Tom Goddard, a learning assistant at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, is one of only four people across the country to have received the inaugural Marsh Award for excellence in gallery education.
The awards scheme is run by Engage (The National Association for Gallery Education).
Tom has worked with the Glynn Vivian’s Learning Team at Swansea Council since 2009 to establish and develop a programme of activities and events to help people in the community value and enjoy the visual arts in Swansea.
He set about helping identify key audiences who’d never engaged with the gallery before and devised individual activities that would best allow them reach their potential and develop their arts skills.
Swansea Drugs Project, Young Brits at Art and the Arts and Humanities Council are among the organisations Tom has worked with.
He’s also helped make arts more accessible to groups from Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, Dylan Thomas Community School and Swansea Council’s day services for adults with severe learning disabilities.
Tom picked up his award at a celebratory event in the new Turner Contemporary art centre in Margate.
Jenni Spencer-Davies, Swansea Council’s Glynn Vivian Curator, said: “Tom has shown outstanding dedication and tireless commitment to identifying, establishing and running many community engagement programmes for schools, groups and individuals.
“His work in the last two years has helped the gallery reach out to include vulnerable young people and many others who had previously not been involved with galleries or artists.
“The achievements of the groups are testament to Tom’s enthusiasm and he continues to be a highly-valued member of the Glynn Vivian team and a great asset to the Council.”
Jane Sillis, Director of Engage, said: “We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of colleagues in our sector. Gallery educators are essential to making sure the widest possible audience can get involved with art and artists. The volume and standard of nominations for these awards show just how dedicated people working with audiences in galleries across the UK are.”
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery building on Alexandra Road is now closed to the public as preparations continue for the start of a major £6 million upgrade.
Staff on site are busy working on a programme of activities and workshops for other Swansea venues in the New Year and specific details will be announced next month.
Have a look at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/
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