Raphael Vella

Raphael Vella is a lecturer and coordinator of the B.Ed (Hons) and M.Ed Art programmes within the Faculty of Education. He lectures in Art Methodology, Practice and Theory and is the author of a number of books and academic articles about contemporary art and art education. Edited books by Raphael Vella include On Art and Art Education in Malta, published in Malta (Allied Publications) in 2007, and Cross-Currents: Critical essays on art and culture in Malta (Allied, Malta, 2008), which won second prize in the General Research category of the Maltese National Book Prize Awards. Current research includes a book on photography and cultural studies (Shooting Society: Documenting Contemporary Life in Malta), due in November 2011, and a special issue of the Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies (MJES) on Mediterranean art and education: Navigating local, regional and global imaginaries through the lens of the arts and learning (co-editor).
Raphael Vella studied art at the Valletta School of Art before he enrolled as a student at the University of Malta in 1987. He received a B.Ed. (Hons) specialising in art and art education in 1991 and also a M.Ed. specialising in aesthetic education in 1997. Between 2002 and 2006, he successfully read for a practice-based PhD in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. He has been artist-in-residence in a number of international institutions: at the Artists’ Colony of Zagorje (Slovenia) in 2008, Konstepidemin in Goteborg, Sweden in 2004, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, USA in 2001, and a year-long residency at the School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2000, after being awarded a Commonwealth Art and Craft Award awarded by the Commonwealth Foundation in London.

Raphael Vella is also a practising artist and regularly curates exhibitions by Maltese and international artists. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. Reading Cabinets was shown at Modern Art Oxford in the UK in 2007, and formed part of L’Art (Contemporain) en Europe, held between 2008-9 at Domaine Pommery, Reims, France. His monumental sculpture A Horse for Airing the Gods was shown in 2004 on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague as part of the prestigious yearly event ‘The Hague Sculpture’. His work has also been shown in a number of other countries: Romania, New Zealand, the US, Argentina, Gibraltar, Sweden, Slovenia and Belgium. Current artistic projects include I Fought the X and the X Won (curator of exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca in Romania and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta), and ‘Big Boys’, a solo exhibition of drawings at Nakagawa Gallery, Tokyo.