The Art Organisation (TAO)

The Art Organisation was originally founded by Gregory Scott Gurner and Robert Howie Smith. The two met in 1997, whilst living in Cumbria to study at Cumbria College of Art and Design. Greg graduated in 97 with a First Class Honours BA Degree in Fine Art. Rob started a BA Honours Degree in Creative Arts in 1997. The idea came from a discussion that suggested artists would benefit better from working within a creative community; gain support, confidence and the potential of collaboration, rather than battle on alone to achieve success. The idea grew and formulated over a period that saw their friendship strengthen, and in 2000 the potential reality of The Art Organisation lead to the registration of TAO Limited with Companies House 2001-2011 and the work to start in earnest and the projects begin.

Today, ten years later TAO have faced the pitfalls, overcome the efforts, dealt with, and accepted, hardship, and benefited from our experiences to claim substantial success with working projects in Liverpool, London, Nottingham and Leicester.

TAO now recognise the potential of further projects benefiting many communities in numerous cities and are working toward this new reality (see Future).



Welcome to
The Art Organisation











©2010 TAO


Gregory Scott Gurner (

Having graduated from CCAD, with an interest in sculpture, the natural environment, and photography, Greg continued to explore the arts scene in the North West securing exhibitions at Isis Gallery Melmerby Shaddon Mill Gallery, and as part of The Northern Graduates Exhibition- Curwen Gallery & New Academy Gallery in Central London, whilst teaching Young Offenders as part of the New Deal scheme, and building an outdoor playground at Bluegate Montessori. He capped his stay in Cumbria being commissioned to build two sculptures at Grizedale Forest. Before departing he fulfilled his first major public art action with 'A Positive Step'

In 1999 he joined with The Warp Experience: A 24 hour theatre show and experience, based within the arches under London Bridge station, and co-organised a series of 9 / 24-hour shows, involving the creation of The Meta-Conceptual Gallery, in which he curated 9 extremely diverse and challenging exhibition environments. This led to the first collaboration of The Art Organisation in 2000. (see History).

Greg has also been instrumental in the creation of TAO's meta conceptual gathering - an annual meeting of creatives - since 2001.


Robert Howie Smith (

Robert attended CCAD as a 30year old student, following a ten year successful career in Management of licensed premises, pubs/clubs/venues, culminating in managing the design and build of a licensed venue, bar and restaurant from dereliction. As a student in Cumbria Robert became interested in aspects of conservation and studied wolves as a subject for his creative art (photography and writing) and performance. As part of his degree show he exhibited with RZSScotland at Edinburgh Zoo following a six month study of a captive wolf pack. On graduating in 1999 he traveled to America to further his wolf studies and when returning, went to Kent to study a captive pack, producing several woodland exhibitions based on a four year study, and creating a theatre group performing to promote aspects of the wolf.

His interests in art fall into large scale hand-printed black and white photography and has experimented with techniques on many subject matter relating to wolves and their wilderness, combining these interests with activities of The Art Organisation since 2000. Robert is Trustee of The Wolves and Humans Foundation (Charity) .

In 2008/07 he achieved a Masters degree in Photography from DMULeicester/UCARochester. He is also a qualified (NVQ3) youth worker and trained in many aspects of mental health care.

Robert Howie Smith is currently studying a PHD at Birmingham University.