Art Appreciation Course Tutors

Libby Anson

Libby Anson is a writer, artist, creative and professional development coach and lecturer. She studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne before undertaking postgraduate Art Gallery & Museum Studies at Manchester University. She has since worked in the public and private gallery sectors, curating exhibitions and working as a gallery educationalist. Since 1990, she has been a freelance art critic and from 1993, a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). Her work as a critic followed on from her management at the end of the '80s of the commercial Creaser Gallery, Portobello, London, concentrating on contemporary abstract painting.

Her writing has been published in various national and international publications, including Art Monthly, Contemporary Art Magazine, UNTITLED, Taïde (Hungary) and Material (Sweden), among others, producing mainly exhibition reviews and artists' interviews. Libby co-authored the 'A-Z of Art' and has written and contributed to a number of exhibition catalogues. Libby has edited art historical books, practical drawing guides and art education publications. She has also been a fine art lecturer and creative development coach for over thirty years. She currently works at The Glasgow School of Art supporting students and graduates with their preparations to become professional practitioners, while maintaining her own writing and fine art practice, focusing on painting and drawing. Alongside this, she writes creative non-fiction and performs and writes for theatre.


  • A - Z of Art (1996)
  • The History of Art: The Essential Guide to Painting Through the Ages (2009) (contributing editor)
  • The Fundamentals of Drawing: A complete Professional Course for Artists (2009) (contributing editor)


  • Marty St James at the Redtory, (catalogue essay, Ghangzhou 2012)
  • Endri Kosturi (interview,; exhibition catalogue 2012)
  • Towards an Inspired Future: Creative Partnerships and Gallery Education (engage, 2006)
  • Encounters with Contemporary Art - schools, galleries and the curriculum (engage, 2004)
  • Andrzej Jackowski, (Galleries, 2003)
  • Trust in Us: Juan delGado and his Wellcome Trust Residency (a-n, 2003)
  • Marion Kalmus: 'Restoration Drama' (catalogue 2001)
  • Ann Hamilton; Anne Tallentire (Venice Biennale interviews, Make, 1999)
  • Trope - Image and Voice - Vit Hopley & Eve Lomax (PORTFOLIO, 1997)
  • Emily Patrick: Recent Paintings (catalogue essay, 1997)
  • Dorothy Cross (interview, Art Monthly, 1997)
  • New Territories (catalogue essay, 1996)
  • Marlene Dumas; Tracer; Orlan (Art Monthly, 1996)
  • Mona Hatoum; Tim Head; Tacita Dean; Division of Labor (New York) (Art Monthly, 1995)
  • John Baldessari (Material, 1995)
  • Ansel Krut (London Magazine, 1994)
  • Simon Laurie (catalogue essay, 1993)
  • Joan Eardley (Women's Art, 1992)
  • Sarah Raphael (Artists and Illustrators, 1991)
  • Silvia Ziranek; Keith Vaughan; Forces of Nature (Art International, 1991)
  • Elspeth Lamb; Sarah Raphael; Brian Chalkley; David Hiscock; Simon Costin; Sharon Matheson; Julie C. Major; Jo Ganter; Terry Shave; Roger Kite; Graca Coutinho; Alex Beleschenko; June Redfern; Pierre Cardin (CV Guide to the Arts, 1990)


Stephen Farthing

Stephen Farthing studied at St Martin's School of Art, London (1969-73) before taking his Masters Degree in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (1973-76). Here he was awarded an Abbey Major Scholarship, taking him to The British School at Rome for a year from 1976. His teaching career began as a Lecturer in Painting at Canterbury College of Art (1977-79), after which he was a Tutor in painting at the Royal College of Art, London from 1980 to 1985. He went on to become Head of Painting (1985-87) and Head of Department of Fine Art (1987-89) at West Surrey College of Art and Design. From 1990 he was Ruskin Master at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Professorial Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford until 2000.

Stephen Farthing has exhibited extensively in one man shows since his first solo exhibition held at the Royal College of Art Gallery, London in 1977. His work, representing Britain, was shown at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1989, leading to many further solo shows in the UK and abroad, including South America and Japan. He has also participated in many group exhibitions since 1975, including the John Moores Liverpool Exhibitions, in which he was a Prize Winner in 1976, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1997 and 1999. He was represented by The Edward Totah Gallery in London and New York until Edwards death in 1997.

Farthing was Artist in Residence at the Hayward Gallery, London in 1989. He was elected Royal Academician in 1998 and in 2000 was made an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford. In 2000, Duckworth published, The Intelligent Persons Guide to Modern Art. He was executive director of the New York Academy of Art from September 2000 until August 2004 when he was appointed Rootstein Hopkins Research Chair of Drawing at the university of Arts London, which he has held until 2017. Stephen now lives and works in New York and London.

Recent Solo Exhibitions

  • National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
  • Paco Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • National Museum of Art, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester
  • Sloane Racotta Gallery, Mexico City
  • Museo de Monterrey, Monterrey
  • Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City
  • City Museum, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Otemae Centre for the Arts, Otemae University, Kansai, Japan
  • Mary Ogilvy Gallery, St Anne's College, Oxford
  • Anne Berthoud Gallery, London
  • British Council, Kyoto, Japan
  • Brantwood House, Cumbria
  • Amagansett Applied Arts, New York

Recent Commissions

  • 2004 - Cleveland Browns NFL, Browns Town Mural for stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1988 - Portrait of the past and present historians Eric Hobsbawm, Rodney Hilton, Sir Keith Thomas, Sir John Elliot, Lawrence Stone and Jean Thirsk (commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London). Topographical painting of Dorset (commissioned by the Dorchester Hospital Trust)


  • Art: The Whole Story
  • 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die: Revised and Updated
  • Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks
  • Renaissance Art Pop-up Book
  • Royal Academy Illustrated 2005: A selection from the 237th Summer Exhibition
  • 501 Great Artists: A Comprehensive Guide to the Giants of the Art World
  • The Sketchbooks of Jocelyn Herbert
  • The Sketchbooks of Nicholas Grimshaw
  • Art: From Cave Painting to Street Art- 40,000 Years of Creativity


Francesca Ramsay

Francesca is a writer and art historian based in Bristol. Since graduating with Distinction from the Warburg Institute in 2015, she has launched into a varied freelance career in the arts. Working at the interface between art and the public has left her adept at transforming complex ideas and academic jargon into something both accessible and (fingers crossed) entertaining.

Francesca is the author of two books: PINCH ME: Trying to Feel Real in the 21st Century and Wilfred Avery and the Unpredictable Image (both October 2023).


My two year journey has profoundly affected so many aspects of my ‘ways of seeing’ and understanding. Researching, contemplating, assimilating and writing about art within its historical and political context has broadened my knowledge beyond recognition.

Anne Jane Waters

Laverton, Gloucestershire

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