Staffs artists make their mark

"In Fine Art we do our best throughout the course to connect our undergraduates with important industry professionals."

Anna Francis, Fine Art Course Leader

Talented graduates from Staffordshire University are making their mark in the art world thanks to industry connections made during their studies.

Several recent graduates from Staffordshire University's BA (Hons) Fine Art course have been selected to take part in artist residencies and exhibitions across the country to kickstart their artistic careers.

The University has a strong relationship with Hanley's AirSpace Gallery which offers volunteering opportunities for students plus the chance to apply to its graduate residency scheme.

Amy Mathews, who graduated this summer, has been selected for its 2017/18 residency and over the next six months will have access to free studio space, regular support from the gallery’s development team, plus the chance exhibit her work.

Amy hopes to explore themes from her final year project around the idea of “movie magic” created by green screens juxtaposed with everyday scenarios.

She said: “It's really exciting to be taking up this residency. I fell in love with the art scene in Stoke when I came to uni and the current City of Culture bid is bringing more and more creative people in the area together.”

Amy has also been chosen to take part in an international residency with The Art House in Wakefield, which includes accommodation and a stipend. Staffordshire University has an ongoing partnership with The Art House and its Director David Gilbert provides guest lectures for students focused around graduate destinations.

Along with course mate Lauren Robinson and four other artists, Amy will spend three weeks under the guidance of David and professional artists.

“It's a great stepping stone from undergraduate study to working as a professional. We're going to learn how to become viable self-maintained artists – like how to apply for funding or build your website.” Amy explained.

“Plus meeting and working with the other artists will hopefully mean that we can learn from and support each other.”

The course has seen further success this summer with graduates Keri Jayne, Louise Hampson and Lewis Pritchard being chosen for the annual New Art West Midlands exhibition which will be hosted across a range of venues in the Midlands next year.

Anna Francis, Fine Art Course Leader, said: "In Fine Art we do our best throughout the course to connect our undergraduates with important industry professionals. Over the years we have built up fantastic partnerships which have led to a number of excellent opportunities for our graduates.

“We are so proud of their continued success, which really demonstrates that our course is preparing our students for the professional art world."

For details of Staffordshire University courses with a September start visit or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.


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