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Contemporary Art Society Appoints New Head of National Programmes

1 April 2009 By
Lucy Byatt, Head of National Programmes
Lucy Byatt, Head of National Programmes, photo by:Matthew Blaney

Lucy Byatt trained as an artist at Brighton University, Glasgow School of Art and Concordia University in Montreal.  Between 1995 and 2002, based in Glasgow, she worked to establish two independent commissioning agencies: Visual Art Projects and The Centre.

During this time she developed a series of important public commissions, conferences and publications that focused on artists working in public space.  She moved to Bristol in 2002 to take up the post of Director at Spike Island.  In six years she has overseen considerable organisational change and led a major capital development, transforming Spike Island to the outward facing public building that it is now.  It is amongst the best equipped facilities for the production and exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, and will always primarily be a place for artists and others to develop new work.

Founded in 1910, the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) is the national membership organisation for contemporary art enthusiasts and collectors.  We exist to support contemporary artists and promote collecting by both individuals and institutions, and through diverse activities generate the funds which enable us to purchase significant works of contemporary art to give to public collections in the UK, where they can be enjoyed by the widest possible audience now and in the future.  Our National Programmes comprise professional development, acquisitioning and commissioning initiatives developed in partnership with our nation-wide membership of museums and galleries, and are the primary vehicle through which we achieve our objective to build contemporary collections.

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society said: ‘We are delighted that Lucy Byatt is joining the CAS team, especially as we approach our centenary.  Lucy brings considerable expertise in terms of supporting artists to generate projects which extend their practice and provide a platform for developing audiences, as well as professional development for artists and curators in a variety of contexts.  Her experience of building visual art ecologies outside of London, which are regenerative and sustainable, is central to our work as a national organisation building audiences for and collections of contemporary art.’

Lucy Byatt said: ‘The Contemporary Art Society is one of those organisations that seem always to have been present, always doing excellent work and always having good ideas. I could not be more delighted to have been offered the post of Head of National Programme. The opportunity to develop this new post within such a highly regarded organisation is a privilege.  As the CAS approaches its centenary year, I can only hope that I can make as significant a contribution as others have done, with such commitment, over the years.’

Lucy Byatt takes up her position in November 2008.