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Summer Shows 2021

Plymouth College of Art’s 2021 Summer Shows

Plymouth College of Art's graduates are ready and excited to take over sites across the city, with a host of exhibitions and creative showcases taking place in a season of Summer Shows and events. From immersive animations and cutting edge fashion design to contemporary illustration and timeless glass and ceramics, discover work from a new wave of creative talent in Plymouth College of Art’s 2021 Summer Shows.

Visit our Summer Shows page to find out more about where you can see students from a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes, showcasing their work throughout the whole of June and July, stretching into early September 2021. One million people go to events organised by creative and cultural organisations in Plymouth, and culture is worth more than £98 million to the city each year. For many graduating students, the Summer Shows mark an important step towards contributing to that creative economy.

Work by Megan Cadwaladr BA Hons Fine Art Plymouth College of Art Class of 2021

Work by Megan Cadwaladr, BA Hons Fine Art at Plymouth College of Art (2021)

The annual degree shows see Plymouth College of Art transform into a hub of creativity and inspiration each year, showcasing work produced by final-year students across the School of Design + Communication, including Textile Design, Graphic Communication and Commercial Photography, the School of Arts + Media, including Film & Screen Arts, Animation & Games and Craft & Material Practices, and the School of Critical + Cultural Studies, including Extended BA four-year degrees. This year’s festival programme has been adapted to comply with all of the latest Covid-19 safety guidelines, which means that events will be staggered on different days across numerous locations inside Plymouth College of Art and across the city, with free ticketed or timed entry to the different shows.

Work by Harry Bird BA Hons Digital Media Production at Plymouth College of Art class of 2021

Work by Harry Bird, BA (Hons) Digital Media Production at Plymouth College of Art (2021)

Plymouth College of Art’s 2021 Summer Shows are part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity, which connects creative graduates, businesses and members of the public in exciting new ways to spark employability, drive community engagement and develop new creative economy opportunities across Plymouth and beyond.

IGNITE runs until 19 July, putting a unique spin on the traditional art degree show model by combining online technology with physical installations and exhibitions in community spaces to showcase work by graduates from Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth.

IGNITE Top Shop

Student work on show in Drake Circus as part of IGNITE Festival of Creativity

Alongside the graduate showcases, other highlights for 2021’s Summer Shows include the Extended Degree showcase, which runs from 21 to 25 June in The Warehouse on Regent Street, plus be sure not to miss the spectacular ‘Far From Near: PCA 2020 Graduates, One Year On’ exhibition of work, to be held from 12 to 25 July in the Market Hall, Devonport, the city’s new world-class space for digital innovation and learning.

For anybody considering a course of creative study, Saturday 3 July also marks an Open Day at Plymouth College of Art, which offers an excellent opportunity to explore specialist facilities such as Fab Lab Plymouth and the £8-million dedicated crafts workshops for ceramics, glass and metalwork, as well as checking out exhibitions of work by graduating students.

Work by Emily Skinner BA Hons Fashion Media and Marketing at Plymouth College of Art Class of 2021

Work by Emily Skinner, BA Hons Fashion Media and Marketing at Plymouth College of Art (2021)

In 2018 there were 3.2 million jobs in the UK creative economy and the creative industries contributed over £111-billion to the UK economy. Creative industry workers are renowned as being highly resistant to the risk of losing their job roles to automation in future, because of the value of creative problem-solving techniques.

MA Fine Art students from Plymouth College of Art recently completed an illuminated sculptural installation for Oceansgate, visualising marine data derived from the Tamar by local scientists to reflect the area’s purpose as a hub for marine science. Another Plymouth College of Art MA Entrepreneurship for Creative Practice graduate who specialises in embedded diversity in fitness recently relaunched her Club Kombat fitness and kickboxing classes in the city.

A number of BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial students who graduate this summer worked with expert curators at The Box in photographing images of archival items to be used be used in interactive digital displays at the museum, in addition to Nick Matthews, our MA Photography graduate who used 3D scanning, photogrammetry, photography and video to help document the restoration of the Devonport Royal Navy Figurehead Collection before The Box’s opening.

Work by Hannah Paige BA Hons Commercial Photography at Plymouth College of Art Class of 2021

Work by Hannah Paige, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial at Plymouth College of Art (2021)

A wide variety of artworks created by graduating students will be available to purchase throughout the duration of the Summer Shows, alongside free film screenings, public art exhibitions and award ceremonies with local businesses to celebrate the achievements of students from Plymouth and beyond. By utilising new technologies, identifying emerging markets and defining sustainable methods in their traditional ways of working, the students demonstrate purposeful design and highlight the benefits of learning in a collaborative cross-disciplinary environment. Looking ahead to the end of the summer, the Summer Shows will culminate in the Postgraduate Shows in September, with exact dates and locations to be released soon.

IGNITE, which has been shortlisted in the 2021 HEIST Awards for Best Student Engagement Campaign or Initiative, is supported by Plymouth City Council as part of the iMayflower project, and by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund (administered by Arts Council England).