ART and design graduates are “gold-dust for Stoke” according to artist Matthew Rice who opened Staffordshire University’s annual degree show last week.
Speaking at the opening of amaze 2010, Matthew – husband of ceramic designer Emma Bridgewater - spoke of the important role graduates have to play in regenerating the area.
He said: “Art graduates can be thought of as useless members of society; parasites, hangers-on and non-contributors. But this is SO NOT TRUE. In fact, it is these very students, graphic or textile designers, filmmakers and sculptors, fine artists and ceramicists who are the most important economic drivers in the City.
“Artists are the stormtroopers of regeneration. Stoke's got artists and it sure needs regeneration.”
Urging students to pursue their artistic careers in Stoke, he added: “It’s a good place to start - a creative manufacturing town with a rock solid heritage of skills and technical expertise. You can make anything in Stoke!”
Welcoming visitors to the show, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design, Dr Astrid Herrhoffer drew parallels with the World Cup making reference to the great team spirit, exceptional team work and individual performances which had contributed to making the show happen.
Praising the tremendous level of creativity and original thinking of the students, she added: “It’d be great if the England team are able to match it. This is only the beginning – not the final whistle – it's kick off time!”
amaze is open to the public until 4pm on Saturday 19 June at College Road, Stoke. The annual exhibition showcases a diverse range of work by more than 300 students graduating this summer. More than 4,000 visitors viewed last year’s exhibition.
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