Grundy Art Gallery Staff Win Award
29 January 2021
by Visit Blackpool
The tenth annual Marsh Awards for Excellence in Gallery Education celebrated the hard work and dedication of colleagues working within the sector of gallery, museum, and visual arts education.
The Awards are funded by the Marsh Christian Trust and run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, whose mission is to give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.
This year’s awards are special as we acknowledge that 2020 has been a difficult year for those working in the arts. Nominations were welcomed from colleagues for their co-workers in galleries and visual arts organisations, including those who were furloughed or had stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic. We were incredibly grateful for nominations received this year and it was a pleasure to celebrate with the winners at the ceremony on Thursday 28 January 2021.
This year nine individuals received awards. The awards were presented online by Professor Rod Bugg, Ambassador for the Marsh Christian Trust, at a virtual ceremony for the first time ever. Winners were invited to produce a video to advertise their success in winning the award, but also to give as much coverage as possible to the work that they have been doing.
The winners received £500 to spend on their professional development, and feedback from previous awardees has been overwhelmingly positive — as a result of the Awards, colleagues receive recognition for their work and have reported increased confidence and opportunities, as well as benefits for the organisations where they worked.
Jane Sillis Director of Engage, said: “This round of the Marsh Awards for Excellence in Gallery Education celebrates colleagues who have delivered exceptional gallery and visual arts education practice in the UK and beyond. Many of the winners have responded to the extraordinary challenges presented by the pandemic in the most creative ways. Engage is very grateful for the support of the Marsh Christian Trust for these important awards.”
WINNER: Rubbia Ullah, Education Officer at Grundy Art Gallery
Marsh Awards for Excellence in Gallery Education (UK)
Since 2007 Rubbia has worked in gallery education, starting her journey as Learning Assistant at Whitworth Art Gallery. Afterwards she was the Learning and Interpretation Assistant at Quarry Bank Mill heritage site where she devised and delivered tours, coordinated education visits and the schools programme, exploring the cotton mill and the historical links cotton production has to slavery and colonialism.
Rubbia’s work has included delivering art projects in criminal justice settings with children and young people in secure units and mental health units. As well as this, she has worked in a freelance capacity for many projects including as an Artist for Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery and Z-Arts and as Arts Programmer for Manchester Mela Festival of South Asian culture. As Education Officer of Grundy Art Gallery, she is responsible for curating the Education and Engagement programme.
Paulette Brien, Curator, Grundy Art Gallery, describes how when “Rubbia came into post at Grundy Art Gallery, she quickly established herself as a vital member of the small but ambitious team.” Rubbia’s specialism is her ability to develop and sustain relationships with diverse groups, from the under 5’s to the over 60’s; from art enthusiasts to art sceptics; from a Turner Prize winner to a 17-year-old rising star of Blackpool Grime. As a result of her sensitive stewardship Rubbia instils a confidence in her collaborators that enables them to exceed their own expectations enabling them to deliver highly quality outcomes of personal as well as regional and national significance.
A work highlight during lockdown involved an online, open to all, drawing workshop led by Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner that focused on everyone producing uplifting town mottos.
Rubbia would like to use the prize money for short courses in leadership and education and to purchase a range of learning materials to support her professional development.
To watch Rubbia’s video visit: https://vimeo.com/505836121