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Dr Judy Ann Thomas

Lecturer & Programme Leader for Contemporary Arts and Education

Department: Arts

A specialist in cultural learning, with excellent management and communication skills. Accomplished in developing and managing relationships with multi-disciplinary partners to achieve agreed goals. Over 15 years experience in culture, arts and education with a strong track record in team management, engagement and advocacy through participation programmes.

Judy -ThomasDr Judy Thomas completed her practice-based PhD at Northumbria University in 2014, with her area of study concentrating on the Artist Facilitator role and collaborative practice within the context of artist-led learning programmes. In her Lecturer role she teaches on a variety of the BA Fine Art modules and is Programme Leader for the MA Contemporary Arts and Education at Northumbria University.

Drawing upon an extensive cultural network Judy shares these contacts and partnerships with students and colleagues. In the past couple of years she has worked in a freelance capacity as Cultural Enterprise and Skill Coordinator for Museums and Archives Northumberland at Woodhorn, leading the Northumberland Creative Employment and Northumberland Strategic Capacity Building programmes. She also worked at Tyneside Cinema as Learning and Participation Programme Producer – Art, supporting The Factory, Tyneside Cinema Young Peoples’ programme, Random Acts and leading on the interpretation for the Tyneside Cinema Gallery.

Her previous roles include Learning Manager at Creativity, Culture and Education, Learning Manager at Waygood and Programme Manager (Learning and Inclusion) for Liverpool Biennial. Between 2004 and 2007 she was Acting Head of Education & Public Programme for BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. She worked at BALTIC for four and a half years, with a specific focus on Formal Education. This followed a stint as secondary school teacher of Art & Design, a role that has informed her practice as gallery educator and her interest in learning through questioning and the creation of teaching resources. 

0191 2273788


  • Research Degree Programme – PhD: Why make a case for the Artist Facilitator? Practice based doctorate study
  • Master of Arts: Fine Art and Education with distinction
  • Art & Design: Postgraduate Certificate of Education
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons): Creative Arts, 2:1




Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Judy Thomas has an ongoing interest in Contemporary Art and Gallery Education.

Her specific research interests focus on partnership, collaboration and the identity of the Artist Teacher.

Thomas is extending her research of the Artist Facilitator, exploring how this translates into different areas of education, culture and learning.

Professional Activity

Teaching on the MA Fine Art and Education Judy delivers Saturday School sessions in partnership with the Learning Team at BALTIC. She is a strong advocate of the Artist Teacher.

Thomas is also a member of Lines of Desire, a new collective of artists, makers, writers and documenters based in the North East of England.

Sponsors and Collaborators

Northumberland County Council

Key Publications

  • Dive-in movie, SO Festival, Skegness, July 2014 (as part of the Lines of Desire collective)
  • REMOTE. Invisible City, Issue 7, online art publication. December 2013
  • Significance and its’ Northerly Ghosts, Pulgar, Traveling International Exhibition and Arts Publication. October 2013
  • HVAÐ GETUR GERST? // WHAT CAN HAPPEN? Skagaströnd, Iceland. September 2013
  • Heavens Above, The Sanctuary Art Space, Gateshead. June 2013
  • Parky Tales, Grynparkas, Lithuania. May 2013 (as part of the Lines of Desire collective)
  • Dive-in movie, Enchanted Parks, Gateshead, December 2012 (as part of the Lines of Desire collective)


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