James Beighton

Our Alumni in 2015

Our Alumni in 2015

Artists we’ve worked with

Bub Bacon, Andy Berriman, Niel Bushnell, Adam Bligh, Ree Collins, Maurice Dezou, Helena Fox, Nicola Golightly, Vicky Holbrough, Kev Howard, Mark Jobe, John Kirkbride, Adrian Moule, Ian Paine, Jane Riley, Miki Rogers, Rowena Sommerville, Shirley Wells, Austin Weeden, The Tea Ladies.

Trustees

Cllr Geraldine Purvis

19 Aug 2011 to 2 Oct 2015

David Jeffrey

3Jul 2012 to 2 Sept 2015

Cllr Ken Dixon

19 Aug 2011 to 17 Jun 2015

Geraldine was the last official representative from Middlesbrough Borough Council and during her period on the board of trustees was instrumental in founding the Thorntree Roses.

Read More about Geraldine

The last council representative from Stockton whilst he was Cabinet Member for Arts and Culture. He resigned following his re-election in May 2015 and promotion to deputy leader of Stockton Borough Council.

Read More about Ken

Volunteers

Tracey Reeve, Izzy Neish, Ebenezer Ajibade, Grace Kirk.

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Our Alumni in 2016

Our Alumni in 2016

Artists we’ve worked with

Jane Riley, Becky Sunter, Helen Pickard, Shirley Wells, Andy Broderick, Emily Hesse, James Beighton, Maurice Dezou, Bub Bacon, Shirley Wells, Adrian Moule, Vicky Holbrough, Sara Dennis, Matt Abbott, Matthew Jones, Mark Owens, Michael Edwards, Robin Webb, Gabriel Mulangu, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kev Howard, Laura Degnan, Miki Rogers, Geraldine Pattinson, Ree Collins, John Kirkbride, Niel Bushnell, Adam Bligh, Nicola Golightly, Phil Douglas.

Trustees

Cllr Josh Mason

10 Aug 2015 to 7 Dec 2016

Eyv Hardwick

13 Jun 2012 to 7 Dec 2016

Josh is a local Liberal Democrat councillor for the Zetland Ward in Redcar & Cleveland and, whilst serving, was the Leader of the Opposition. He served in a private capacity.

Eyv served on the board as a representative of Cleveland College of Art and Design

Read More about Eyv

Volunteers

James Beighton, Vanessa Brigham, Dawn Chapman, Neil Grainger, John Kirkbride, Tracy Lloyd, Adrian Moule, Martin Sharpe, Sue Sharpe, Mike Sreenan, Alice Maenami, Hannah Winslip, Nurian Omar.

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TVA Announces New CEO

James Beighton

TVA, which is committed to the impact of art for individuals and communities across North East England, has appointed a renowned local arts practitioner with an international network as its new Director and CEO.

James Beighton, an arts scholar and curator from Saltburn-on-Sea, will lead us forward, replacing long-serving CEO Rowena Sommerville. James worked as Senior Curator at the prestigious Plus-Tate gallery the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) for 12 years where his role included securing the funding, planning and staging a far-reaching programme of world-renowned exhibitions from international contemporary artists as well as public engagement work both with visitors inside the gallery and out in the communities around Middlesbrough.

James left mima in 2014 to undertake a doctoral study examining the history of the visual arts in Teesside. During this time, he also established ‘New Linthorpe’ an exciting project with artist Emily Hesse to recapture the spirit of one of the most important artists in the Aesthetic Movement, Christopher Dresser, whose creations were realised in the Victorian kilns of Middlesbrough’s Linthorpe Art Pottery. Using local clay, the project created a new pottery collection while highlighting the town’s social history and inviting visitors to its exhibition and pottery-making workshops to explore the concept of locality.

In his new role as Director of TVA James will be working with artists and makers across all art forms – from visual arts, to music, to performance. He will work closely with funding, business and public service partners to engage diverse audiences across the Teesside community and address issues including environment, heritage, health and wellbeing, poverty, crime & justice, addiction, and asylum – often working with some of the region’s most vulnerable residents. TVA partners the likes of Teesside University, the Ministry of Justice, the NHS, and environmental agencies, but is also supporting the ambitions of the Tees Valley Combined Authority to bid for UK City of Culture 2025 and working closely to align its work with the strategy of Arts Council England and other key national government and funding partners.

James said:

“This is a truly exciting time to be involved with the arts in Tees Valley. I believe that art and culture form a fundamental part of everybody’s lives. It is a force for good in the world, helping to break down barriers, build confidence and aspiration and capturing the energy and pride of our region’s diverse communities. It’s a privilege to be able to continue my career with an organisation like Tees Valley Arts in a part of the world that I think of as home and I look forward to working with all of the partners and artists to extend TVA’s impact in the years ahead.”

The Chairman of TVA’s Board of Trustees, Richard Anderson, welcomed James’ appointment:

“We are delighted to have secured someone of James’ calibre with such a strong reputation in the arts regionally, nationally and internationally. His work at mima, throughout the TATE gallery network, his PhD study and his inspirational work as an arts practitioner in our region will inform his work as Director, building on the impressive legacy of impact and reach led by Rowena Sommerville and our current team.”

James will take up post from the 1 August, working from TVA’s office at Royal Middlehaven House in Middlesbrough.

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River Tees Rediscovered Willow Pattern Engagement Launched

Middlesbrough Pottery Willow Plate

164 individual engagements, 90 plates made

that’s just the first of five community launches planned for the River Tees Rediscovered Landscape Partnership.

River Tees Rediscovered Willow Pattern Plates

Working with Middlesbrough born artist Emily Hesse, regular Tees Valley Arts contributor and artist Adrian Moule, we facilitated a collaboration that created the River Tees Rediscovered Willow Pattern Plate engagement.

By reflecting on the long history of pottery production in the Tees Valley and, in particular, its instrumental role in the development of Middlesbrough as a town through the establishment of the Middlesbrough Pottery in 1831. We provided the means to create an artistic intervention that would enable people to both express themselves and create something intrinsically useful.

The Willow Pattern is a distinctive and elaborate pattern developed by Thomas Minton in around 1790 and was an English imitation of Chinese porcelain imported during the mid-eighteenth century. Mostly blue and white, though other colours were used, it always featured both a river, a bridge and a person.

Examples of the pottery, with the willow pattern, produced by Middlesbrough Pottery are important enough to be included in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum:

Pickle Dish by Middlesbrough Pottery in the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This credit line represents the ‘Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum’ (a non-departmental public body established by the National Heritage Act 1983.)

Emily and Adrian wanted people to realise their memories, their vision, their thoughts of the river, whilst creating something they could take home and eat off.

Middlesbrough Pottery Willow Plate
Middlesbrough Pottery Willow Plate, loaned from the private collection of James Beighton

We were fortunate enough to have a genuine Middlesbrough Pottery plate on hand to give inspiration to the participants thanks to the generous support of project volunteer James Beighton, former senior curator of mima and ceramics expert, who is currently undertaking a AHRC funded PhD at Teesside University.

The Process

Participants were encouraged to draw out their ideas on paper with printed circles, with photographs of plates made earlier by Emily and Adrian to use for inspiration before going on to mark their own plate with porcelain paint pens:

Couldn’t Make It? See what we got up to:

What Next?

Roll on the launch in South Park, Darlington, this Sunday, 11-3, where we hope to better our engagement numbers and let people think and realise their vision of the river in blue and white.

Followed by:

  • Ropner Park, Stockton / Saturday 28th February, 11-3pm;
  • Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool / Saturday 14th March, 11-3pm
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