Staff & Trustees
James joined the gallery as Director in July 2006 to oversee the acquisition and redevelopment of the former telephone Exchange in Penzance and the expansion of Newlyn Art Gallery, and their relaunch in July 2007. James brings considerable experience as a curator and of arts leadership roles. He is a member of the Steering Group of Plus Tate and a Trustee of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, responsible for artists’ studio provision in West Cornwall. He also sits on the advisory groups of the FEAST and Cultivator funding programmes.
A current priority for the gallery is to explore ways in which public galleries can support the creative education of young people within and outside of formal educational settings, at a time when many commentators regard this as being gravely under threat. To support this work, in 2019, James became a Trustee of the Truro & Penwith Academy Trust.
In his spare time James is a keen gig rower and keeps bees.
As well as delivering six shows per year across both venues, Blair also curates many of the shorter projects and events. He creates platforms in the main gallery programme for artists’ development including the annual Transition project, in addition to social/interactive projects, residencies, live art and performance. Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange has a long history of presenting solo exhibitions with national and international artists, as well as initiating and partnering on major group exhibitions.
Community Engagement Programmer
Megan joined the gallery in 2017 on a temporary basis and now works part-time across the team with a focus on expanding community engagement with the buildings, exhibitions and specific projects. Originally from Belfast, Megan studied Fine Art and Furniture Design, and taught in Further, Adult and Community Education for several years. She has a particular interest in the civic role of arts organisations and in developing on- and off-site projects to broaden the gallery’s reach.
The primary aim of Cat’s role is to connect audiences with art and artists, both within and beyond the gallery buildings. Through her work, she supports and nurtures young artists with opportunities such as The Collaborators and Drawing a Presence. Her role also explores the usefulness of art in shaping and enriching our day-to-day lives through initiatives such as The Home Service and A Postcard to Penzance. Cat is an area representative for Engage, and and Chair of Trustee’s for KEAP.
Kathy delivers the Marketing activities for both venues. This covers a wide range of things from press releases to signage, posters to social media – and a whole lot more. She joined the Gallery at the end of 2009 on a temporary basis to cover maternity leave but more than nine years later is still with us. When not at work you might spot Kathy out and about in Newlyn, where she lives, walking her dog, or running along the seafront.
Operations Manager (Newlyn)
Simon is the Operations Manager for Newlyn Art Gallery, looking after the day-to-day running of the building as well as recruiting and managing the front of house volunteer team. The shop and café at each gallery are central to the galleries’ income and Simon and Sian (Operations Officer at The Exchange) work together as buyers, selecting high quality, artisan objects and works by local artists and makers for these spaces. The Picture Room at Newlyn Art Gallery was set up by Simon as an extension of the shop and offers visitors the chance to buy works by highly regarded regional and national artists.
Operations Manager (The Exchange)
Sian is the Operations Manager for The Exchange, looking after the day-to-day running of the building as well as recruiting and managing the front of house volunteer team. The shop and café at each gallery are central to the galleries’ income and Sian and Simon (Operations Manager at Newlyn) work together as buyers, selecting high quality, artisan objects and works by local artists and makers for these spaces.
As Events Programmer Bettina is working on both audience development and income generation, with a focus on growing new events, often in collaboration with community groups and partners across the county, and the coordination of private and corporate hires. Partners and clients include amongst others Tim Boulton & the Cornwall Music Therapy Trust, Cornwall People First, the Humphry Davy Project and The Friends of Jubilee Pool. Bettina also curates The Makers’ Market, a sales platform for local and regional designer -makers.
Tamsin is the Development Manager and works with all the members of the gallery team to find the funds to support the exhibition programme, our learning offer, the building infrastructure and the social engagement projects we want to create. The Development team talks with all our supporters, from our individual donors, Gallery Supporters and volunteers to Arts Council England, Cornwall Council, as well as a wide range of trusts and foundations, and business partners. We feel that supporting the gallery is an investment in the future of Penzance and the creative sector of the region, particularly of young artists at all levels.
