing Coordinator, Southend

    Emma is the Mental Health Wellbeing Coordinator at Metal. She grew up in Chalkwell and Leigh and has worked in the area as an art therapist, teacher and artist. She has a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Art Psychotherapy. Emma has project managed several art and drama therapy mental health projects in Botswana where she lived for 10 years. She has published articles in journals and art therapy magazines and is passionate about using art and community to help promote everyone's good mental health.

  17. Paige Ockendon: Project Manager, Southend

    Paige leads on a variety of projects at Metal Southend, including creative education programmes, community art events and participatory projects with our visiting artists in residence. She curates our quarterly event Future Park which showcases fresh works in progress, from artists working in any discipline. Paige has experience in production, visual merchandising and copy writing and is passionate about supporting emerging creatives. She is a practicing artist and keen writer, with a love for living near the sea.

  18. Hannah Clarke, Administrator

    As the newest recruit to the Southend team, Hannah provides support for projects, events and for the artists-in-residence. She grew up in Southend-on-Sea and has a background in the arts, graduating with a BA Hons from Exeter in Art History and Visual Culture. Prior to Metal, Hannah has explored different creative disciplines, working as the head chef at a local vegan restaurant. Her passion for food, art and culture has been fueled by her love for travel, particularly within Italy and Japan.