UK Young Artists would like to thank all the outstanding individuals that have worked with us over the years across our staff and board team. Find out more about them here, and read about our current team below.

UKYA Staff

Michelle Bowen

Michelle Bowen


A highly experienced cultural and creative sector leader and manager with a career including senior positions in the strategic cultural agencies and funding system at both the Arts Council England and Craft Council. Leading and managing major organisational and programme development projects, as well offering as host of client services to both organisations and creative individuals. Thoroughly committed to artistic excellence and driving high quality practice particularly across the contemporary visual arts. She builds trustful influential relationships with colleagues and partners bringing local, national and international contacts and networks to any role. As Director, Michelle develops and delivers new partnerships and programmes for UKYA and ensures that UKYA is the leading organisation for cross disciplinary working, intercultural dialogue and supporting new creative talent from across the UK.


Laura Evans

Laura Evans

Comms & Audience Development Manager

At UK Young Artists, Laura is responsible for spreading the message far and wide and attracting diverse and high quality artist submissions for UKYA’s activities, as well as planning, programming and logistics for UKYA’s City Takeovers and international projects. Laura joined UKYA in 2014, and has worked on three of UKYA's City Takeovers and two international large scale projects. As a graduate of MA Performance Practices and BA Performance and Digital Arts at DMU, she is particularly interested in contemporary art and performance with digital technologies. Laura has worked in marketing and project management for other festivals in the region, such as Cultural eXchanges Festival, Story City Festival, University Dance Festival and The Spark Arts for Children.
Laura has also worked as a part-time lecturer at De Montfort University where she taught on the BA Performing Arts degree and guest lectured on BA Arts and Festivals Management.


Vikki Jones

Engagement Coordinator

Vikki is a youth engagement specialist. Over the past decade she has worked with theatre venues, exam boards, national arts festivals and community programmes, all with the focus of getting more young people involved in practical arts and cultural activity. Vikki spent three years working for Trinity College London on the Arts Award programme. Here she helped develop the Arts Award youth network, delivering youth consultations and residential activity and providing pastoral and training support. She most recently lead the Participation team at multi-arts venue Farnham Maltings, managing everything from animation clubs and youth theatres to community teas and outdoor dance programmes.

As a dance graduate Vikki works with the Vcreate collective to deliver dance clubs for primary and secondary schools across Nottinghamshire. Alongside her role with UKYA, Vikki works as Development Manager for the Creative People and Places programme, Made in Corby. Vikki strongly believes that creative and cultural opportunities make communities happier, healthier and safer and is passionately committed to getting as many people as possible to explore their creative selves.




David McGravie

Chair of Trustees

David is Head of Art and Design at the University of Derby and is responsible for the delivery of this broad curriculum area, from fine art to fashion, textiles to Interior, graphic design through to illustration, animation to product design.

David has a background in product design and related fields and was an early adopter 3D modelling and rapid prototyping and a keen advocate of the benefits these bring to the design process. The integration of digital processes within traditional design has been a key part of his pedagogy and approach to curriculum design.

David has spent a large part of his HE experience working collaboratively with UK, EU and partners overseas. A key supporter of TNE in its broadest sense, he has worked extensively in China and Malaysia amongst other countries, and is well versed in leading and supporting curriculum developments in the EU and OS markets.

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Huw Davies

Huw Davies is Professor of Lens Media at the University of Derby and Visiting Professor at HBU/UCLAN in Baoding, China. As a filmmaker, photographer and curator his work has included commissions for many national and international agencies and broadcasters including; Arts Council England, Scottish Screen, BBC, Discovery Channel, Arte and Canal +, as well as being screened at international film festivals in over twenty-five countries. Huw has an active involvement in a number of arts and cultural organizations he has previously sat on the boards of QUAD and Derby Theatre, and is currently a trustee of UK Young Artists, Artcore and FORMAT International Photography Festival Steering Group. In 2004 he founded the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, based in England’s most northerly town. He was its Artistic Director until 2008 and is currently Chair of its Board of Trustees.


Sonia Chandaria Tillu

Sonia is a qualified chartered accountant (ACA) and holds a degree in Human Sciences (BA & MA Hons) from the University of Oxford. She began her career in Real Estate Corporate Tax at Deloitte, a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm and is presently Chief Financial Officer (part time) of the Pelton Group where she oversees the finances of a portfolio of UK based IT service businesses. Her experience includes developing financial controls/processes, as well as financial management, planning & analysis for small to medium sized businesses.

Sonia is also an award winning Kathak dancer and Artistic Director of Sona Lisa Dance Company. The company is based in Birmingham and uses classical and contemporary Kathak to create performance and participatory work that is artistically unique, surprising and challenging for multicultural and multigenerational audiences.


Norman Cherry

Norman Cherry was formerly Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln. Currently he practices as an independent artist, curator, and consultant. An internationally recognised expert in the field of jewellery, prior to his appointment at Lincoln in 2008, he was Head of the renowned Birmingham School of Jewellery. His work has been exhibited extensively internationally and many of his pieces are held in private and public collections throughout the world. One of his medals is held by the British Museum in their Contemporary Collection. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences and has undertaken consultancies in several countries, including Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and Jordan. He is also a Visiting Professor at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia.

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Gary Thomas

Gary is co-founder and director of Animate Projects, curating and producing projects at the intersection of film, animation and art. He also works as a Film Programme Manager at the British Council, the UK’s cultural relations organisation. He leads on film for East Asia and China and he is  the Film team’s specialist on animation, experimental moving image, and cross art form practice. He coordinates the advocacy group Animation Alliance UK; he’s a trustee of the National Dance Company of Wales and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Stephanie (Stephi) Hemelryk Donald FASSA FRSA is Research Director in the Centre for Culture and Creativity and Distinguished Professor of Film in the College of Arts. She also retains a position as Visiting Professor in Art and Design at UNSW.

Her current research covers refugee film-making and the dialogue between activism and art, with an ongoing interest in world cinema in European and Asian contexts, children’s media, refugees and migration, branding and film, the creative industries and contemporary visual arts in China. She has served as President of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia, as Chair of the Australian Research Council HCA (Humanities and Creative Arts) panel, and on the 2012 HCA ERA (Excellence in Research) panel, and Deputy Convenor of Humanities for the Hong Kong RAE Committee in 2014. 

 Curatorial outcomes and collaborative work with practitioners have always been important to her approach. She has curated exhibitions at Brighton Museum (UK) (Badgering the People), and at RMIT Gallery and Sydney University Gallery (China and Revolution). She also created the Libidinal Circuits show as part of the Build Your Own season as FACT Liverpool. She instigated and moderated the creative industries stream of the Refugee Council of Australia’s international conference, Refugee Alternatives (February 2017). She also facilitated the Birkenhead Sixth Form College entry in the British Film Institute’s cent ans de jeunesseprogramme in 2015, a role she reprised for Menai High School in the Illawarra, NSW in 2017. In 2018, she led the Jury for the Norwegian Peace Film Prize, TIFF, Tromsø, and served on the Chinese Narrative Prize at the Global Students Film Festival in Hong Kong. 



Martin Knox

Martin Knox works with design, with cultures, he delivers within the spirit of organisations. How they are conceived, trusted, packaged and presented, delivered and received. Sales and profit grow.

Martin has worked with: Next, Sainsbury’s, Boots, BHS, The Post Office, M&S, Schuh, Cancer Research UK, Dixons, Help the Aged, Early Learning Centre, Start-Rite, Poundland, Magnet, Converse, Kangol...amongst others