I'm something of a generalist in the field of the visual arts, and since 2018 I have a half-time position as executive manager for the Artists' Collective Workshop in Farsta in the South part of Stockholm. In addition, I'm vice chair of Konsthantverkarna's shop and gallery for fine crafts in central Stockholm and member of the Swedish Visual Arts Fund that is part of the government agency the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Among previous board assignments, I can mention Nyckelviksskolan in Lidingö (chair 2016-2020) and The Swedish Craftsmen & Industrial Designers (chair 2011-2015). I have a master's degree in ceramics and glass from Konstfack - University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and a bachelor's degree from Cardiff School of Art & Design in Wales.
Portrait picture of Thomas Wågström.
Parallel with my assignments as a leader and manager in the non-profit sector, I have continuously worked as a freelance curator, lecturer, consultant and advisor. To a certain extent, I have also been active as an artist in my own name. Some examples of clients are the Royal College of Art in London, the German Bundestag, Konstfack - University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, the Swedish Exhibition Agency, the National Artists' Organization, Rackstadsmuseet in Arvika, Art Lab Gnesta, Galleri Syster in Umeå, Rian designmuseum in Falkenberg, and Form/Design Center in Malmö.
Ring in silver by Claës E. Giertta. The ring was one of about fifty historical design and artisan objects that were part of Fribrytare, a travelling exhibition that I curated on behalf of Gustavsberg's Porcelain Museum.
As long as I can remember, I have had a commitment to civil society and rights-based work. Between 2015-2018, I had a position at the Visual Impairment Youth Sweden, where I was responsible for two government-supported international development cooperations. One with BYAN, that organises the blind youth of Nepal, and another with FENACIEBO, the national federation for the blind in Bolivia, with memorable visits to Kathmandu and La Paz. In 2015, I was involved in founding Erik Ljungbergs Foundation, which in the human rights activist Eriks Ljungberg’s spirit and memory promotes full participation, non-discrimination and equality for people with disabilities.
Erik Ljungberg during a trip. Erik was a noted debater and activist living in Gothenburg.
I have co-authored a number of debate articles that have been published in national and county media such as Di, SvD, DN, GP and Sydsvenskan, and I also participated on radio and television as well as on larger conferences as speaker and moderator. Based on my various assignments of trust, I have played an active role in of number of collaborative bodies and networks in Sweden and in Northern Europe within the visual arts and in the cultural field more generally. One example is umbrella organisation KLYS, which represents 30,000 Swedish artistic professionals in the areas of words, tone, stage, film and visual arts on issues of common interest.
In the role of moderator. Panel discussion on the need for safe havens for persecuted visual artists at Galleri Format in Malmö.
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