Castlefield Gallery announces new Trustees and AHRC NWCDTP Collaborative Doctoral Award with Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University

Posted on 18 August 2020

New Trustees

Castlefield Gallery is a female led organisation continuing to build on its growth and achievements with the announcement this month that Ceri Hand, Alisha Kadri and Chara Lewis have joined the gallery as Trustees.

Ceri Hand is the Director of Artist Mentor and has extensive experience of working in the arts and culture sector, with previous key positions including: Director of Programmes at Somerset House, London; Associate Director: Institutions and Public Relations, Simon Lee Gallery, London; Associate Consultant, Contemporary Art Society, London; Director, Ceri Hand Gallery, London/Liverpool; Director, Metal, Liverpool; Director of Exhibitions, FACT, Liverpool; Deputy Director, Grizedale Arts, Cumbria and Director of Make, London. She is also an Independent Member of the Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Advisory Committee 2020-2024.

Ceri Hand said “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees at Castlefield Gallery, particularly at this pivotal time in the sector. I look forward to supporting the brilliant team and their mission critical role of enabling artists to enrich our lives, in the North West, across the UK and internationally.”

Alisha Kadri is a trained dancer, writer and development professional with over 20 years’ experience in the creative sector. She is currently Development Officer at The University of Salford. She has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Southbank Centre and taught undergraduate dance programmes for Creative Academy (UWL). Alisha is passionate about increasing access to the arts and education and enjoys building strong and meaningful partnerships to enable this. Alisha has established ambitious fundraising programmes for Watford Palace Theatre, Manchester International Festival and the University of Salford.

Alisha Kadri said: “I am excited to join the Castlefield Gallery team as a Board Member. Castlefield Gallery is an important part of the creative DNA of the North West and propels so many artists’ careers into a global arena. I look forward to building strong meaningful partnerships so that the gallery can continue to grow its vital offer for artists and audiences.”

Chara Lewis has lived in Manchester since graduating from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1990. She had her first gallery group show at Castlefield Gallery after graduation and joined their Slidex scheme which led to a commission to work with award-winning architect Roger Stephenson on a large glass piece for NM Rothschild’s Manchester office. She founded Brass Art collective in 1998 and has worked on collaborative projects with Anneke Pettican and Kristin Mojsiewicz since 1999. Their practice is hybrid, interdisciplinary and often site-specific in nature, with a number of commissions including the recent Arts & Heritage commission for Chetham’s Library (Gestured). She is a member of Rogue Studios and senior lecturer in Fine Art at Manchester School of Art where she is part of the programme leadership team.

Chara Lewis said: “I am passionate about this city, collaboration and multifarious practices, public engagement and making opportunities for young artists.”

Helen Wewiora, Director of Castlefield Gallery said: “We are very fortunate to be welcoming Alisha, Ceri and Chara as Trustees at Castlefield Gallery. They bring with them vital knowledge and experience honed through strong careers in the arts both as practitioners, producers and senior managers. We are very excited to have them on board, working with us to drive the next phase of the gallery’s vision.

Susie Stubbs, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Castlefield Gallery, said: During the pandemic Castlefield Gallery has continued to work as it always does – with and for practicing artists, making a career in contemporary visual art possible, even in these most difficult times. We are delighted to welcome three such visionary women to our Board, who are committed, like us, to making the case for contemporary visual art and nurturing the creative talent that’s so integral to our city and to the North of England as a whole.



AHRC NWCDTP Collaborative Doctoral Award with Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University

Castlefield Gallery has been part of Manchester’s contemporary visual art landscape for over 35 years, with an established track record in artist development, supporting the production of new work for exhibition, public art commissioning and public realm animation and activation. Its international work is focused on exchange between artists in the North West of England and the rest of the world.

Castlefield Gallery puts partnership at the heart of all it does, in particular operating strategic partnerships with key HEIs in the Greater Manchester City Region. Continuing to develop these relationships, Castlefield Gallery is pleased to announce a new AHRC NWCDTP Collaborative Doctoral Award with Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. In September 2020 Thomas Dukes will commence his PHD with the university and gallery.

From September 2020 Thomas Dukes will be a doctoral student, jointly appointed through a Collaborative Doctorate Award by Castlefield Gallery and Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Thomas will be exploring Castlefield Gallery’s archive, researching a 35year history of the gallery’s exhibition history, taking a sharp focus on its support of the development of new work, growing artists’ practice and careers through exhibition making and affecting artist communities in the city, region and further afield.

Thomas is passionate about cultural institutions that listen and respond to the situation around them, adapting to provide a space of discovery, of inspiration and meaning. He has previously worked as Cultural Coordinator across the libraries of St Helens Borough, and as the curator of Open Eye Gallery.