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Miranda has been Chair of our Board of Trustees since April 2017. Her career has spanned roles in both the private sector, working for the world’s largest marketing communications company, Omnicom, and the public sector, specifically Culture, in Cornwall. Currently she is Head of Development for an international advertising network called PHD. She is a strong advocate of the importance of the visual arts in Cornwall, given its long history in the county, and its record of positive impact on the community both economically and socially. For her, the fact that Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange is one of just two visual arts NPOs in Cornwall means that it has a lot of responsibility not only for its own fortune but that of the sector in Cornwall. She believes it is crucial for the huge numbers of visual artists resident in Cornwall, as well as local audiences to have access to the international standard work shown at both our venues.
Andy has been on the board of Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange since early 2014, as he is interested in the visual arts provision in the region where he lives. By being on the board he hopes that his skills and experience can play some part in ensuring the excellent reputation of the gallery continues to grow in the future. He is also a part-time senior lecturer on the MFA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths in London, having worked in adult and higher education for more than 20 years. As a professional artist he has exhibited with both public and commercial galleries, nationally and internationally. He is represented by Danese-Corey Gallery in New York and The Page Gallery in Seoul.
Neil was elected to the Board in early 2017 and is our Secretary. He is deeply interested in the visual arts, particularly within West Cornwall where he also chairs the Tate St Ives Members Committee and sits on the Tate St Ives Advisory Council. He is also Chair of the Trustees at St Ives School of Painting. He strongly believes that art is the best language to explore and articulate our place in the world, more so now than ever, and hopes that his involvement with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange can help others find the language to tell their own stories. His career spanned nearly thirty years in retail management and a dozen years developing and managing Business Improvement Districts in Reading and Truro. Neil lives in St Ives with his family and is an active explorer of the landscapes, coast paths and the ocean. He writes, collects things, makes stuff and believes in magic.
Myfanwy joined the Board in December 2018. With a career in public finance, in local and regional government, she is currently Managing Director of Corporate Services at the House of Commons. She is a qualified accountant and brings significant experience of financial strategy, people leadership and engagement, business planning, performance and risk management, and project delivery. Myfanwy is also a Trustee of The Photographers’ Gallery in London, where she chairs the Finance and General Purposes Committee. She is passionate about art, and is studying art history in her spare time, with the emphasis on modernism.
Cornishman Bert is the representative of Cornwall Council on the Board. He volunteered to take up the role. Bert has a long association with the development of the creative industries sector in Cornwall. He is a Bard of Gorsedh Kernow (his real name is Vyager gans Geryow), and currently holds the transport portfolio on the Cabinet at Cornwall Council. He is a songwriter, poet, raconteur and performer, and as he freely admits, 5’6″ and overweight!
DR VIRGINIA (GINNY) BUTTON
Ginny is an art historian, writer and academic, with expertise in modern and contemporary British Art and has worked with art and artists for more than 35 years. She was formerly a curator at Tate Britain (1991-2001), curating the Turner Prize from 1993 to 1998, before moving to Cornwall with a young family in 2001. She then held a number of roles at Falmouth University, notably as Head of Art, and Director of Falmouth School of Art (2010-18). Ginny values education as a form of empowerment believing that access to art education and art practice promotes social mobility, future employability skills for young people, and enables fulfilled lives. She is delighted to bring her curatorial knowledge and management skills to the Board to support the important role of the gallery in delivering great art experiences for audiences in Cornwall.
Bethia was elected to the Board in December 2018. She is a marketing consultant based in Cornwall, helping brands to deliver meaningful communication concepts and reach their audiences. She has more than ten years’ international experience working for a variety of clients, from book publishing houses and charities, to digital agencies and creative businesses, and holds an MA in Communication Design from Falmouth University. On a personal note, Bethia studied at Penwith College in Penzance and is passionate about the gallery’s work in engaging local young people with the visual arts.