Jean Baptiste Lagadec, ‘Flyfishing / Arianne’, ‘Untitled / Arianne’,’ Watergun / Arianne’

who we are is a not-for-profit which supports artists at an early stage of their career by providing opportunities to present their work and develop their skills to enable them to sustain their careers as professional artists by participation in our professional development programme.

history of

With a lifelong interest in the visual arts, Paul Newdick, one of our founding trustees, designed and launched the Clyde & Co Art Award when the law firm moved  headquarters in 2010. This was the precursor to

Louise Zekaria, another of our founding trustees, ran the Clyde & Co Art Award together with a  national Blank Canvas Commission,  and she replicated the model in Clyde & Co offices around the world including Dubai, Melbourne, Perth, San Francisco, and Sydney. This programme won the 2016 International Corporate Art Awards sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture & LUISS Business School. scales up this programme further – enabling other organisations to assist more emerging artists and display vibrant art on a rotational basis.

In addition to the support given by to Clyde & Co, Liberty Specialty Markets and Bob & Co Art Awards, the model was adopted by Aon with the support of NPA trustees Paul and Louise.


our team

programme leaders

Sophia Olver

Interim Director

Sophia Olver is a versatile arts professional with a career spanning over a decade, notably as the Co-Founder of OHSH Projects, a nomadic project space established in 2021. OHSH Projects aims to foster meaningful dialogues between artists and spaces, drawing inspiration from ancient mythology and contemporary life. Prior to this, Sophia served as Programme Manager at Cromwell Place in London, curating a diverse programme of exhibitions and events. Additionally, she spearheaded initiatives to reduce the art world’s carbon footprint as Director of Programmes at Platform Earth. With a background in graphic design and communications consulting for arts and charitable organisations, Sophia’s expertise extends to marketing and branding, reflecting her dynamic approach to cultural engagement.

Charlotte Buckler

Artists’ Community Coordinator

Charlotte Buckler is an artist and mural painter based in London. After graduating from Central Saint Martins’ BA Fine Art in 2022 they have been working as a freelance art technician and muralist, helping to install large artworks across a range of contexts and locations. For the past couple of years Charlotte has helped to install the Hospital Rooms annual fundraising exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, managing groups of volunteers and the installation of the wall artwork. As a painter themself, Charlotte balances a freelance career with making their own work.

Rebecca Byrne

Director, Currently on leave of absence.

Rebecca Byrne is an American artist and curator living in London; in 2012 she completed her MA Fine Art from The Chelsea College of Art and Design. In addition to exhibiting widely, she completed several artist-led projects and commissions, including one for the arts charity Hospital Rooms.  Recently, she received a DYCP Grant from Arts Council England for her work.  In addition to her fine art practice, Rebecca works for fine art brands Winsor & Newton and Liquitex, facilitating partnerships and artist residencies.  She has a background in delivering educational workshops, including professional writing tutorials for artists. Rebecca helped to establish’s Professional Development Programme and has been Lead Tutor since 2019; recently, she took on the new role of Director.

Becca Pelly-Fry

Becca is an independent curator, facilitator and cultural consultant based in Folkestone and working collaboratively with a wide range of artists and arts organisations across the UK. She was Director and Curator of Griffin Gallery (2013-2018) and Head Curator for Elephant West (2018-19), before going freelance as an independent curator and consultant in 2019. Her most recent exhibition, Body Poetics, co-curated with Marcelle Joseph, took place at GIANT Gallery in Bournemouth, pairing nine artists from the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 70s with nine artists from a younger generation.

Becca is an Associate Consultant for people make it work, Head of Professional Development for ACAVA Studios, a mentor for Arts Emergency and The Launchpad Collective, and a member of the British Art Network, Young Professionals in the Arts, and Association of Women in the Arts. She is also a Master Level Reiki practitioner, and a passionate advocate of holistic practices for individual and collective well-being. Underpinning all of her work, within the cultural sector and elsewhere, is a commitment to collective care, compassion and social justice.

contributing presenters

CJ Mahony

CJ Mahony’s practice is preoccupied with human and other-than-human bodies in unstable relationships, and how this instability surfaces the incompleteness of our knowledge of one another. They use making and writing to explore the materiality of objects and bodies in transitional states, and the movement of stories and objects into real and imagined futures.

