Selected from open application earlier this year, 14 a-n members have been awarded places to become accredited coaches through the a-n Visual Arts Coaching Course with RD1st 2018.

The programme, which is led by coaching and leadership training organisation Relational Dynamics 1st, is part of a-n’s commitment to supporting artists’ livelihoods and is the only course of its kind for visual artists. The award also includes a bursary of up to £400 for expenses.

The successful a-n members to receive places on the eight-day programme, which takes place in Lancaster between April and June this year, are:

Catherine Bertola, Cleo Broda, Linda Brothwell, Anne-Laure Cano, Dominique De-Light, Jenny Drinkwater, Julie Edwards, Alex Evans, Garth Gratrix, Jane Hardstaff, Colin Higginson, Faith Limbrick, Kai Syng Tan, and Sarah Villeneau

The a-n Visual Arts Coaching Course challenges perceived barriers and maps out a route to change and development. It also trains participants to become an accredited coach themselves, capable of offering others the same opportunity in future. All places are offered with the understanding that on completion of the course all newly accredited coaches will share their experience of coaching by delivering eight free coaching sessions to artists within their peer group or network.

Speaking about the selection process, Hannah Pierce, a-n’s external programmes and partnerships manager, said: “We were particularly impressed by the quality of this year’s applications to the a-n Visual Arts Coaching Course, and the 14 artists we selected all demonstrated a keen understanding and enthusiasm for the possibilities of both learning new skills and of working with others to further develop this learning.

“We hope this year’s group of a-n members will benefit as much from the course as those who have undertaken the training in the previous two years.”

Describing his experiences of taking part in the course in 2017, Jon Lockhart wrote on his a-n Blog that the clarity of the techniques presented during the course resonated “profoundly for both my professional aspirations and my well-being personally.”

He continued: “[As a result] I feel that I am starting to positively work on projects by celebrating and understanding other participants without sacrificing my reasons for doing the work in the first place.”

Speaking about her experience of coaching others as a result of the training, fellow 2017 recipient Tessa Waite said: “The coaching process offers access to thinking, opening up new avenues of ideas. The forward momentum is positive and focusses on what could be done, achieved, felt and created.

“I have been moved and encouraged by witnessing a new understanding unfold in the coachee and a determination to take positive action as possibilities unfurl.”

1. Cleo Broda, Climbing Prop, from the series Props for Social Spaces.
2. Sarah Villeneau, Untitled, 50x35x15cm, ceramic and metal. Photo: Sarah Villeneau

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