Alice O’Rourke is Programme Curator at Grand Union, a gallery and artists’ studio complex in Digbeth (Birmingham), where she works across the gallery and collaborative programme to curate programmes that support learning and create numerous contexts for art and life to intersect.
Committed to working with artists who critically consider the connection between people and art, Alice is interested in adopting and supporting collaborative and interdependent ways of working across communities. Collaboration is embedded within her practice and she has worked with a range of professionals and stakeholders in public, private and charity sectors to develop and support artist commissions and meaningful participatory engagement. She is interested in what the social function of an arts organisation is and can be, and is thinking about: what is the role of artists today, what are the possibilities to rewrite our relationship to place and how do we create programmes and space to feel like they are for everyone?
Alice has been developing her curatorial practice both locally in the Midlands and internationally, having worked at Grand Union, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and completed a residency within the collections at University of Melbourne, Australia. Most notably, Alice was appointed as Assistant Curator for the 2021 Turner Prize (as part of UK City of Culture 2021 at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry); the five nominations which comprised entirely of collectives and artist-groups offered a curatorial framework to rethink the future of curating and making art, which she applied to celebrate collectivity and place social and community engagement at the forefront of the exhibition.
Alice has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Birmingham City University, and an MA in Art History & Curating at University of Birmingham.