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A word from our new Chair - ROBERT READ

I have had the pleasure of being Chair of FPS since February this year.

This has been an incredibly exciting time to join FPS, off the back of the 60th anniversary celebrations last year, the impressive Works on Paper exhibition, during the Summer, and the process that’s now in full flow to launch the next exhibition at the Menier Chocolate factory in December.

It really is thrilling to be a part of this prestigious group at such a vital and thriving time in its history.

I hope I bring to the group my passionate belief in the importance of the role of the artist in society and the contribution art makes to the community. I’m committed to the principal that an appreciation and understanding of the visual, enriches all of our lives. So I consider my role at FPS as contributing, in my own small way, to the support and promotion of a strong and effective group of exhibiting artists, who, through their diverse and eclectic practices, can add to the significance of the visual in contemporary life and help us shape and interpret the world around us.

My primary objective as Chair is to maintaining the health and prosperity of the group and I’m dedicated pursuing a number of essential priorities, which include:

Establishing a membership model that will ensure that the group continues to flourish in a financially sustainable and profitable way.

To grow the Membership so that the group will be continually refreshed and invigorated by new artists joining, as well as becoming more inclusive and diverse in the profile of the group and the artistic practices within it.

Ensuring that effective governance and financial management is in place so that the group operates with integrity and with high standards of administrative processes, particularly around compliance to our responsibilities with Companies House and our charitable status.

My professional background is that I work for Tate Enterprises, the commercial part of Tate Gallery, as Operations Director, with a very broad number of responsibilities including; e-commerce, IT and Systems, Logistics, Filming and Location Services and sustainability. I’ve worked at Tate for nearly seven years and before that I worked in different, commercial, roles at the BBC.

My passion for art was fuelled by a boy-hood obsession with comic books which eventually led me to doing a degree in Fine Art, Painting, at Wimbledon School of Art. I really hope at some point, spurred on by the spirit of FPS, I will eventually pick up a brush again and might even submit a work for consideration for our next exhibition.

I was born in Salford, Lancashire and raised in Nottingham. I’ve lived in London for 25 years and love living in Harlesden, North West London, with my wife, Ibolya, and our children Ruby and Lucas.

As well as my FPS responsibilities, I’m a Governor at my daughter’s school and fill any remaining time trying to fit in as many exhibitions and cultural activities as I can.

I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know as many members as possible during my term as Chair and I’d love to hear from anyone with any contributions or ideas towards growing the Membership and developing the future success of the group.

Robert Read

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