Dr Jade French
- Position: Visiting Research Fellow
- Areas of expertise: Museums, Galleries & Heritage; Curating; Inclusive Arts; Artist-Facilitation; Participatory Action-Research
- Email: J.French2@leeds.ac.uk
- Location: 3.05 School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
- Website: Portfolio | Twitter | LinkedIn | Googlescholar | Researchgate | ORCID
I am a museum professional, artist-facilitator and practice-led researcher whose research interests emerge from practical experience of running inclusive and community-led projects in museums and galleries. My research broadly examines curatorial and museological practices in the arts and the evolution of the relationship between museums and communities, and over the past two years this has focussed on devising applied methods to enable public participation in the shaping of exhibitions, collections and artist commissions.
I have particular expertise in collaborating with learning disabled people within the cultural sector, underpinned by experience in disability advocacy and social care roles. I have practiced as an artist-facilitator for over ten years, working with a range of learning disabled artists and curators, inclusive arts organisations and supported studios internationally to develop facilitatory pracices, artworks, programmes, exhibitions, research and policy.
I was appointed a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Fine Art, History art and Cultural Studies where I am teaching and have recently published a monograph with Arc Humanities Press titled 'Inclusive Curating in Contemporary Art: A Practical Guide'. In addition to my academic work, I facilitate community engagement at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum working on a Wellcome Trust funded project that focuses on developing the civic role of the museum in a location identified as in the 5% most deprived areas nationally. I have undertaken independent research evaluations and reporting for organisations such as DASH, Artlink and Hull City of Culture 2017. In 2018 I undertook The Firestation Artist Studio's International Curator Residency in Dublin, Ireland, and in 2020 was awarded an artist ‘remote residency’ with UK arts organisation Metal.
Within museums, galleries and heritage and more broadly contemporary art, my research interests include;
- Community/public engagement and participation
- Inclusive and participatory approaches to curating, programming and collections development
- Disability, access and the diversity agenda
- Inclusive art and disability art
- Social justice, activsm and ethics
- Zines and DIY/artist-led culture
- Action, participatory and practice-led research methods
I have also interests within disability studies and social policy including;
- Learning disability and self-advocacy
- Person-centred planning
- Disability politics
- PhD Curating
- MA Inclusive Arts Practice
- BA Photography
- Museums Association
- Association of Critical Heritage Studies
- UK Disability Arts Alliance
I teach and supervise dissertations across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies, BA History of Art and Museum Studies and BA Fine Art.