Meet the Team

Dawn Birch-James (MA Arts Market Appraisal): CEO

Dawn, Art in the Heart’s founder, is responsible for company strategy, brand and business growth including the online shop (the Art in the Heart Marketplace), Finance, Publicity and Marketing She has been dealing in fine and decorative art for 16 years, previously specialising in antiques and design led products. Dawn writes for a regional lifestyle magazine and has written forwards to art exhibition catalogues. She has experience in the valuation of art and antiques and has had her research referred to in articles and academic journals. Contact

Michelle Farrugia: Gallery and Shop Manager

Michelle manages the art gallery and gift shop on a day to day basis. She is also specifically responsible for policies, training, health and safety and framing. She previously spent 16 years in retail and hospitality management positions around the UK specialising in sales and training. She eventually became regional co-ordinator heading up the training of 300+ employees. Michelle has rekindled her passion for art having previously embarked on formal art study and is delighted to be able to use her knowledge in this business context. Contact

Helen Catling: Administration Manager

Helen makes sure everything is running smoothly in the back office with communications and administration along with aspects of visual communication in the gallery. Helen gives of her time voluntarily to contribute to the running and ethos of the company. She previously volunteered as a Membership Services Manager for the ME charity AYME and assisted with a Beginner’s IT Course for Age UK at Peterborough Central Library

Paul Saunders: Key Volunteer and Sales Assistant

Paul is a key member of our sales team giving his time voluntarily. He previously worked as a Manager in John Lewis while at the same time taking a keen interest in photography. Now in his retirement he is able to pursue more seriously his art photography as one of our exhibiting artists and participates in exhibitions across the UK. He also offers a photo restoration service.

Shalini Austin: Key Volunteer and Sales Assistant

Shalini is a key member of our sales team giving of her time voluntarily. Having her own website company, she advises us on website development, SEO and assists with social media marketing mainly through Twitter.

She was the leading light of the Stamford Artisans Guild and then became one of the founding members of ESC Artists, now organising artist led exhibitions and pop up markets at Stamford Arts Centre. Originally a jewellery maker and designer, she has established herself as a copper smith exhibiting her adornments and sculpture in our gallery. She has a store too on our online Marketplace

Eve Marshall (BA Fine Art): Key Volunteer and Sales Assistant

Eve is a key member of the team volunteering on a regular basis in the gallery and gift shop. She is one of the UK’s leading Artisan Felters and facilitates quality workshops and tuition across the Eastern region including here at our gallery. She has become one of our most popular artists offering a wide range of irresistible adornments through to more complex 2D and 3D art. She exhibits and sells in other galleries and has featured in national magazines. More recently she was one of the founding members of ESC Artists organising exhibitions and pop ups. She is also a regular contributor to Hochanda Craft TV Channel where she demonstrates felting and sells her work. Eve has a storefront on our online shop the Art in the Heart Marketplace.

Nathan Stones: Administration Assistant

Nathan came to us initially on a work experience placement very unsure about vocational direction. Since then he has proven to be an indispensable member of the team with an ambition of further development and career path with Art in the Heart. He assists on a day to day basis with sales, stock and general administration He is a young artist with a particular interest in digital art. He also hopes to develop these skills further and to eventually forge a career in this field

William Birch-James (BA Graphic Design): Print Designer

William is equipped with a Graphic Design degree from Derby University. During his final year he worked as a brand identity and print designer for Sight Support Derbyshire and Embrace a Kenyan charity. He won the best design concept for the Degree Show publicity. He now works as a Graphic Designer for a large design company in Huntingdon and heads up the print design requirements of our company.

Faye Gagel-Panchal (BA Fine Art Printmaking): Key Volunteer and Sales Assistant

Faye assists and advises on window displays and aesthetics in the gallery on a voluntary basis. Equipped with a BA Hons in Fine Art Printmaking, she worked initially as an artist as well as in social work for council departments. She then became designer and product development manager for an overseas charity, where she worked with artisans in the developing world to create ethically traded products for the western market. Faye continues to work with international charities as a freelance product designer as well as being a counsellor and exhibiting artist here at Art in the Heart. Her sari inspired work raises money for The Esther Homes Project, India, through a percentage donation. Faye also facilitates drawing workshops at the gallery.

Abby Nair: Instagram Co-ordinator

Abby is currently in her final year of studying BA Fine Art with History of Art at the University of Leeds but has been volunteering in the gallery helping with sales and administration during her summer holiday. She has now taken over the role of running the gallery’s Instagram page, promoting the artists’ latest pieces and products on our online shop the Art in the Heart Marketplace.