Steve Downey

Artist and Arts Consultant



  • BA Honours in Fine Art, 2:1 [Reading University].
  • First Class Honours Diploma in Film Making [London Film School] - MA equivalent.
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Educational Technology [Dundee College].
  • Diploma in Media Resources [South Thames College] - Mayor of Wandsworth Prize.
  • Management training [Oxford University Centre for Management Studies].
  • Range of training in the arts, management, marketing, ICT and education.
  • Qualified Teacher status.

Work Experience [Summary]

  • 1990 to present: Practicing visual artist – commissions, exhibitions and residencies. Delivered talks at conferences and training for the public, teachers and artists, etc., related to the arts. Work included in "East Contemporary Art" collection.

  • 2005 -2009: Voluntary Arts Co-ordinator for Farleigh Hospice. Organising the integration of art into the new building, including Lottery-funded project involving artists working in 3 schools. Management of Farleigh Art Gallery.

  • 2009: Arts Consultant to Essex County Council, developing proposals for Public Art in Cambridge City Council.

  • 2005-2008: Arts Consultant to Essex County Council, developing the “Space to Work” strategy for artists within Essex.

  • 2004-6: Arts Consultant to Bouygues [UK] Ltd. Originating & managing the Development Phase of the Broomfield Arts Strategy, leading to the integration of art into the new PFI-funded Broomfield Hospital building; working with architects, administrators, NHS staff, artists and arts organisations; writing reports & funding applications. [Over £3 million budget.]

  • 1997-2006: Arts Consultant for the Broomfield Arts Project. Organisation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 arts projects, including artist residencies with 5 schools. [Budget of over £500,000]
  • 2004-05: Arts Development Manager for Essex County Council. Leading the County’s Arts Development Service and team of 8 arts staff.

  • 1998-2003: Visual and Media Arts Development Manager for Essex County Council. Initiator of the County’s Public Art Strategy [over £1 million per annum budget]; joint management of the County’s Public Art Team; project leader for the £1 million COAST art project and the setting up of the Martello Tower Arts Centre. Member of Project Team for the new Firstsite gallery in Colchester.

  • 1996-1998: Arts Education Co-ordinator for Essex County Council. Managing the award winning ‘Art in Architecture’ scheme; establishing the County’s arts education service, arts education training course and database of artists.
  • 1995-2001: Consultant Artist for Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust. Organising Lottery-funded and Millennium-funded art projects at Colchester General, Clacton, Halstead, Harwich and Essex County Hospitals. Organising 10 school-based artist residencies. Budget of over £500,000. Awarded arts prize by Colchester Council. 
  • 1990-2009: Freelance consultant in the arts, education, management and marketing. Clients include Signals Media Arts, Focus in Education and the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich, Southwark, Camden and Chelsea and Westminster. Developed feasibility study for major London Arts Education Centre. Organiser of national touring disability art exhibition “Art Through the Front Door”.
  • 1978-1990: Principal Media Resources Adviser for the Inner London Education Authority. Leading the ILEA’s media resources service, managing over 600 staff and a budget of over £10 million; involvement in more than 50 architectural projects and inspection/advisory visits to over 400 educational establishments across 12 London boroughs; management of the ILEA Media Resources Training Centre and its staff.

Solo Art Exhibitions

  • Beecroft Art Gallery.
  • Benham Art Gallery.
  • Braintree Town Hall Art Gallery [2 solo shows].
  • Broomfield Art Gallery.
  • Chelmsford Library Art Gallery
  • Colchester Library Art Gallery.
  • Diorama Art Gallery.
  • Harlow Theatre Art Gallery.
  • Isaac Newton Centre Art Gallery.
  • Saling Grove Art Gallery.
  • Trinity Street Studios Art Gallery.
  • Wisbech Museum Art Gallery.

Major artist residencies and commissions

  • 2013: 4-week artist residency at Vytlacil, New York, leading to Open Studio and Group Exhibition.
  • 2008-9: Artist for the 2008 Essex Big Draw Project at Braintree District, Harlow and Saffron Walden Museums, leading to the creation of permanent artworks at each museum. Part of the Essex-Jiangsu Festival.
  • 2008: “Sin Fronteras”: Represented UK at the “First International Sculpture Symposium of Sculpture” in Cusco, Peru, creating a 350 cm high sculpture in Plaza San Blas, Cusco.
  • 2007-9: “Art in Architecture” project at Abacus Primary School, leading to the creation of artworks for the new building, including steel sculpture and mosaics.
  • 2007-8: ‘Creativity For Life’ Creative Partnerships Project on Numeracy and Maths in Harlow – 30-day artist residency at Sheering Primary School, Essex.
  • 2007: West Hatch School, Chigwell, Essex – Community Arts Project leading to the creation of an artwork to celebrate the school's 50 anniversary.
  • 2007: ArC Project on “Citizenship” organised by firstsite – 10-day artist residency at Heathlands Primary School in Colchester, Essex, leading to the creation of an artwork for the school.
  • 2006-7: “Art in Architecture” project at Beckers Green Primary School, Braintree, leading to the creation of a new artwork within the new school building.
  • 2003-10: Series of 25 art commissions for Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex – Wards B2, B9, and B17: Outpatients Dept; Cardiac Care; Day Stay Unit; Treatment Block staircase.
  • 2001: “Obelisk”. 244 x 120 x 30 cm sculpture for the International Art Symposium and Sculpture Trail at Kleinbreitenbach, Germany. Represented Essex and created sculpture for art trail.
  • 1995-6: Two-year artist residency and “Art in Architecture” project at Southview School, Witham, leading to the creation of internal and external artworks.
  • 1995: Represented Essex at the Crafts Council project “Crossings” at the University of Essex aimed at developing the interchange between visual arts, crafts and performing arts.

  • 1993: “Arezzo, Antioch and Alexandria”. 215 x 550cm installation in George Yard Shopping Centre, Braintree.