Our Trustees

RWA Board of Trustees

Yvonne Ashton

Yvonne is a Chartered Accountant who has lived and worked in Bristol since university, initially spending 8 years with a “Big 4” accountancy firm, specialising in financial accounting and audit. She has subsequently held senior financial and managerial positions in industry, including 7 years as a pension fund trustee for a large retailer, in addition to having been a school governor.

Russ Carr (Honorary Treasurer)

Russ is a retired Chartered Accountant who is actively involved in the Arts sector and experienced in trustee matters.  He is also on the Board of the Barbican Centre and a trustee of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Theatre.  Recent involvements have included serving on the Development Council of the National Theatre from 2006 to 2015 and being Chairman of St George's Bristol from 2003 to 2008.

Jerry Cowhig MBE (Chair)

Jerry is a retired publisher with substantial business and board experience and a wide involvement in Bristol’s cultural sector. He was chair of trustees at Spike Island from 2010 to 2015 and is currently a trustee of the Bristol Ensemble and of BCFM community radio. He has chaired the boards of non-profit bodies in journalism, education, publishing and medical charity as well as in the arts. His board experience includes many years working with learned society trustees, and chairing a board of CEOs of international corporations. 

Maria Crayton 

Maria has been Head of Marketing at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway since 2007 where she is a Director of the CCMA responsible the all marketing and CSR activity. She has worked in advertising and marketing for over 20 years, since graduating with a degree in History of Art. She is keen to support the RWA by combining her commercial experience and her interest in art.

Yvonne Crossley RWA

Yvonne left her post as Vice Principal at Wimbledon School of Art in 2004 to set up The Drawing Gallery in Duke Street St. James – the first gallery in the UK to focus entirely upon exhibiting and selling contemporary drawing. The Gallery is now based in Shropshire, from which she continues both to exhibit the work of others and to further her own practice.

Stewart Geddes PRWA (Vice Chair and Academicians' President)

Stewart is a long-standing Academician. In addition to his work as a practising artist, he is currently a regular Visiting Lecturer Bournemouth Arts University and Plymouth University and is External Examiner to MFA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London, and was Head of Painting and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff School of Art and Design from 2007 - 2010.

Clive Hetherington

Clive is an experienced Corporate Banker and has led the Mid Markets team of Lloyds Bank in the region for the past eleven years. His team operate from offices across the South West and work with businesses with sales in excess of £25M. Originally from the Wirral, he is married with two daughters and lives in North Somerset.

Stephen Jacobson VPRWA

Stephen was elected as an Academician in 2008 and has been Vice President since 2013. Living and painting in Portishead, his work is inspired by the vastness of the skies he sees from his windows. He initially trained in Manchester and Liverpool, studying graphic design and illustration, before undertaking a Post Graduate course in painting at the Royal Academy Schools. 

Jessica Madge

Jessica has a creative background having completed a degree in fine art. In addition to this she has several years of management experience working for the John Lewis Partnership. Jessica is particularly interested in the different cultures of organisations, and especially in how stake-holding can positively influence behaviour. She is also passionate about the development of individuals' potential and leadership skills.

Elena Marco 

Elena is currently Head of the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. Before joining UWE, Elena built a strong profile in sustainable design at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, working on many pioneering and award winning projects, some as part of Europe-wide research initiatives. Elena was selected by the Architects Journal as one of the 20 most influential Women in Sustainable Architecture in the UK, and has been part of the Judging Panel for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the Silver Medal (Part 2 design projects) category as well as the RIBA South West Awards 2017.

Suzanne Rolt

A highly experienced arts professional with a deep love and knowledge of music and the arts sector and strong management skills gained at a senior level within the voluntary sector. Currently Director of St George's Bristol, one of the country's leading concert halls. In addition to the RWA, she is a Board member of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and Advisory Group member of Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol 2014.

Martin Wright

As a former partner in a 'Magic Circle' London City law firm and specialising in high-value cross-border transactions, Martin has worked with international corporations and European governments at the highest levels. Now based in Bristol and with a keen interest in the arts and theatre, Martin is also a Trustee of the Tobacco Factory Arts Trust.