Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education

This award, run in partnership with engage, annually celebrates the achievements of four individuals working in learning and education within gallery or visual arts contexts.

engage (National Association for Gallery Education)promotes access to, enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts through 'gallery education'. They run and promote projects and programmes which help school children and the wider community become confident in their understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts and galleries.

Pictured right: Children participating in engage’s Children’s Art Day in 2010 (photo: Kois Miah)

The 2013 winners are Clare Gittings, Ella Phillips, Lisa Jacques and Jenny Mellings

Clare Gittings, Learning Manager, National Portrait Gallery

Clare has worked at the NPG since 1989, initially as the one person delivering the Schools Programme. She now manages a team of 20 freelancers delivering a schools programme to 15,000 primary and secondary students and 2,000 group leaders annually. Until 2011 Clare ran a national video conferencing programme in classrooms across the country and the National Museum Online Learning Project 'Webquests', both of which enabled thousands of pupils to participate in sessions remotely each month. Clare hosts trainee teachers on placements and mentors students.

As well as her career in gallery education Clare has curated exhibitions, and is a writer and an academic. Clare has just retired from the National Portrait Gallery, and plans to volunteer at the Museum of Childhood and to use her award to undertake further exhibition research.

Ella Phillips, Education Manager, October Gallery

The October gallery exhibits contemporary art and delivers an education programme which includes formal and informal learning, work with vulnerable groups of people and professional development for artists.

Ella has worked long hours and contributed her skills to her role at the gallery. Since 2012 she has developed programmes supporting families, visiting prisoners and trafficked women. She has devised training programmes for artists and volunteers, has organised education symposiums and developed partnerships with cultural, educational and third sector organisations. Ella efforts have meant that she has secured over £20,000 to further develop the education programme.

Lisa Jacques, Learning Officer for Contemporary Art, Leicester City Council

Lisa has worked on the digital learning programme with young people at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, in Leicester, for an exhibition of the work of renowned photographer August Sander. Lisa developed a strategic partnership with Leicester College, the city’s largest further education provider, and a comprehensive strategy around the use of social media.

Lisa has developed a photography project through classroom teaching and museum visits. Students’ work was exhibited in sites across the city, in local media and online. Social media was used to encourage debate, particularly with young people about students work. The programme has been shared as an example of innovative practice within the visual arts sector and Lisa has been an inspiration to those she has worked with and supported.

Jenny Mellings, Freelance Artist Educator, Spacex

Jenny pioneered learning and participation at Spacex, a contemporary art gallery in Exeter. She has run children’s workshops since 1991, before a formal education programme had been established at the gallery.

Jenny has spent many hours preparing children’s artwork for display, entering awards, editing films, creating an archive and hanging exhibitions. Thanks to her efforts artwork produced by children and young people has won awards and been on display to an audience of millions at Exeter Central Station, Exeter Picturehouse and as part of international animation festivals. Jenny has had a reat impact on the people she has supported, many of whom have gone on to study art in further and higher education.

Pictured above, from top to bottom - Clare Gittings (Photograph credited to Marysa Dowling © National Portrait Gallery, London), Ella Phillips, Lisa Jacques and Jenny Mellings


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