Date of Appointment: 12 October 2017
The combination of a wonderful team of staff, volunteers and supporters, an incredible collection of drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography and historic buildings and such a beautiful location with a dynamic, relevant and multi-sensory public programme, onsite, online and via our community outreach and our inspiring international Artist’s Studio Museums Network make for a fascinating and enjoyable role.
Supporting such a brilliant group of people to make a real difference in the lives of all those we work with is incredibly fulfilling and the variety of our work stimulating and inspiring on a day-to-day basis.
It is incredibly rewarding to be able to lead an organisation that is made up of a passionate, committed and dedicated team of people focused on delivering our Art for All by All vision, mission and values so as to make the work of our founding artists engaging and inspiring to today’s audiences.
Alistair Burtenshaw has been Director of Watts Gallery Trust since 2017, during which time he has overseen the organisation's transition to an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and the growth of the Artist's Studio Museum Network that Watts Gallery Trust established and manages. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Alistair is Chair of the Surrey Hills Arts advisory board, a Director of Visit Surrey, and a member of Compton Parish Council. Alistair was previously Director of Charleston, the studio-museum of Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant where he led the £9.3 million Centenary Project to renovate the historic barns and construct new galleries designed by architect Jamie Fobert CBE. Alistair oversaw a project to catalogue, conserve, and digitise 8,000 works on paper and strengthened Charleston's learning and community engagement programmes. As Director, he led a significant growth in the Charleston Festival and Small Wonder short story festival, and oversaw the foundation of the Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize, Charleston Lifetime's Excellence Award in Short Fiction and the Charleston-to-Charleston Literary Festival in South Carolina. Alistair is a former Chair of Arvon Foundation, England's leading creative writing charity with three major writing centres, the former Chair of BookTrust, England's leading reader development charity, and was for many years Director of The London Book Fair during which time its international reputation and programmes grew significantly.