Our Extended Diploma students were thrilled to showcase their work in a public exhibition – the first since starting their courses in September.
Making their first steps towards professional work within the creative industries, our Extended Diploma students invited parents, guardians and members of the public to view their work in The Square – an exhibition showcasing a range of work that summarises what they have learned since joining us in September.
Two public exhibitions were held, grouping the students by courses into either a night of ‘Fashion and Textiles’, ‘Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts’, and ‘Photography’ or a night of ‘Art & Design’ and ‘Creative Media Production’ – depending on the students’ specialisms.
Each student was asked to interpret the title of the exhibition, The Square, in their own way, using the specialist skills acquired in their subject area of choice.
Ryan Hearn, a student on our Extended Diploma in Photography course said, "I only started at the college a couple of months ago and already I’ve taken part in my first public art exhibition and made my first photography sale in the same night.
"A complete stranger chose to buy my work and it feels amazing, it totally made my day. Long term now I want photography to be my career and I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay on at the college to study photography at degree level."
Another student who was thrilled by the response to her work on the night was Femi Hurley-Scott, who studies an Extended Diploma in Fashion and Textiles, "I’m so happy that I chose this course and was accepted for a place at the college.
"In the past I found school boring and struggled to engage, all I knew for sure was that I wanted to do something creative.
"I love it. The environment here is totally different to school and it gives me the freedom to experiment and learn new things." — Jessica Clemes.
"The things I’m learning on my course are so much broader and interesting than I thought they would be and now exhibiting my work publicly for the first time is really boosting my confidence.
"The experience is opening my eyes to the possibilities for the future. I never really thought that university would be an option for me, but now for the first time it feels like it could be."
Jessica Clemes studies on our Extended Diploma in Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts course. Speaking of her time at the college, she said, "I love it. The environment here is totally different to school and it gives me the freedom to experiment and learn new things.
"The course is even better than I’d expected and I’m hoping I’ll be able to go on to work on magazine designs and covers eventually."
"The experience is opening my eyes to the possibilities for the future. I never really thought that university would be an option for me, but now for the first time it feels like it could be." — Femi Hurley-Scott.
Matias Shortcook, Head of Pre-Degree at the college, explained, "The Square exhibition was very exciting for us because this is the first public show of work by the first wave of students coming through the college studying our new Extended Diplomas.
"Awarded by University of the Arts London (UAL), our Extended Diplomas are a specialised qualification designed by artists and designers for artists and designers.
"They’re equivalent to three A-Levels and recognised by UCAS, arts universities throughout the UK and creative industry employers, which makes them ideal for Plymouth College of Art students.
"Our new Extended Diplomas will work to broaden the skills of learners by promoting experimentation with our professional-standard equipment and helping students to build the confidence and personal skills necessary to make it in their chosen fields.
"I don’t know of anywhere else in the South West that can rival the opportunities for creative education that we offer to this age group and I’m proud of what our students have achieved so far. I can’t wait to see their skills continue to develop as they become young professionals in the UK’s booming creative industries."
Both exhibitions were a big success, with parents and members of the public enjoying mulled wine and mince pies as they celebrated the work of the Extended Diploma students.
The students participating in The Square exhibition will be among the first to study at our new Palace Court campus next year, which is scheduled to open with our 2016 Summer Show.