Page last updated at: Tue, 25 October 2011 15:05 PM BST Printable version

UAL gallery directors listed with art's elite

by Sophie Armour

The directors of two galleries that form part of UAL have been included in a list comprising the names of the most influential people in art today.

Donald smith stands next to a dress from his exhibition

Donald Smith, the Director of Exhibitions at Chelsea Space and Peckham Space Director Emily Druiff have both been selected as part of the Art PowerLyst 100 – an alternative to ArtReview’s Power 100.


The honour sees their names placed alongside the likes of Tate Modern Director, Chris Dercon, and notorious Chinese artist and political activist Al Weiwei.

Smith, whose gallery is based within Chelsea College of Art and Design (CCAD), was delighted to be recognised: “We’ve been trying to get the name out there for six years so it’s good to have the recognition – we’re really pleased to be included.”

Peckham Space only opened its doors in 2009 and Druiff, whose gallery runs a partnership scheme with Camberwell College of Arts (CCA), believes the award is recognition of what they have achieved so far.

“It’s been a real morale boost and proved that we are going in the right direction,” she said.

Creative power

ArtLyst claims that their collection of names celebrate “not those with the fiscal muscle to bend the art world into whatever shape they please, but those with the creative power and ability to influence and augment the British and international art scenes through merit alone”.

Smith believes it is his ability to work on a budget that earned him a place on the PowerLyst.

“It’s all about being friendly and networking, and getting people who want to work with us. We haven’t got any money, but we find that people are very understanding and very generous,” he said.

Druiff, however, puts her inclusion down to Peckham Space’s unique approach to art and audiences.

“I think our commissioning programme is quite different to other galleries. We’re actively engaging with new audiences by having young people on our selection panel, for example.”

As well as working with CCAD students, Smith’s gallery supports graduates into employment through an Assistants Programme, while Peckham Space offers paid internships to graduates of CCA in addition to holding weekly talks for the college’s students.




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