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, the Professional Artist Award and the International Exhibition and Scholarship Prize. 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 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.
Karen van Hoey Smith
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.
Amy Jobes is a contemporary landscape painter based in North Devon. Amy has previously worked with the likes of Echo Beach Gallery, Artists & Illustrators Magazine, and even the VAA as a speaker at our ‘How to Build a Small but Mighty Artist’s List’ Masterclass. She has been a self-employed artist for ten years- taking the leap in 2012. Amy has now joined the Visual Artist Association as an Artist Mentor alongside Karen van Hoey Smith.
Art Membership Advisor & Administration Assistant
Based in South Africa; 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.
Artist Membership Advisor & Administration Assistant
Agnes Gomori is a London based multidisciplinary artist, healer and creative coach, specialising in ‘Healing with Arts’. Agnes has worked for US and UK based non-profit membership organisations for nearly 15 years in various roles. Notably, as the UK member network and programme manager, where she developed and led the UK mentorship programme. Agnes is passionate about helping fellow creatives develop their artistic talents.
Memberships Marketing & Events Administrator
Zoe Bredenkamp assists in creating partnerships, managing the company’s membership administration activities, and marketing activities. Zoe has a degree in International Development Studies and Chinese from the University of Chester, and a background in marketing, volunteering, and customer service roles. In her free time, she enjoys painting with acrylics and creating embroidery artwork.
Max Kelly assists in the management of the company’s marketing and communications such as social media, emails, and more. Max has a degree in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion from the University of Chester, and a background in various marketing and communications roles. Max has a personal interest in art, and often spends free time practicing digital art and creative writing, as well as enjoying watercolour painting too.