Callout for STEAM: Aspex CCI Student Development Programme

The STEAM Ambassador programme is an exciting creative development opportunity aimed at students studying any creative discipline within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) at the University of Portsmouth.


It offers a rare opportunity for selected students to learn about the inner-workings of a contemporary art space. This year the programme will have a particular focus on audience engagement and students will have the opportunity to gain experience within a learning programme and digital marketing.

The STEAM Student Development Programme has been developed by Aspex, Portsmouth’s leading contemporary art gallery, supporting emerging artists for almost forty years, in partnership with the Faculty of the Creative and Cultural Industries.

The programme is part of Aspex’s outward-facing summer season ‘STEAM’ forming exhibitions, events and workshops aiming to put the ‘Art’ back into ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).

Follow this link to view a video of the project last year.



Academic and theoretical learning combined with hands-on, workplace experiences will put our Exchange Ambassadors newly acquired skills to the test. By the end of the programme you will be given the knowledge and experience essential to working within a creative environment.

You will work and collaborate with a wide range of people, including staff, professional artists and designers, and members of the public. You will learn how arts organisations work with artists; how they develop and promote programmes for audiences and how learning programmes are delivered both at the gallery and offsite.

Skills that you develop on this programme will be a valuable addition to your professional development and CV.



Each week students will learn about a different aspect of working in a contemporary art gallery. The sessions will be split between theoretical and practical learning. The masterclasses will include creative programming (exhibitions & artists), learning & engagement and digital marketing.


Students will work along Aspex staff members and freelance artists to assist with 3 workshops and events at the gallery.  This will provide you with the expertise to then accompany us and support delivery of our summer outreach activities including Victorious Festival.


Send a short (150 words) expression of interest, describing why you should be selected, to Denise Callender ( before Sunday 1st March 2020. In your expression of interest, please also confirm you would be available to take part in workplace experience between April-August and to support Victorious Festival from 28th-30th August 2020.

Successful applicants will be announced by 6th March 2020.


Previous Students’ Experience

Livy Nelson was a student studying MA Illustration and took part in the Student Development Programme in 2018, working alongside artists Jon Lockhart, Fern Toynton and Ming Wu. Livy supported the delivery of a range of activities, from talks to workshops with schools.

Following the completion of the project, Livy was asked to deliver the gallery’s regular workshops for families (Family Saturdays) and subsequently received the opportunity to lead activities at the Kids Arena, Victorious Festival the following year. During this time Livy worked alongside 2019 Project Ambassadors, sharing her learnt skills and industry knowledge.

“Being an Ambassador in 2018 really helped me gain valuable experience in the creative world. During this time I became knowledgeable about how a gallery runs and networked with the amazing team members! This was an amazing experience that connected me with artists and the local community. Thank you to Aspex and the University for this opportunity!” – Livy  Nelson, Former Ambassador


Toni Atanasova joined the gallery’s Ambassador programme in 2017 working alongside artists, and University of Portsmouth graduates, Rhianatu Habib, Megan Humphries and Strong Island. Toni was studying BSc (Hons) Digital Media and was aiming to gain hands-on experience in the Creative Industries.

Through the Student Development Programme Toni worked closely with Marketing & Exhibitions departments to learn new expertise, supporting the delivery of two major exhibitions – one at Aspex and another at Victorious Festival.

Since undertaking the programme Toni has completed an MA in Digital Visualisation and has been employed by the University of Portsmouth as a Research Assistant for PONToon – a three year INTERREG EU funded project empowering women aged 18-35 with digital skills, of which Aspex is a key partner.

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