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J Spencer Davies


Jenni was born in St Clears, brought up in Port Talbot, and studied at Cardiff University, Manchester University, Trinity College Dublin and currently Swansea University.

Biographical Summary

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery (1999-2018) Swansea

Jenni Spencer-Davies is an experienced art gallery curator, whose role was transformational in redeveloping Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea, when Gallery Curator. With a focus on bringing this much-loved city art gallery into the 21st century, the project sensitively conserved and developed the original 1911 Grade II* listed building to meet the gallery’s needs today, successfully introducing full access to facilitate participation and engagement for our local communities. The future vision for the redeveloped gallery includes dynamic programmes of contemporary exhibitions, collection displays and learning programmes, working creatively with art and artists in a local, national and international context. Past exhibitions included Susan Hiller, Tony Cragg, Mark Wallinger, Tim Davies, Anthony Shapland, Clare Woods and since re-opening, Glenys Cour and Richard Billingham. Glynn Vivian is a flagship gallery for the city of Swansea, presenting projects by artists working internationally, whilst promoting artists from Wales. The £9million project was supported by the City & County of Swansea, Arts Council Wales, Welsh Government, CADW and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Glynn Vivian is a Plus Tate partner and an MLA accredited museum.

Oriel Gallery (1989-1998) Cardiff

Prior to working at the Glynn Vivian, Jenni was Head of Gallery at Oriel, the Arts Council of Wales Gallery in Cardiff, where she led the creative programmes, curating exhibitions with established and emerging Welsh artists such as David Nash, Terry Setch, Keith Arnatt and Helen Sear, and presenting national and international artists such as Albert Irvin, Hannah Collins, Bill Viola, Kazuo Katase and Louise Bourgeois.

The Douglas Hyde Gallery (1980-1987) Dublin

In the 1980s, following a period at the National Gallery of Ireland, Jenni began her curatorial career as Exhibitions Organiser at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, then the leading gallery in Ireland for national and international exhibitions, working with Edward Kienholz, Joan Miro, Camille Souter, James Coleman, Brian Eno and A.R.Penck, amongst others. During this period, she also taught part-time for the BA Art History degree course for continuing education at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, and in 1982 established the first Arts Administration course in Ireland, now under the auspices of University College Dublin.