Deborah Smith is Director of the Arts Council Collection. Deborah is a highly respected curator with an impressive track record in contemporary art. For the past two decades she has worked across interdisciplinary practices to commission art, curate exhibitions, and develop public programmes in partnership and collaboration with a wide range of artists and organisations. Deborah has worked with major international contemporary arts organisations as Head of Programmes (Interim) at the Contemporary Arts Society and Head of Programmes (Interim) at Serpentine Galleries, and is already familiar with the work of the Collection, having worked for three years at Birmingham Museums Trust as Curator for the Arts Council Collection’s National Partners Programme. During this tenure Deborah was responsible for acclaimed exhibitions including I Want! I Want! Art and Technology, ‘Totality’ by Katie Paterson at Thinktank, Birmingham’s Science Museum and Rachel McLean’s Too Cute! Sweet is about to get sinister.
Previously, Deborah held a position as Curator for Hayward Gallery Touring where she conceptualised and initiated the Hayward Curatorial Open (still ongoing) and co-curated a number of touring exhibitions. Amongst her many other career highlights is the first UK touring exhibition of African-American artist Kerry James Marshall; her role as Associate Curator to the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and as co-director of Smith + Fowle. Deborah’s current work has been with Invisible Dust, the art and science organisation, and curating a forthcoming exhibition in 2021 at Chapter, Cardiff.
Deborah was awarded a Stanley Picker Fellowship in 2006. She currently sits on the board of IKT – The International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art and is also an active Steering Group member for Intoart – a South London studio championing the work of artists with learning disabilities.