AccessArt is a charity committed to furthering the advancement of education in the visual arts.
Susan Coles has travelled along the winding and always inspiring visual art education path for many years, through Foundation and Fine Art degree studies at Cardiff College of Art, to a PGCE in Newcastle, and an MA in Fine Art and Education at Northumbria University.
After working as a teacher, then subject leader and faculty leader, she became an Advanced Skills Teacher, and eventually a freelance adviser, consultant, and advocate for the subject, regionally, nationally and internationally. Advocacy has been through both official channels and also (independently) in organising campaigns and opportunities for engaging people’s voices. Susan has served as President of the NSEAD (National Society for Education in Art and Design) and is an active Council and Forum member, representing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft and Design in Education, of which she is secretary.
Susan also founded the NEATEN (North East Art Teacher Educator Network) and networking is at the heart of many things that she does. Susan co-facilitated (with Eileen Adams) the national TEA (Thinking/Expression/Action) CPD drawing programme for teachers. She is an Associate of The Big Draw, works in schools, colleges, universities, galleries and Museums, and as part of the Sketchbook Circle team. Also a member of InSEA (International Society for Education through Art), Susan has recently been elected to serve on their World Council from August 2017, as a representative for Europe.
An avid social media user, follow her on Twitter @theartcriminal and also at www.artcrimes.org.uk where the occasional blog pops up! Susan has a favourite quote (Maya Angelou) “Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away”, which is why art education is so very important.
Chris Owen studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge, and supervised undergraduate students in the History of Art department at Cambridge, before embarking on a career teaching in art schools within further and higher education. Chris taught for 11 years at Swindon College in Wiltshire, before joining Leeds College of Art & Design, where he first led the Historical and Critical Studies Department before becoming Assistant Principal. In 2007, he moved to the University of Derby as Assistant Dean and Head of the School of Art & Design. He joined Anglia Ruskin as Head of the Cambridge School of Art in 2011, a post from which he retired in 2019. Chris possesses a Masters degree in Education (MEd). His research interests and expertise are in the history and pedagogy of Art and Design Education. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Group for Learning in Art & Design (GLAD).
In her capacity as museum educator, Tamsin has developed and led several successful and acclaimed local projects at the Cambridge & County Folk Museum. Working at CFM she consistently engages with a wide variety of organisations and individuals, from artists to scientists, babies to the elderly, and has established the reputation of the museum as a creative and inspiring space for education. Tamsin has initiated numerous websites from a local cemetery site to support the local community through to one that entertain and educate families on a wide range of different activities, the success of which led to her writing articles for the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and various national magazines. Before moving into museum education, Tamsin was involved in establishing pre-school music curriculum and created a network of singing groups, while also developing projects for major national organisations including English National Opera and Youth Music.
Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli, founded AccessArt in 1999.
Both Paula and Sheila trained as sculptors, before establishing their first organisation Cambridge Sculpture Workshops. As the potential for the internet grew as a powerful visual tool, they established AccessArt as a leading and innovative creator of visual arts education teaching and learning resources.
Paula and Sheila live in Cambridge with their respective families. Sheila stepped aside as Director in 2020. Paula continues as Creative Director.