Introducing The Influencers
Sheila McGregor, our very own Influencer
Introducing The Influencers, our fabulous new feature where we talk to the movers and shakers of the art world. Here's Sheila McGregor to tell you all about it
No, it’s not a 1970s spi-fi or police television drama, though it sounds as if it might be. Remember The Persuaders and The Professionals?
Instead, it’s a new series of interviews with interesting people doing interesting things in the art world.
One of the top landing pages on our site is Artist of the Month. There’s something about the format of a one-to-one interview that’s informative and easy to assimilate.
But while artists are and will always remain the main focus of our site, there are many other people in the visual arts who are making a difference to our professional world in a whole variety of ways, often quietly and without fanfare.
So we’ve decided to introduce a new series of monthly interviews with these ‘influencers’, some of them leading significant organisations and others working to bring about positive change at the grassroots.
We’re keen to find out what got them involved in the visual arts in the first place and what motivates them to do the things they’re doing. Together, we hope these interviews will add up to a useful snapshot of people, ideas and initiatives it’s good to know about.
Our first ‘influencer’ was Karen MacKinnon, director of Artes Mundi, whose inspiring vision for the UK’s largest art prize builds on the firm foundations laid by her predecessors and colleagues in the visual arts community in Wales.
Tony Charles, our second interviewee, runs the artist-led Platform A in Middlesbrough, where he has created one of our most beautiful contemporary art spaces in the unlikely setting of the local railway station.
Sarah Rowles, our third ‘influencer’ and director of Q-Art, spotted a gap in the market while still an undergraduate at Goldsmiths and set up a network of peer crits and publications that have benefited an enormous number of artists in London and beyond.
Finally, Andrew Brewerton, our first 'influencer' for 2015, is using his position as Principal of Plymouth College of Art to help transform the city into a test-bed for creative learning across all phases of education.
We hope you’ll enjoy these interviews with people who are influencing the direction of travel in the visual arts. They're definitely on a journey and we 're intrigued to see where it takes them. And there are plenty more interviews to come in 2015.
By Sheila McGregor, January 2015