CJ has over 15 years experience of making site specific works and large scale commissions in the public realm, including works for National Trust, Tate and ITV Creates. CJ has collaborated on innovative large scale projects involving performance with Cambridge Junction, Opera North and National Theatre Scotland.

They have also facilitated and supported other artists as a founder and co-director of an artist-led project space.

Their work has been in solo and group exhibitions in the UK and internationally, including Mumbai Gallery Weekend, India (2023 group); My mind had been everywhere and nowhere, Pavilion Pavilion, Glasgow (2019 solo); The Water Colour Room, HISK, Belgium (2018 group); These restless objects, New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2016 solo); Block 336, London (2014 group); situ projects, Cornwall (2010 solo); Aurora Arts Festival, Norwich (2007 solo)

CJ works as a tutor, mentor, and lecturer, most recently at Glasgow School of Art.

Neil Musson

Neil Musson MA RCA is an international installation artist making work which transforms the way in which people experience their immediate surroundings. His collaborative arts practice, M+R, has built a portfolio of interactive installations and interventions which explore the relationship between people and place, heritage and humanity. 

Projects span many continents and include architectural and landscape interventions, performances, light and sound installations, film, sculptural aircraft, and mountain top beacons. 

Journeys through time, emotion and landscape are central themes behind the artworks while concepts begin with historical and social research to fully understand a site. M+R are also public speakers, consultants, judges for international arts competitions and deliver CPD training to architectural practices. 

More information about Neil can be found on his website and in social media on insta: Neil_Musson and you tube @musson_retallick.

Tim A Shaw

Tim A Shaw is a practicing artist and his work has been exhibited in the UK, Europe and USA. He is a co-founder of arts and mental health charity Hospital Rooms; co-founder of Making Time Arts, a social enterprise that delivers arts training to dementia caregivers; and programmes and co-curates the Dentons Art Prize, an arts award for exceptional emerging talent. He authored the book, Draw & Be Happy, published by Chronicle Books, Quarto, Ilex and Octopus.

Niamh White

Niamh White is a visual arts curator. She co-founded Hospital Rooms, a charity that commissions museum quality artwork and creative programming for mental health services that became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in 2023. She has an excellent track record in generating significant funding from public bodies including Arts Council England, philanthropic foundations such as Garfield Weston Foundation, Rayne Foundation and Isabella Blow Foundation, and corporate partnerships including Hauser & Wirth and Avant Arte. She has led evaluation and impact monitoring of projects with university and WHO partners, is an experienced public speaker and regularly delivers lectures at various universities and conferences. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Norwich University of the Arts, was a Professional Fellow at Leeds University and studied Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College. 


Jon Sharples

Jon Sharples is a commercial IP and art lawyer who specialises in helping clients leverage and protect their intellectual property. He advises clients across the creative industries on intellectual property, commercial contracts and disputes. 

As a solicitor, Jon is known for his expertise in the art world. He advises on litigation and dispute resolution involving art and the art market, as well as on agreements and collaborations involving artists and their estates, galleries, collectors, auction houses, art professionals, new platforms and institutions. 

Jon is also a former trustee of the Liverpool Biennial and Block 336 and was on the advisory board of Block Universe.



Mark Dunhill

Mark Dunhill graduated with an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London in 1977. Alongside his art practice he has worked in Higher Arts Education. Mark was Dean of Arts at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) until 2017.

“As a practising artist and HE art educator I know only too well how challenging it can be for graduates emerging from art school, or others who opt for a career as an artist later in life to establish themselves and find an audience for their work.

