On Tuesday 23rd May 2023, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Visual Arts convened for its inaugural AGM, where the appointment of Theo Clarke MP as Chair was confirmed, along with officers of the group and key priorities.

Theo Clarke brings a wealth of experience in the visual arts, having worked at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York and Christie’s auction house. She is a co-founder of The Association of Women in the Arts, and studied Art History at Newcastle University and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

On appointment as Chair of the APPG for Visual Arts, Theo Clarke MP said:

“The visual arts enrich the lives of all in the UK and play a vital role in our thriving creative economy, from internationally renowned art fairs to grassroots community projects that inspire the next generation of artists and creatives. At the same time, the sector faces unique challenges around fair pay, career pathways, access to education and safeguarding copyright. The APPG for Visual Arts has been established to ensure that artists, and the wider visual arts sector, have a voice in parliament. The officers of the APPG for Visual Arts look forward to working with both industry and parliamentary colleagues to foster an environment in the UK in which visual artists can flourish.”

The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Visual Arts has been established to provide a forum for parliamentarians to foster a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges faced by UK visual artists.

The APPG’s statement of purpose is to:

  • Advance the understanding of how visual artists carry out their practice and develop their careers;
  • Ensure fair pay for visual artists and safeguard their intellectual property rights;
  • Recognise the value artists bring to society and the UK economy, and ensure their artistic contributions are rewarded;
  • Foster an environment in the UK in which visual artists can flourish.

Full list of Officers of the APPG for Visual Arts:

Chair: Theo Clarke MP (Con, Stafford)

Vice Chair: Sir Roger Gale MP (Con, North Thanet)

Vice Chair: The Earl of Clancarty

Vice Chair: Lord Inglewood

Vice Chair: Giles Watling MP (Con, Clacton)

Vice Chair: Jamie Stone MP (Lib Dem, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)

Vice Chair: Damian Collins MP (Con, Folkestone and Hythe)

Officer: Simon Baynes MP (Con, Clwyd South)

Officer: Kim Johnson MP (Lab, Liverpool, Riverside)

Officer: Julie Elliott MP (Lab, Sunderland Central)

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