Introducing Paige Michel- Strachan, Digital Marketing and Project Assistant

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoy!

Paige Michel-Strachan has joined the Arts at University of Southampton team in a temporary role as Digital Marketing and Project Assistant. Paige is going to be helping out on our Connecting Culture project and with the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership with content creation, communications and much more!

We caught up with Paige to find out a bit more about her – her background, inspirations, hopes and dreams!

Read on to find out more.

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Top 10 online resources from Southampton cultural organisations

As promised in the introduction to our Show Must Go Online campaign, we have gathered information and intelligence from across the Southampton area to produce a round-up of the best arts resources from local cultural organisations available online.

We have selected a top 10 choice of our favourites, listed below. Enjoy! 

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The Show Must Go Online: animating Arts at University of Southampton in the digital sphere

hrm199 (Siobhan Coen and Haroon Mirza), Dreamachine 2.0, 2019. Courtesy hrm199. Photo: Thierry Bal

During these challenging times and faced with the new normal, Arts at University of Southampton is joining our friends at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, in pledging that The Show Must Go On(line). 

John Hansard Gallery and Turner Sims are both exploring ways to focus their energies within the digital sphere, seeking to animate online spaces to bring you inspiring art and culture. Alongside this, Arts at University of Southampton’s digital channels will be dedicated to sharing with you the best of the arts to be accessed remotely. We’ll also be inviting the talented creatives and artists in our own team to contribute ideas and showcase their practice.

Continue reading The Show Must Go Online: animating Arts at University of Southampton in the digital sphere

Meet our new Arts Ambassadors

Our brilliant new Arts Ambassadors Thea Hartman, Molly Ellis and Kate Briggs-Price have produced a slicker-than-your-average video introducing themselves to Southampton, Winchester and the world! Stay tuned for more from this trio over the coming weeks, starting with introductory blogs from each.

Introducing Jen Harris, our new Coordinator

Jen Harris (right) and Liv Fontaine at HA HA Gallery. Image credit: @peanutkaiser.

What is your role at Arts at University of Southampton?

My role is Arts and Culture Coordinator, working with Louise Coysh, Associate Director (Arts and Culture), to help facilitate all the exciting things that Arts at University of Southampton has to offer. I’ll be working with colleagues across the University and beyond to promote our world-renowned arts offer to students and the wider community, including our concert hall Turner Sims Southampton , John Hansard Gallery and our associate organisation Nuffield Southampton Theatres.

Our current team of student Arts Ambassadors, Molly, Kate and Thea will also be working with me getting stuck in to share the best of Southampton and Winchester’s art scenes.

Alongside all this, I’ll be working with the wider Arts UoS team to deliver some big, city-wide projects we’ve got lined up for 2020/2021!

Tell us about your background. What did you do before you came to the University?

I studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, graduating in 2012. Since then I’ve done a whole host of different things, with the first three years after graduating mainly consisting of casual and freelance work for a variety of organisations and people. I worked for a few different artists and volunteered or worked for several Southampton organisations, including our very own John Hansard Gallery.

During that time,  I also ran an artist run-space in Southampton called HA HA Gallery with my good friend and artist Liv Fontaine. Liv and I first met at a John Hansard Gallery event during their show Anti Academy and we bonded over the fact that we had both not long graduated from Chelsea. The Gallery was born shortly after in an empty shop on Old Northam Road in St Mary’s and we quickly developed a reputation for a dynamic programme of shows, exhibiting artists from around the country and the world as well as showcasing Southampton talent. Highlights included a six-week season of shows funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and a commission to run a programme of activity as part of the British Art Show Fringe in 2016.

I’M SO EXCITED exhibition opening at HA HA Gallery. Image credit: @peanutkaiser.

Since 2015, I’ve worked at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire. It’s the cottage at which Austen lived for the last eight years of her life and where she wrote, revised or had published all her novels. I started as Collections Trainee, moving on to a become Marketing and Brand Officer, finally finishing up as Marketing Manager, covering for my colleague’s maternity leave. Being a small team, you ended up doing a bit of everything which was a real joy and a great way to gain experience.

What excites you most about your new role?

I’m most excited by the prospect of (hopefully!) positively influencing the lives and experience of students here at the University. Opening up meaningful access to the arts for as many people as possible and facilitating enriching cultural experiences are my goals.

I’m also particularly eager to get started on our new project, Connecting Culture, funded by Arts Council England. The project seeks to embed the role of children and young people at the heart of cultural activity in Southampton, giving a voice to our cultural leaders of the future. Read all about it here.

I’m interested in getting more involved in the arts at the University – how do I get in touch with you?

If you’ve got any questions about Arts at University of Southampton, please do get in touch! You can reach me on arts@soton.ac.uk or visit southampton.ac.uk/arts for more information. My normal working days are Monday-Wednesday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.