Leach Trustee Update

A huge ‘thank you’ to the outgoing and a warm ‘hello’ to the incoming.

2020 and 2021 are years that have seen many changes and shifts. At Leach Pottery we have striven to maintain consistency and deliver as much of our usual programme of activities as well as our planned 100 Project as possible. Helping to support and steer us through this is our much-respected Board of Trustees without whom we couldn’t tackle all the trials & tribulations with which we have been presented as well as celebrate our achievements.

However, with worldwide influences, change has been inevitable and it is with sadness we say goodbye to our previous Chair, Dave Griffin and his fellow board members, Sam Bassett, Kieran Mahon and Katie Treggiden. We thank them for their loyalty, knowledge and all the time they have all given us over the years and wish them the best for new ventures.

Libby Buckley, Director of the Leach Pottery says:

Naturally we are sad to be saying goodbye to a number of our long-serving trustees and I personally wish to thank them for the support, diligence and care they have shown the Leach Pottery over the years. Their passion for the Pottery has helped steer us through the early years of the organisation and have helped us get to the fantastic position the organisation is in today. I wish them all the success with whatever they turn their hands to next and look forward to seeing them on a more informal basis in the future.

Photos, left to right: Dave Griffin, Katie Treggiden, Samuel Bassett, Kieran Mahon

The good news is, that as we bid adieu to a few, we also welcome our new trustees…

Libby Buckley: 

We are very pleased to introduce our new trustees. We were overwhelmed with so many interesting and talented people applying over the last few months, it has been a difficult task indeed! But it’s also a lovely and privileged position to be in. We have recruited 6 new Trustees to join our very committed and experienced existing Trustees and we had a wonderfully engaging and positive first meeting (even if it was on zoom!). We were looking for skills to compliment what we have already and now have a very comprehensive skills-set to take us on our next journey over the upcoming years. I am really looking forward to getting to know them all better and making sure we are able to make great use of all their varied talents.

Julia Defabo

Julia is the social media manager at Art UK. She holds a BA from Bard College and an MA from SOAS University of London, where her research focused on West African art and on contemporary art in Reunion Island. She has worked with galleries in the US and the UK and has contributed to projects, publications and exhibitions with organisations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Dak’Art Biennale and the Rencontres d’Arles. She is interested in what the arts can teach us about cross-cultural exchanges and believes in the importance of bringing these stories to more people.

Rhiannon Ewing-James 

Rhiannon is the Creative Producer with British Ceramics Biennial working on the exhibitions programme as part of the British Ceramics Biennial festival in a curatorial capacity helping to create connections between exhibitions and visitors. Rhiannon also enjoys working with and supporting artists through the exhibitions, commissions, residencies and talent development programmes. 
She is a self-described, ‘epic clay nerd’ and a passionate collector of craft. 

Sheila Stuart

Sheila has had a life-long interest in craft (mainly textiles – knitting and spinning) and has collected studio pottery for 25 years.  Her career has been varied; most of it spent in Cambridge where she worked as a finance manager for several companies for the past 30 years.  Sheila served on Cambridge City Council as an elected member for 10 years, including two terms as Mayor, and was very involved with her community in a variety of roles during that time.  Sheila and her husband moved to Cornwall in March 2021.

Vidya Thirunarayan

Over the last 25 years, as an Indian Classical Dance, Vidya has been privileged to work within the various facets of the performing arts with the artist’s and artistic director’s perspective largely informing her work. From this core, Vidya has reached out to the cultural sector and organisations in diverse roles such as founder, choreographer, tutor, board member, entrepreneur and advisor. 

In 2010, Vidya completed an MA in Cultural Policy and Management and dove-tailed it with working for the Arts Council England. In 2015, she returned to her dual creative practices in dance and pottery and has been combining these in her performance work in a quest to create a new cohesive performance language. This has also taken the form of a Practice-as-Research PhD study. 

Above all, Vidya says that her work is underpinned by her passion for the arts and crafts, and its fundamental value for humanity and civil society. 

Sue Pope

Sue has been involved in the field of heritage education for over 20 years and most recently, as a freelance consultant. She is also a musician and performs as part of her historic music group A Merrie Noyse and work with groups such as the Orchestra of the Swan and the Academy of Ancient Music on education strategy and projects. She has previously been a convenor and trustee for The Group for Education in Museums (GEM)

Chris Balch 

Chris Balch is a potter and American lawyer specializing in representing local governments and their elected and appointed officials. Often called on to decipher, respond, and remedy the most challenging conditions and events, Chris has spent his career advising and defending elected and public officials in the performance of their duties and responsibilities to the public. He is regularly called upon to speak around the country on issues confronting public officials. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Chris has tried over 100 cases to verdict, most in defense of public officials.

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