Commissioned Artist: Rachel Welford

Rachel Welford

Rachel Welford

Now specialising in architectural glass, I originally trained in fine art, gaining a BA(Hons) Fine Art (Painting) in 1986. Between1986 and 2007 I followed a career in community art and arts project management, informal art education and curatorial work, whilst continuing my personal art practice part-time, gradually gravitating towards working in glass.

I gained an MA Glass (distinction) from The University of Sunderland in 2009. As well as developing my work from an intellectual and critical perspective this MA study was intended to be springboard to a career in architectural glass and work in the public realm.

I create my work for situations where art meets architecture and design, and aim to generate visually stimulating work that becomes part of the fabric of an environment, a concept – which I hope – adds something to people’s everyday lives. The proposed work for the Bridlington Headworks project is inspired by the lanscape surrounding the site – natural and man-made. The combination of stunning sea and skyscape, imagery based on sea birds and the strong geometry and visual vocabulary of the buildings and structures of the Promenade have been the starting point for my initial ideas. I am aiming to create artwork that creates a sense of pleasure – something both beautiful and interesting that has impact from a distance yet has detail that merits a much closer look. The artwork would pay homage to the beauty around it by incorporating that beauty into the artwork itself. By incorporating the coastline, sea, seashore and seabirds into the designs I allude to the theme ‘A Coast to Boast About’.

Bio >

City of York Council – West Offices. Commissioned to make a large glass screen for the main Customer Services area and art-glass manifestation lines for the main entrance doors.

Commission to make a memorial for staff, York Hospital. A collaboration with Adrian Riley.

Demonstrator at Art in Action, Waterperry House, Oxfordshire.

The Studio Gallery, Scarborough, door panel commission

Art + Play – commissioned by 20:21 Gallery, Scunthorpe to make an art exhibit that also functions as a play object for under 6’s. Involved
working in nursery and school settings. A collaboration with my sister, artist Kathryn Welford

In a Different Light, solo exhibition at Woodend Art and Craft Gallery, Scarborough. Part of Coastival festival

2010 – 12
Rollercoastival – initiating and managing Scarborough Storytelling Festival, Fringe events, Visual Arts Programme and Student
Conference at Scarborough Literature Festival.

Managing theatre and dance projects with local primary and secondary schools, towards performances at Coastival arts festival. In
partnership with Dorcas Taylor.

Creative practitioner for Creative Partnerships Hull – working with the Graham and Raincliffe Schools Federation, Scarborough.

2005 – 2009
Freelance audience development consultancy work, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. Includes facilitating young people to curate ‘Crazy, Damn Right I’m Crazy’ a Select exhibition from the Arts Council Collection – in partnership with Dorcas Taylor. Also worked on ‘Cinema India’ and ‘I-D’ leading the establishment of the ‘Future Ferens’ group of young people.

1997 – 2004
Director, Scarborough Festival of Youth Arts Initiated and managed numerous community arts projects with young people aged 12-25

1998 – 2001
Project Manager, Northern Lights (touring collaborative curatorial project). Two year audience development project, looking at young
people 16-25 and contemporary craft. Working with a team of 5 young curators (age 17-22), it involved initiating and touring two
exhibitions of contemporary craft and design to three venues across the north of England, with events and artist residencies.


2009 MA Glass (Distinction), University of Sunderland

1998 Qualified Youth Worker & Management in Youth work North Yorkshire County Council

1989 BA(Hons) Fine Art (Painting) 2.1, Wimbledon School of Art

1985 Certificate of Foundation Studies (Distinction), Barnsley College of Art & Design

More information and examples of Rachel’s work can be discovered at

Bird design 2