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Meet Our Team

Here at the VAA HQ we are constantly working hard on new and initiative ways to benefit every single member of our Artist community. When you become a member you will be greeted with an email that will send you links to useful platforms straight away to keep you in the know! One of our dedicated team will then be in touch to find out more about you and your arts business.

Laura O’Hare

Laura O’Hare

Director

Laura is responsible for leading the artistic and business development at VAA. Laura has been working in the Fine Arts sector since 2012 and is a founder of the VAA. Presently, Director of the Visual Art Open Prize and Chester Arts Fair, Laura has a wealth of experience in managing relationships with artists and understanding their needs. Laura has an extensive network including arts organisations, galleries, publishers and commercial partners. Laura has helped hundreds of artists figure out how to thrive at all stages of their fine art careers. Prior to working in the arts industry, Laura was a solicitor specialising in Employment Law for over 15 years.

Shirley-Ann O’Neill

Shirley-Ann O’Neill

Director

Shirley-Ann is a founder at VAA and responsible marketing communications and online training at VAA. She has over 20 years’ experience in Marketing & Distribution, with full Chartership at CIM and holds an MA Marketing. She is experienced in digital content and live communications across the UK and internationally. Her background in Arts marketing and partnerships leads her commitment to ensuring that artists can develop the essential business skills to succeed. Shirley-Ann has worked in senior positions for a wide range of organisations, including the University of South Wales, British Airways and Black Mango Art.

Nadine Smith

Nadine Smith

Content Creator & Writer

Nadine Smith is responsible for writing and creating content at the VAA. Nadine has previous experience generating content in commercial and creative environments. She has a First Class degree in English Literature and Fine Art from the University of Chester. In her own practice, Nadine explores oil painting, illustration, and photography. 

Karen van Hoey-Smith

Karen van Hoey-Smith

Mentor

Karen is an Artist Manager, Fine Art Auctioneer and Consultant Expert with a Degree in Fine Art Evaluation, previously working as a Gallery Manager for Blue Dot Art & Whitewall Galleries – in addition to this was she was also a partner of White Rose Publishing. With a successful history working as an Art Broker, having sold pieces for the likes of Banksy, Karen found that she was representing and helping Artists on a regular basis achieve more sales and reaching their goals. Now she has joined forces with The VAA as our Artists Mentor.

Susie Armstrong

Susie Armstrong

Marketing & Events Coordinator

Susie is responsible for managing and monitoring the company’s Social media strategy in order to increase our brand awareness. Susie has a 1st class degree in Event Management and over 10 year experience in the event industry. She is also currently studying CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing.  

Louise Flay

Louise Flay

Art Membership Administration Assistant

Originally from South Africa and now based in Chester; Louise followed her passion for art early on, attending Art School for 4 years and going on to achieve a degree in education. Louise brings over 6 years’ experience in the art industry, from art auctions all over the world to working with one of the largest publishers in the UK with Whitewall Galleries. Louise has helped clients from all walks of life get happily involved in collecting artwork, from not only the likes of Picasso and Miro, but also exciting up-and-comers at all stages in their art careers.

Sam Cordery

Sam Cordery

Art Membership Administration Assistant

Sam Cordery assists in the management of the company’s membership administration activities (registrations, invoicing, and general queries). Sam has a Masters degree in fine art from Manchester Metropolitan University and a First Class degree in Fine Art from the University of Chester. In her own practice, Sam creates photorealistic oil paintings that explore the relationship between painting and photography. Sam also has many years’ experience working in administration, customer service, and sales.

Rachel Kresnyak

Rachel Kresnyak

Junior Graphic Designer

Joined us as an intern in June 2020 and is part of our team responsible for designing brochures, marketing adverts and branded documents

Final Year student at Loughborough University studying Graphic Communication and Illustration 

In her own practice Rachel enjoys incorporating acrylic paints and inks to design backgrounds and layered patterns for her graphic design and illustration material. 

Join Our Team!

Do you wish to become a part of our inspirational + innovative workplace, where we constantly inspire positivity + growth in one another? Do you hold a passion to succeed and a drive to learn? Then we want to hear from you!

Get in touch today with why you want to join our team using a cover letter and your CV … E: hello@visual-artists.org