Quick was born in 1957, growing up in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. He graduated first class honours in Fine Art from Leeds Polytechnic in 1980; he has remained in Leeds all his professional life.
At present Quick is Reader in Art in Public Places at The University of Central Lancashire, and has innovated a new MA program, the MA in Site and Archive Intervention. He has been a lecturer and visiting lecturer at various institutions across the North of England. His work as an artist is held in collections by Wakefield City Art Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute, and he has recorded his artistic life through the British Library sound archive Artist's Lives project. He has won awards from HEFCE, Arts Council England, the British Council, and various regional awards.
Quick has over thirty years experience in contemporary art in public places, as both practitioner and manager. He is the co-founder and a project manager/curator for the In Certain Places programme, a new art initiative in Preston, Lancashire. Like a number of his projects, this is situated within a broader urban regeneration framework, and includes a curated temporary public art program supported by a series of talks and debates. Quick has worked as curator on a number of projects - Missing Pages (1998-99) and Champion (1996-97). Since 2003 he has been carrying out 'performance interventions': without permission he interferes with the electrical infrastructure of the environment, even introducing some of his own elements. With yellow hard hat and high visibility vest he is left alone; his interventions have been documented.
In 2003 he was included in the exhibition Other Criteria, Sculpture in 20th century Britain, at the Henry Moore Institute, which also holds the complete archive of a permanent projects The Navigator. His recently completed public art commissions include Red Pass for Berwick upon Tweed Borough Council, and in 2009 launched a large scale work titled Flash@Hebburn for South Tyneside Council funded by ACE. The Art and Architecture Journal Press have subsequently published a book, which examines the project.
Charles Quick has worked at extending the professional scope of the artist in the public realm, engaging with the public, a wide range of stakeholders, including other professionals like architects and engineers. Artistically, he has developed unique interests in the social function of technology as well as the aesthetics of electrical power, utilising renewable energy sources. This often entails a more complex interest in subject matter and more complex art projects, where he works in the capacity of project manager, site manager, sub-contractor, as well as taking the educational, PR and marketing in hand. He has sat on many advisory boards and consultation panels, including membership of the expert panel advising on the public art strategy for the Northern Way, 1st Out Bursary, Irwell Sculpture Trail, contributing to the Arts Strategy for Lancashire, with Lancashire County Council and North West Arts, and Leeds City Art Gallery. In 1994 he was Manager of Leeds Sculpture workshop, which he joint-founded, and two years previous was Director and Trustee of Public Arts, Wakefield. He has been Member of the Management Board of Yorkshire Art Space, and Board member of Leeds Art Space Society (studio group) where between 1984-88 took on role of organiser and fund raiser.