A Study visit year
This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
We have just reviewed a year of study visits at OCA, to see what worked and to get an idea of improvements we could make. The good news is that they have been a great success, with many students contacting OCA after the event to give positive feedback. We aim to provide a spread of visits, across the subject areas, and have run a huge range of events during the academic year. So far this year we have run 66 study visits, attracting nearly 700 students to them. They have been in locations from Edinburgh to Bristol, and have attracted an average of 15 students per visit. The best thing about the visits is that we are able to provide them free to students, even covering the cost of exhibition entry tickets. Often the visits have included curator led tours and talks as well as the expertise of our OCA tutors who accompany you around. I know that students really value the opportunity to meet other students, as well as the chance to meet OCA tutors face to face.
We are conscious of the need to provide a balance of visits across the different subjects. The reality is that most of the visual arts study visits are useful for any or all students from all of the visual arts specialist areas. An art exhibition may be just as helpful to an art, textiles, illustration or photography student, for instance. However, we know that this means non visual arts students may feel left out and we will be trying to find suitable alternative forms of study visit in the new academic year. We have already run a few creative writing visits, such as a visit to Dickens’ London and Jane Austen’s home. Any further ideas are welcome! One thing to be aware of is that it is inevitable that the best opportunities tend to be in large centres of population, usually cities. Arranging study visits in remote locations generally doesn’t work because we don’t get enough students taking up the offer of places on them. Feedback in comments on visits is welcome, and will help us plan for next year. If you click on the tab at the top of Weareoca.com you will find a list of Future Study Visits, giving you an opportunity to book onto them early and reserve a place. There are already a range of visual arts visits scheduled for the Autumn.
Finally, in case you have yet to give a study visit a go, take a look at the recent feedback from a happy OCA student on a study visit experience:
‘I would like to thank you for the most wonderful study day at the Tate Liverpool June 9th 2013 to learn about and see the work of Chagall. These study days are so important, not only for gaining knowledge on the artist, seeing their work, hearing what tutors think of the art we are seeing, but what we are contributing ourselves, allowing our own thoughts and views on the work to be heard, it is also enabling us to look more closely at how artists work.
I also feel we fulfil one of our course criteria: Context, we can reflect on what we have seen, it also helps with our research and more importantly our critical thinking, we hear the views of our peers and what they think, so very enlightening indeed.
I also feel it is so important to make an effort to get to these very important study days to be able to feel part of a group, to meet new friends and see some of our tutors from OCA, they do a sterling job, they keep us interested and engaged, helping us feel we are not alone out there.’ (OCA student Linda Stokes)