Emma Drye, Author at The Open College of the Arts
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Emma Drye


Jim Cowan is retiring after 32 years with OCA

As Programme Leader for the painting dept, I am pleased to be in conversation this month with artist and tutor James Cowan. James has worked for OCA since September 1988 (the year I sat my A Levels) and his experience and, I would suggest in particular, his rich art historical knowledge has been an asset for students over the years. Jim is leaving us in the months ahead so I’m taking the opportunity to have a conversation with him now and hear about his own practice and also listen to his unique insight into the development of OCA.

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Student work: OCA Painting & Drawing summer assessment 2021 exhibition

We would like to invite you to view below a curation of work produced in the drawing and painting departments at the Open College of the Arts. The work is from our summer 2021 assessment event and includes students at HE4 – HE6.

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OCA’s online degree showcase – Live!

I am delighted to announce that our first ever degree showcase at OCA launches this week at https://showcase.oca.ac.uk/. Students from the Creative Arts, Creative Writing, Painting, Photography and Textiles undergraduate degrees are all represented and the work is absolutely stunning.

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Student Exhibition – Alistair McIntyre

As programme leader for painting and drawing I have been encouraging students on both pathways to get their work out into the world. OCA student Alistair McIntyre is just embarking on his level 2 study and has an exhibition at Oliver’s Coffee House in Edinburgh which is largely his level one work.

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Student stories: Bloomberg New Contemporaries – Beverley Duckworth

The Bloomberg New contemporaries is the leading graduate art prize in the UK. This year I am delighted to say that a graduate from our own painting pathway has made it through the incredibly competitive first stage of the process.

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OCA student: Patricia Farrar

Words had always had special meaning for me and many times poetry formed the basis of the creative process. I didn’t question this any more and it seemed that the process into the painting flowed with such unquestioning ease. I had found my voice! I had found me!

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Patricia Farrar coloured my world

I am heartbroken to have to share the news that OCA student and artist Patricia Farrar passed away at the weekend.

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OCA news: New course – Painting 2: Exploring Media

Exploring Media is the long-awaited new stage two painting course for all students on the painting pathway. The majority of the course was developed by lead author Hayley Lock, but this course is unique in that it was also shaped by current stage two students through our bi-monthly studio meetings last year. 

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Student work – Art & Ecology

As Programme Leader for both the painting and drawing degree pathways I am very pleased to present the finissage of the painting and drawing ecology group’s recent group work, led by artist and tutor Lydia Halcrow.

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