Name Michelle Woo
Title Project Co-ordinator
Organisation ArtOffice (formerly known as Art Project Management)
How long in present post? Eighteen months
What does your organisation do? ArtOffice provides arts consultancy to the public and private sectors, specifically art commissioning and creative production. We carry out research, fundraising and curating and co-ordinate and develop residency and educational programmes. We also produce specialist arts publications.
What does your job involve? I am Project Manager for the Sheffield Millennium Square Project, working in collaboration with Sheffield City Council and Allies & Morrison Architects to commission a large-scale, contemporary public sculpture. I am also Project Co-ordinator for the BBC Media Village Public Art Programme and assist the Project Manager in managing several art commissions and education and outreach programmes related to this West London development.
Who did you previously work for? Aside from independent curatorial projects, I have worked for two artists, a film-maker and a photographer. I have also done curatorial internships with the ICA, Boston and the MIT List Center of Visual Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This included assisting the chief curators in all aspects of exhibition planning, including research, conceptualisation, administration and the installation of exhibitions.
What do you enjoy most about your present post? The relationships and the interaction we have with artists in helping them realise their work, and the satisfaction of finally seeing what you have worked on made manifest.
What do you find most difficult in your present post? The hurdles that need to be jumped in realising works of art in public places.
What is your career ambition? Ultimately to create and run a different model of gallery ? an alternative, not-for-profit space with a substantial educational function, which will foster interdisciplinary experimentation in the arts.
Who has influenced your career to date the most? Isabel Vasseur, director of ArtOffice, and Boston-based photographer Shellburne Thurber. Conversations with them about art and life have been invaluable to me.
If you could have done any job, what would it be? I am nowhere near to having explored all the options.
If you had three wishes for the future of the arts, what would they be?
- For art in public places to be valued equally with art housed in galleries and museums
- A loosening of critics? and curators? grip on valuations of contemporary art; more interdisciplinary viewpoints
- For the value of arts jobs to be acknowledged by increased salaries.