Claire Doherty, the founder and director of Bristol-based public art commissioning organisation Situations, has been awarded a MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The award for services to the arts follows a busy year in which Situations presented one of its most ambitious and high-profile projects to date – Theaster Gates’ 552 hour public performance event, Sanctum.

Founded by Doherty in 2002 as a public art commissioning programme embedded within the University of the West of England in Bristol, Situations has grown from a sole curatorial endeavour to become an independent charity presenting public realm projects in Bristol, south west England and internationally.

Speaking about the award, Doherty said: “I am both surprised and touched to receive this honour. It is testament to the commitment, passion and vision of the small team at Situations, our artists, partners and volunteers, and the funders who support us, that our work has been recognised in this way. It’s a privilege to work which such extraordinary talent.”

Much deserved

John Kieffer, chair of the Situations Board of Trustees, added: “This honour is much deserved. Over the last ten years, Claire has shown herself to be an original and challenging thinker on public art, putting her ideas into practice and developing Situations as a significant arts organisation in Bristol, the UK and internationally. The good news for Situations and all of us, is that there is much more to come from this remarkable arts leader.”

Also recognised for services to the arts in the 2016 New Year list were artist and Royal Academician Professor Phyllida Barlow who receives a CBE, and director of The Henry Moore Foundation Godfrey Worsdale, who is awarded an OBE. Worsdale, the former director of Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, received the award for services to the visual arts in north east England.

An OBE also goes to philanthropist and co-founder of the London-based Zabludowicz Collection, Anita Zabludowicz.

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