I have been involved with NPA for several years now, I was drawn to it for a number of reasons.  Primarily, I value the importance of placing contemporary art in corporate spaces where audiences may be unfamiliar with fine art yet through experiencing looking at works on a daily basis there is the possibility of creating an understanding and a relationship over time. The initiative to sign up artists who have exhibited their work to a professional development programme of talks and workshops is critical. Arts Schools commonly offer or require students to attend professional practice lectures to support life after art school. However, for many students the more immediate demands of making work and completing written assignments and all the other important social things to be explored frequently occupies all the space and time available, and the imperative to plan for the future can often fall off the priority list.”

Paul Newdick

Paul Newdick CBE, KC (hons) was a partner at Clyde & Co LLP for over 25 years, where he spearheaded the firm’s pro bono, corporate responsibility and diversity initiatives as Chair of Clyde & Community, the firm’s CSR programme.   Paul was also a founding trustee of LawWorks, the pro bono charity, and for several years, its Chair.

“After years of sitting in meeting rooms, at times staring at the walls, I have always felt that those walls were entirely unremarkable: artworks which were safe, uncontroversial and, well, bland. There were occasional exceptions, a few impressive collections, but on the whole, “corporate art” has for me, been a huge wasted opportunity. Coupled with the frustration of looking at uninspiring art in the workplace, was my concern that many talented artists struggle to sustain their practices once they leave art school.

When I was asked to “sort” the art for Clyde & Co’s new corporate offices, I saw the opportunity to bring together these themes under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) banner: a project to support emerging artists, by giving them exhibition space, a programme to help make their practice sustain them financially and a new buying market for their first year after art school. For the firm, they had vibrant, changing art, uncluttered with the complications of ownership, which enables them to have very different conversations with clients and has created a level of staff engagement I could not have imagined. For many, this was a first encounter with original art and that has provoked dialogue, a hunger to know more and for some, an appetite to acquire. The staff  became the largest buying group each year.”

Inspired by the enthusiasm generated by the Clyde & Co Art Award, in 2017 I decided to leave legal practice and set up and, with our team, take these ideas to new audiences.”

Rod Smith

Rod Smith was a Partner at Clyde & Co LLP for over 30 years and specialised in insurance, advising on, amongst other things, the insurance of Fine Art. Rod was a Governor of Wimbledon School of Art before its merger with University of the Arts, London, and was a longstanding trustee and chair of the Wimbledon College of Arts Trust. He was also a trustee of Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education.

“Having had a longstanding interest in the arts, my involvement over the years in education in the visual arts has highlighted to me the difficulties faced by emerging visual artists in making the transition to self sufficient practising artists. How do these talented creatives fulfil their promise and their ambitions? How can they earn money from the work they create? How do they navigate the business and legal issues they face, such as
in signing to a gallery, renting a studio etc.?  It became clear to Paul, Louise and me that every effort should be made to try and broaden the application of the formula that worked so well at Clyde & Co to support emerging artists across the UK and beyond make this transition – which will benefit all who enjoy the visual arts. Hence my enthusiasm for which has the ambition of doing just that!”

Rod Smith

Louise Zekaria

Louise Zekaria, having started out as a solicitor, moved into the diversity and inclusion (D&I) and corporate social responsibility sector 15 years ago. She has developed staff engagement and inclusion programmes at various law firms, including legal pro bono and community volunteering projects.

“Historically, the arts have looked to businesses to provide financial support only – usually, through sponsorship paid out from marketing budgets. Some businesses have supported the arts by buying the work of new and established artists and creating corporate collections. But ownership brings its own challenges. However, the model is different. It facilitates collaboration.  A new way for corporates to provide tangible support to local emerging artists and art schools, while providing the businesses with an exciting, community focussed programme, which engages and educates its staff and its clients. Working in the responsible business sector, I am always on the lookout for innovative D&I and ESG projects which will not only deliver significant benefits to diverse communities being supported, but will also engage our people. The NPA programme does this in spades!”

Louise Zekaria
Emily Motto, ‘The Passing Wave’
Conall McAteer, ‘Not for Love nor Money’