Kath Wood

Kath has worked in the UK visual arts sector for over 30 years. She began her career in Scotland – having been awarded the prestigious Scottish Arts Council exhibition traineeship to work at The Third Eye Centre (now CCA) in Glasgow where she curated ‘Other Frontiers’, an exhibition of four female artists from Canada.

She continued her curatorial career as Exhibitions Officer at Arnolfini in Bristol organising and curating many exhibitions including ‘Over the Limit’, presenting the early career work by Shirley MacWilliam, Tina O’Connell, Craig Richardson and Jane and Louise Wilson.

Firstsite building


In 1994 Kath took on the challenge of developing and building a new organisation and facility for Colchester, Essex. As founding Director, the brief was to establish a new organisation and develop plans for a purpose built visual arts building for Colchester and the East of England.


Building on the strong track record of the Minories Art Gallery and the legacy of visual artists in the East of England, she launched Firstsite in 1995 as a new brand on the national arts scene. She grew and led the team, the organisation and its audiences. She selected and worked with renowned architect Rafael Vinoly to design the new building from its inception to realisation, with the new building successfully opening in 2011.

Firstsite opening

Firstsite opening, September 2011

Since 2012 Kath has worked in a freelance capacity with a wide range of organisations and individuals nationally and internationally. She has consolidated her practice to launch Kath & Company bringing together her freelance services with a new Art at Home project – offering affordable original art for the home.

Selected awards and training

  • Fellow Royal Society of Arts (FRSA 2010 and currently)
  • Windsor Leadership Trust – emerging leaders’ residential course (February 2007)
  • Plus Tate /Clore Leadership 18-month course tailored for 10 selected Directors of UK contemporary visual arts organisations (March 2009 – October 2010)
  • Honorary Doctorate in recognition of cultural contribution regionally and nationally. University of Essex/Colchester School of Art (2012)


  • Artist rooms
  • Tate
  • National galleries Scotland
  • Artangel
  • British Council
  • Colchester and Ipswich Museums
  • Crafts Council
  • ECC
  • Firstsite
  • Goldsmiths
  • Hayward
  • Kettle's Yard
  • Leeds Art Gallery
  • MIMA
  • Place Services

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