First Floor Gallery Harare
Valerie is the co-founder and currently the Director of Education and International Projects at First Floor Gallery Harare, Zimbabwe's first independent, international, contemporary emerging artist run initiative www.firstfloorgalleryharare.com. During her first visit to Zimbabwe in 2009, Valerie recognised the urgent need for an open, experimental space for emerging local artists and supported by Marcus Gora, the gallery's now Marketing Director, to transform a room next to a tailors' workshop in downtown Harare into a gallery. The gallery now runs a full exhibition programme, educational programme, international artist residency as well as taking part in international and local festivals, art fairs and exhibition events.
Art >< Dialogue (2010 ongoing)
Art & Dialogue is a series of courses designed, developed and delivered by Valerie under the auspices of the EU LifeLong Learning Programme. The courses are designed to assist curators, art educators and people working in a variety of fields involving intercultural dialogue to:
• develop new models and approaches for dealing with challenges of bringing contemporary audiences to art and bringing art to general audiences in their own countries and beyond;
• build resources, skills and opportunities to develop new approaches and paradigms in addressing new audiences;
• work with art as a forum for inter-cultural dialogue and the socio-political importance of art in development and development of civil society.
Over the past 3 years, Valerie has trained more than 100 European art educators and cultural professionals basing the course in Paris and Barcelona and focusing on the relationship between art and the multi-cultural dimensions of these cities. In 2013, Valerie will bring the course to Berlin. Valerie is also currently adapting the course for the purpose of building skills in art, culture and intercultural dialogue for professionals working in the field of culture and development in developing countries such as Zimbabwe.
Why Art? Newsletter...2008 - 2011
In 2008, to respond to a lack of accessible, audience focused art criticism in Australia, Valerie launched the Why Art? Newsletter. The monthly report provided reviews of exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne, exhibition listings, commentary on the local and international art market and key events, as well as in focus profiles of artists and educational feature articles. During the four years of existence the newsletter reached a local and international subscription base of close to 5,000 and recognition for its forthright, uncompromising views, which put merit above market, fashion and political correctness. The archives of the newsletter can be found on Why Art? Newsletter
Sydney Review Panel...
In 2010 inspired by the Review Panel, founded by David Cohen in New York, Valerie launched a sister project in Sydney, bringing together 3 art critics each month at a different gallery, to discuss a selection of key exhibitions that month in front of a live audience. The events proved to be a popular and critical success, despite the reluctance of panel participants to be known publicly as art critics. During its brief life, the panel attracted some of Sydney's leading art academics, historians, theorists and writers including: Dr Catriona Moore, Dr Christopher Dean, Aaron Seeto, Prof. Alan Krell and Dr Adam Geczy.