Ex-principal Lynne Staley-Brookes paid a visit to Plymouth College of Art last week for the grand unveiling of a new painting commissioned to commemorate her long-standing contribution to the college.
The painting, a full portrait of the former principal by artist Irvine Peacock, was unveiled to guests during a drinks reception, followed by a tour of the new contemporary crafts building - a significant addition to the college since Lynne was last here.
Lynne was principal of Plymouth College of Art from 2001 to 2010. During her nine year tenure she transitioned the college from a subsidiary of Plymouth University, who used to award Plymouth College of Art degrees, to a specialist independent college, fiercely focused on the provision of vocationally-led, practise-based courses across the artistic spectrum.
The former principal developed links with the Open University, who now award Plymouth College of Art degrees; she also worked with Sir John and Frances Sorrell of The Sorrell Foundation to develop a model for the National Saturday Arts Club, which gives young people access to specialist art colleges and continues to flourish today.
In a 2010 interview with the Western Morning News, at the dawn of her retirement as Principal, Lynne noted that ‘high quality and extensive specialist resources, along with expert staff, are what have made Plymouth College of Art successful and distinctive".
Her vision has no doubt left an indelible mark on the college, whose values and strengths are still firmly rooted in the experience of ‘thinking through making’.