27th April 2023
Raphael Vella is an artist and curator based in Malta. His artistic work develops around themes related to politics, medicine and textuality and makes use of drawing, collage and stop motion animation. His work has been shown in many exhibitions in different countries, including Malta, Germany, France, the UK, Argentina, the US, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. He was art critic for The Malta Independent between 1992 and 2000 and won the Commonwealth Art and Craft award (London) in 1998. He was artist-in-residence at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand for a year in 2000 and was a founding member of the artists’ group StART in the early 2000s. In 2012-13 he was Artistic Programme Director for Valletta 2018 Foundation, the entity responsible for the European Capital of Culture in 2018. He has published numerous articles and catalogue essays about contemporary art, culture and education and initiated many artistic projects, educational ventures and international exchanges that have helped to transform the cultural scene in Malta, like Divergent Thinkers, the Curatorial School, the Valletta International Visual Arts festival (VIVA) and many projects involving undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Malta. In 2017, he was co-curator (with Bettina Hutschek) of the Malta Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia. He is also a Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. Apart from coordinating postgraduate degrees in art education and social practice arts and critical education, he is involved in research projects related to sustainability and art, the impact of socially engaged arts, and arts education in Malta. Between 2020 and 2023 he coordinated a University of Malta team working on Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture (AMASS), an international research project on socially engaged arts. His numerous books and articles focus on contemporary art, education, socially engaged art practices and sustainability.
Photo credit: Raphael Vella