Helen Stalker joins Lakeland Arts in new Senior Producer role

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Helen Stalker joins Lakeland Arts in new Senior Producer role
Helen Stalker Lakeland Arts Senior Producer.

BOWNESS-ON-WINDERMERE.- Lakeland Arts in Cumbria has appointed Helen Stalker to run its exciting programme exhibitions across its venues.

Helen has been a key player in the cultural sector for more than two decades working at high profile venues including Tate Liverpool and Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester.

She was CEO and Founder of The Turnpike in Leigh, Greater Manchester, turning it into a highly regarded art gallery with the community at its core.

In her new role as Lakeland Arts Senior Producer (Collections) she’ll be responsible for collections and programming at Windermere Jetty Museum, and Blackwell - the Arts & Crafts house. She joins at an exciting time as Lakeland Arts plans to reopen Abbot Hall in Kendal this summer.

Helen Stalker said: “Working with Lakeland Arts presents a terrific opportunity to get to know these wonderful venues and collections and investigate the stories within them. Connecting historic objects of national significance to new contemporary work is such an exciting prospect.

“I have an unwavering belief in the ability of art to make new connections between people, to invite surprising perspectives, improve environments, create new spaces for wellbeing and celebrate our histories. I can’t wait to work with the Lakeland Arts team and our community to explore all of these possibilities.”

Ian Read, Lakeland Arts Head of Learning and Engagement said: “Helen will bring energy and enthusiasm to Lakeland Arts. Her work at the socially-engaged Turnpike has been outstanding.

“As we reimagine Abbot Hall for a new era it’s great to welcome Helen’s deep commitment for excellent art, culture and heritage. She will also work to put our audiences, new and old, at the heart of that.”

Helen added: “Moving to and working in the beautiful Lake District has been a long-term ambition for our family and with close family members already living here, we’re really looking forward to becoming part of the South Lakes community.

“Although I’m a proud Liverpudlian, I’m historically from Cumbrian stock and the Lakes has always felt like home to me.”

Abbot Hall Art Gallery is planned to reopen in summer 2022 - after being closed for more than two years. The gallery, in Kendal, shut its doors in February 2020 for redevelopment.

Helen has been a member of the cultural sector for over 20 years having previously worked at the V&A Theatre Museum, Tate Liverpool, The Whitworth Manchester and most recently as the CEO and founder of The Turnpike CIC in Leigh.

As Exhibitions Organiser at Tate Liverpool she oversaw the coordination of major international exhibitions such as ‘Shopping: Art and Consumer Culture’, ‘A Secret History of Clay: from Gaugin to Gormley’ and ‘Mike Kelley: The Uncanny’. As Curator, Fine art at the Whitworth,

Helen was part of the team that developed a ground-breaking exhibition and commissioning programme. In this role she was lead curator on major projects such as ‘M+Sigg: Chinese Art from the 1970’s to Now’, ‘Dark Matters: Shadow, Art and Technology’ and ‘A Rake’s Progress: From Hogarth to Hockney’.

Since 2017 she has established and developed The Turnpike into a highly regarded art gallery with the community at its core; building resources, creating significant national and international partnerships, overseeing the development of new engagement and cultural education programmes and curating exhibitions and commissions of national significance and local relevance. Key to her work at The Turnpike has been the implementation of socially engaged programmes of work designed to connect artists with community to collectively imagine a better future.

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