Bart Grabski - MA Fine Art - Curatorial Studies (Distinction)

Bartosz Grabski
An accomplished art’s curator and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, who plans to use art to amplify the voices of under-represented communities.

Having worked at RGU for over three years, twenty seven year old Polish graduate, Bart wanted to expand his skills and knowledge base within the creative industries.

He viewed university education as a pivotal step towards achieving this goal and recognized the increasing importance of curation in the digital realm, especially in his professional role at Gray’s School of Art and Look Again where he currently works as a Digital Media Engagement Coordinator.

“My passion for art and its transformative potential drew me to the Curatorial Studies course at Gray’s. I was captivated by the prospect of exploring the multifaceted dimensions of art, along with the course's emphasis on using creativity as a conduit for advocating and amplifying the voices of under-represented communities. The alignment of my values with the course content was appealing and served as a driving force throughout my academic journey. I was also impressed by the nurturing and supportive environment of Gray’s School of Art.”

Bart excelled during his masters and is graduating with a MA Fine Art in Curatorial Studies with Distinction.

“My time at university has been incredibly fulfilling, marked by a sense of accomplishment and personal growth. The achievement I've garnered throughout the course is a testament to the invaluable support and guidance I received from my supervisor Judith Winter, the dedicated teaching staff and the encouragement from my peers and work colleagues. Their mentorship has been instrumental in shaping my success, and I am immensely grateful for their contributions to my academic journey.

“The course offered a distinctive blend of academic rigour and flexibility, providing me with a wide array of project options and innovative approaches to crafting my master's thesis. This enabled me to delve deeply into my areas of interest within creative industries while establishing a solid foundation in this dynamic field. The hands-on teaching methods and exposure to diverse perspectives were pivotal in shaping my practical skills, ensuring my preparedness for a career in the field.”

One of the most remarkable achievements during Bart’s study at RGU was the co-organisation of a series of LGBTQIA+ events in the run up to Grampian Pride.  These included a networking event at the Look Again Project Space, sponsored with funding from Aberdeen City Council’s Covid Recovery Fund (LACER) called ‘Collaborative Insights’ which brought together people from Aberdeen’s LGBTQIA+ community. He also co-organised an evening performance in Aberdeen city centre called ‘Crack’, featuring drag icons, music and artists who embodied queer culture. 

Bart says the events stood out as a platform dedicated to empowering and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community through art and cultural expression, and he felt supported by the University’s commitment to equality and diversity.

“The events were a resounding success, drawing attention not only within the university community but also gaining traction beyond its boundaries. The impact was profound, fostering an inclusive environment and highlighting the transformative power of art in advocating for social causes. The success of "Crack" led to my exciting freelance collaboration with Aberdeen Performing Arts and continuing similar events at their prestigious venue.”

Now that Bart has finished university, he’s looking forward to applying the knowledge and skills he’s developed on his MA in his role as a Digital Media Engagement Co-ordinator at Look Again & Gray’s School of Art and wants to leverage art curation to engage wider audiences more effectively.

He has also secured a role as a facilitator with the Ars Electronica and Interdisciplinary Transformation University Austria (IT:U), where he is spearheading a number of initiatives to help prototype a new university of the future.

Bart says he’s optimistic about the future and has ambitions to widen access to the arts.

“I am committed to expanding my reach and influence within the creative industry. I aspire to delve deeper into community engagement and arts advocacy, aiming to bridge gaps and foster inclusivity within cultural spaces. This involves harnessing the power of art and cultural initiatives to create platforms that amplify marginalized voices and facilitate meaningful dialogue.

“My career trajectory post-university is driven by a passion for leveraging art as a tool for social change, utilizing my expertise in curation and digital engagement to not only enhance institutional practices but also to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the cultural landscape. I am excited about the prospects ahead and eager to channel my academic expertise into tangible, positive impacts within the creative and academic realms.”

Reflecting on his time at RGU, Bart says the university has equipped him well for the next steps on his career.

“My tenure at RGU has equipped me with a diverse skill set, particularly in organizing impactful events and exhibitions. These practical experiences have not only bolstered my confidence but also honed my abilities to navigate the professional realm adeptly. I can‘t wait to use the skills I’ve developed to support my career and contribute meaningfully to the creative landscape.”

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