Meet the Team

Find out a bit about our staff team and what we do.

Sydney Thornbury - CEO

Being the CEO of The Art House is an absolutely fantastic job. It’s a lot of work, but we have such a great team and such an interesting and talented group of artists in the building that we pretty much always manage to make it fun. They say that when you’re the CEO, all the success is down to your team and all the mistakes are down to you, but I like to think that I have had a little hand in the successes. I think the best thing about my job is being able to imagine, and then put into action, activities or projects that empower people to be more than they thought they could be. That is a great privilege.

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Damon Jackson-Waldock - Programme Director

I am a curator, creative producer and arts programmer based in Yorkshire. I joined the team as the Art House’s Programme Director in 2021.

My role is to support and nurture the wide range of creative talent regionally and internationally without barriers and steer exciting exhibitions and residences in our gallery spaces and within the community. Previously I worked as Deputy Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park for 11 years and was Creative Producer on the Oak Project between 2020-2021.

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Lucy Norton – Project Coordinator

As a Project Coordinator at The Art House my job is very varied and I love getting to work with artists, community groups and the public too. My main role is managing Makey Wakey, which is our programme of ‘off site’ spaces and the product of our partnership with The Ridings Shopping Centre. I’m the first point of contact for anyone who’s interested in using our spaces, whether it’s to organise an exhibition, run community workshops or to trial your new social enterprise. I connect you with a space and make sure you have everything you need to make it a success!

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Diane Saxon - Arts and Health Programme Manager

I joined the Team in 2022 to manage an exciting Arts and Health programme, called Re-Emerge. In partnership with  local organisations and community groups, as well as my lovely TAH colleagues, we provide non-clinical creative group workshops and activities to improve mental health facing barriers to accessing arts and creativity. Our Arts and Heath programmes offer opportunities for people have the chance to work with professional artists, meet others and support social inclusion, share experiences and engage in artistic activities to help improve health and for wellbeing. Re-emerge began as a programme to support people to thrive and develop after the pandemic, but now also now includes Maternal Journal and Creative Age

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Amelia Baron - Curator and Programme Assistant

My role is pretty much what it says on the tin- assisting the Programme team and all its creative outputs! It’s exciting to work with creatives and artists, especially helping those who face barriers to their practice achieve great things. At The Art House we go to great efforts to make our programme accessible and inclusive, so engaging with local communities including young children, those affected by dementia and members of the asylum seeking community is also a pivotal part to my role.

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Mike Ainsley - Facilities Assistant

As the Facilities Assistant I support with the day to day operations of the building, prepping The Art House for any events and programmes taking place, and supporting the rest of the team with anything they need. If it’s broke, I’ll try to fix it!

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Kirstie Williams - Maker Spaces Manager

My role involves overseeing the Maker Spaces which include the Print Studio, Darkroom and Ceramic Studio. I work with our fab team of technicians and coordinators to offer membership and open access to each space.

I also plan and organise our creative course programme, working with different freelance tutors to deliver exciting workshops and courses for members of the public.

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Ellie Way – Print Technician

Everything Print! On hand to assist Print Studio Members, Studio Holders and residents with their practice, any technical printy matters and processes in the Print Studio.

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Emily Ryalls - Darkroom Project Coordinator

As Darkroom Project Coordinator, my role is working towards the production of Wakefield’s new community darkroom facility. Once we’re up and running, you can expect to see me on a regular basis, managing the space, providing workshops, processing film and generally helping people get acquainted with what is going to be a brilliant new hub for photographers and curious individuals alike.

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Hannah Way - Ceramic Studio Coordinator and Technician

As the Ceramic Studio Coordinator my job has been building and developing the ceramic studio here at the Art House. When I’m not behind a computer I’m getting mucky in the studio doing the day to day tasks as a ceramics technician, always pottering about.
I also run workshops and courses to create our own Pottery Thrown Down in the middle of Wakefield.
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Jessica Kendall - Retail and Welcome Manager

I run The Art House cafe and shop! We’ve created a space where people feel safe and welcome, with great coffee, unique products and relaxing surroundings to de-stress and re-caffeinate. You can also explore our range in our online shop from the comfort of your own home. Look forward to seeing you soon!

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Laura Taylor – Commercial & Welcome Manager

As the Commercial & Welcome Manager I overseeing the Coffee House and Shop that we have here at The Art House. I’m currently covering the lovely Jess’s maternity leave and looking after all things commercial on site.

We not only have delicious food and amazing coffee in our Coffee House, but we also provide a welcoming safe environment for everyone to enjoy. We have a range of unique products made by independent makers and small businesses in our shop, also stocking a range of wares made here by our studio holders and members of our Maker Spaces.

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