Two years ago, Sasha Gibb left the Jersey Arts Trust where she had set up the Skipton Open Studios and Art Series, to become Art Director at CCA Galleries International. Since then, she has made it her mission to open the doors as wide as possible.
“I want the gallery to be open and welcoming. The hardest bit for people is the first step in the gallery," she explains.
"That is why I do a lot of work at the community level and with the Young Arts. Art is very community based. It is all about making it real and sincere. It’s in everybody’s interest. We can’t be on an island with just one demographic, we need street art and art galleries.”
Sasha has always been surrounded by art. Born and raised in London, she grew up with art galleries on her doorstep. While studying for her BA at the West Surrey College of Art & Design in Farnham, she won the 1992 RSA Design Award for Textiles with a bursary to work for John Lewis as a designer. She then studied Fine Arts at Slade School in London but decided she wanted to learn, “…more about the world than just painting.”
Pictured: Sasha Gibb joined CCA Galleries International in 2016.
She worked as a designer for many years and worked for The World of Interiors on Interiors, Art and Antiques magazine. She then set up her own business selling blankets and cushions made of vintage natural fibres.
She then left London in 2002 and moved to Jersey. With her husband, she launched The Royal Souvenir Company, designing and making good quality souvenirs. In 2012, she joined the Jersey Arts Trust as visual arts co-ordinator before moving to CCA Galleries.
A varied career but Sasha says, “It all makes sense now.” “I enjoyed helping other artists while at the Arts Trust. I enjoy working with them for the gallery, curating shows, encouraging them. I love meeting collectors and the public, as well as people who are not necessarily interested in arts. You don’t have to be an art historian to appreciate art, you just need to be a human being. It is all about working out what you like.”
Pictured: "Jersey has an awful lot of artists," says Sasha.
As Jersey is an island with an “awful lot of artists” with a high standard of work, Sasha would like to see a greater recognition of the arts from the top. “There is nothing missing from the arts perspective. What we need is for the government to publicly acknowledge that arts are important and for a budget to be invested. It has to be in the agenda.
"The government doesn’t need to come up with all the answers. Curators, art organisations and others could pitch up for the money. Unless there is investment at the top, it is difficult for the rest of the population to evaluate. Art is resilient but not sustainable. There is only so much we can do.”
You can read more in this month's Connect magazine here.
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