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Sally Shaw

Sally Shaw


Sally Shaw MBE has been Director of Firstsite, Colchester since 2016.

In its award-winning and radical building, Firstsite presents world-class visual artists from around the world as well as those living on its doorstep in East Anglia. Headline artists have included Grayson Perry, Lubaina Himid and Cory Arcangel as well as Emily Mulenga, Elsa James, Gee Vaucher and Simon Carter.

With her team, Sally has delivered a successful turn-around programme realigning Firstsite with a focused, relevant purpose. They have transformed it from a failing gallery to one which is now a rapidly growing business and creative proposition by thinking radically about equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of their work.

Previously, Sally was Head of Programme at Modern Art Oxford, Deputy Head of Culture for the Mayor of London, Chief Curator for London Underground, Director of Media Art – Bath and Residency Programme Manager at Spike Island, Bristol. She has also established a number of independent projects and programmes including an independent commercial gallery in Bristol – LOT – and an artist residency programme in an open prison in Gloucestershire.



Sally Shaw will be speaking at the Museum Social Impact Summit 2024 :

Making Art Matter

A child who can imagine a positive image of themselves in the future and can turn that into a physical picture, is 9 times more likely to make that image into a reality. How can galleries and museums become gyms for the imagination and create generations of people who have creative resilience built in.

Sally Shaw