Why I chose to study Fine Art

10 December 2020
A close up of hands looking through sketchbooks and artworks on a table

Deciding on courses is never easy and with so many options it can feel really overwhelming, but with some time and research you will find the perfect course for you and be so glad you did. For me, Fine Art was that perfect course, so here are my top 3 reasons for choosing it.

Fine Art is very open and independent

You are given the freedom to use any medium you choose; painting, sculpting, performance, installation – anything. You can stick to one style or you can move from medium to medium. In the first few months, we got inducted into something new every week! Learning how to make your own canvas, how to make paints and ink, how to solder, screen print, and so much more. You can even sign onto workshops from other courses and do stuff like making a video game, filming time lapse videos, and learning to machine and hand embroider!

You’re in control of what you learn and create, and while there is support from tutors and technicians, it really is about you developing your own practice and critical thinking skills.

Every student gets allocated their own studio space from day one

This was one of the things that most interested me when applying as I liked the idea of having a space that was completely mine to use away from my bedroom. You have access to your studio space 8am – 10pm weekdays and 9:30am-5pm on Saturdays, so you can use them pretty much whenever you want. I particularly loved the idea of being able stay up working on a piece late into the night. The studio spaces are also generous even from first year, and they only get bigger as you move to second and third year. 

You’re allowed to do whatever you please with these spaces, painting on the walls, hammering nails in to hang pieces, working without having to worry about mess as you go – it is truly your space to do what you please with. And then at the end of each year they repaint the walls white and the studios are like a fresh blank canvas for the next students.

You’re in control of what you learn and create, and while there is support from tutors and technicians, it really is about you developing your own practice and critical thinking skills.

Fine Art has loads of opportunities to take advantage of across all three years

Every week a different guest artist is invited to give a talk at the university, so you have the opportunity to discover new contemporary artists and ask them questions about their practice and advice for young artists. They also have really good connections to the Tate in St Ives, meaning you get to go on trips there but you can also do workshops and work with staff and artists. This leaves you with an awesome experience as well as direct connections to the art industry.

There are also opportunities for residencies with places like CAST, Black Lane West, Source FM, and every year one student from Fine Art or Drawing is funded by the university to spend a month after their graduation doing a fellowship in Venice. You then have a degree show at the end of your third year and the opportunity to show your work in London and other major cities. All these opportunities leave you with the skills to network, apply for grants and residencies after graduation, as well as transferable skills like critical thinking and problem solving which can be applied to any job.  

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