Current members of the Executive Committee (serving 2023-2025 - extended to)
Members of the Executive Committee serve two years as volunteers, facilitating the continuation of the union.
There is more information about the current committee below:
Zita Holbourne, London
Joint National Chair
Zita Holbourne is an award winning visual artist, designer, art curator, author, poet and writer as well as an experienced trade union and community activist and human rights campaigner. She is the National Vice President of the Public & Commercial Services Union, the co-founder & National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, elected to the TUC Race Relations Committee and on the Board of Advisors for Initiative for Equality.Zita founded the Roots, Culture, Identity Art collective and curates exhibitions to showcase the art of young black and migrant artists. She campaigns against discrimination and cuts in the arts and culture sectors.She campaigns for equality, freedom, justice and human rights through art, poetry and activism. She is often described as a political artist and a griot of the struggle.Zita has exhibited art at diverse venues from the Tate & Congress House to cinemas and conferences and she has performed poetry at a broad range of events from radio and TV the Houses of Parliament and Glastonbury.
'A union for artists is important because there is an attempt to exploit and underpay artists and all workers deserve the same rights. Art has the ability to challenge discrimination and injustice, to educate, communicate ideas and to promote healing and unity.'
Loraine Monk, Surrey
Joint National Chair
Loraine Monk is a Figurative Artist, Lecturer, Trade Unionist, Women’s Rights campaigner and Labour activist. She has completed two artist’s residencies, one at St Elisabeth Hospice, Ipswich in 2011 and the second at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough in 2015. Her previous work experience includes Youth work, Welfare Rights Advice, Parliamentary research and Lecturing in FE and Art Colleges. She has a studio in Hawks Rd Studios in SW London. Art practice has a unique ability to critique, describe and at times prescribe, our societies/communities; it has the ability to challenge discrimination and injustice, to educate, to communicate and to promote and improve health & wellbeing
'We need a union for art practitioners, in order to represent artists, to expose and fight the exploitation and underpayment of artists and protect their rights as workers. We need the AUE to lobby Arts Funding institutions and highlight areas of improvement, and above all to ensure that all diverse groups within our communities are represented and celebrated, as artists and as viewers and participants.'
Martin Sundram, London
'I have combined my own art practice with a dozen years’ professional experience within the trade union movement, working for UCU (the college and university lecturers’ union). I have also involved myself over the years in a range voluntary work within the educational sector including governance roles for the Workers’ Educational Association, a provider of adult education particularly in the humanities, currently serving as a member of WEA’s national Council. Art makes a major contribution to the nation’s economy as well as the national quality of life in today’s Britain. The creative sector as a whole punches well above its weight in making this country a cultural world leader . It is important to me that practitioners have a strong voice in shaping how this contribution is supported and developed, which is why I am honoured to be associated with this new and ambitious Union as it engages with these issues, against the backdrop of today’s challenging economic and political environment, on behalf of all artists.'
Vanessa Maurice Williams
Vanessa Maurice-Williams was one of the founding members of AUE and was the Treasurer from 2013 – 2016. She was then co-opted back onto the Executive Committee in 2020 to manage the finances of the AUE’s Solidarity Fund, which she was a Trustee for. The Solidarity Fund has now closed applications, with the idea to revisit it in the near future, and Vanessa has again resumed her role as Treasurer for AUE.
Vanessa is a painter who makes large-scale installations. She finished her Masters from the Slade in 2013 and has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and The British School at Rome. She has exhibited widely, including SEAS and ONCA in Brighton, The Griffin Gallery in London and The Control Room in Bristol. She lives and works in Brighton.
“A Union is so important to help artists get better and fairer conditions. Industria’s ‘Structurally Fucked’ report that a-n published recently highlights artists’ precarious and under-paid work conditions which need protesting against. If you join AUE you will have the support of the Union to lobby on your behalf, insurance, help with legal matters, The Good Practice Charter, AUE rates of pay document to help you get what you need and deserve as an artist. It’s incredible that there wasn’t a Union for visual arts in England before us, and we have come so far in just under 10 years…please join to make us even stronger”!
Executive Committee member
Pam Foley, Oxford
AUE Projects and Finance Manager
Pam is the part-time (7 hours/week) Project and Finance Manager, having served on the Executive Committee from 2014-2020, with some of that time as Treasurer. She has been a freelance artist for over 30 years, maintaining a studio practice on the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border. She is a sculpture, teacher, workshop facilitator and art organiser. Prior to her move to the UK in 1999, Pam lived and worked in San Francisco where she taught, had a studio, and ran a non-profit women's arts organisation with a gallery.
"I am very committed to the mission of a trade union for visual, applied, and socially engaged artists. Over the years I have been involved in crucial decisions that have enabled the union grow, and forge ties with our sister unions within the trade union movement. I've been involved in many union working groups, including the ongoing Studios Campaign which produced the Studios Checklist and as an AUE delegate to the LESE CLIC TUC subgroup that produced the Making Culture Ours document. The remit for my part-time AUE union work is to build the behind the scenes infrastructure so that AUE will continue to work better on behalf of the membership."