Come up and see us... | The Open College of the Arts
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Come up and see us…

A very pleasant surprise this week was to receive a copy of Pete Davies’ latest book ‘Three Pairs of Dead Mans Pants’. The book comprises three of Pete’s recent projects, one of which is loosely based around life as observed by Pete in Plymouth. The images are coupled with overheard conversations from his local Post Office queue – which is clearly a very interesting place.
Pete’s book joins the growing library of tutor and student books which we now have to view in our reception area and which students and anyone interested in studying with the OCA are very welcome to drop in and look at. We also have a full set of our course materials and if you are unsure about which course to chose one of our Academic Co-ordinators will be happy to spend some time with you discussing the options. We are also more than happy if students want to drop off or collect their assessment work, as it is always great to put a face to a name. We are open to the public from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays. We sometimes close the building for staff training, so it is worth ringing in advance just to be sure (0800 731 2116), the location details are here
Finally, if you are interested to see what your degree certificate looks like here is Tanya with hers (click on image to see large)

Posted by author: Genevieve Sioka
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23 thoughts on “Come up and see us…

  • Great result Tanya and Pete’s work looks interesting.
    I have always made a point of delivering my assessment work to the OCA offices in Barnsley. To begin with it was because I was nervous about sending my precious photographs through the post! As time went on though it became much more about meeting people, putting faces to the names and talking about future options. The staff in Barnsley have always been very welcoming.

  • I have been into the office on many occasions and find the staff extremely helpful. It makes such a difference to be able to discuss certain issues face to face and would recommend it to all students.

  • Being local I liked the idea of picking up my course material and seeing ‘real’ people. I always found the office very welcoming and friendly and am particularly grateful for the help I received recently in making a decision where to go next, i.e. which module to chose for the last part of my level 1. It made all the difference to me.

  • I have been aware that I could drop off my work for assessment, which I have done, but unaware that we could view course materials and talk over options. My partner and I were welcomed with a cuppa when we visited, and I was able to talk about general things and the odd query with Lee, thus making the visit enjoyable. It’ll be well worth making the trip if you can, especially as OCA is so close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, so students can make a good day out!

  • I always made a point of delivering and collecting my course material from the OCA. In part this was a choice made on the same basis as Keith above, but it soon became clear that there are real benefits from visiting. You get the chance to put a face to a name from all those telephone calls, but more importantly it helps you to build up a relationship with the staff who are always most helpful – nothing is too much trouble. Now I have finished and working as a full time artist I miss the link but at least I can encourage others to build the same relationships and take advantage of the advice and resources on offer. Brilliant initiative by the OCA.

  • Distance learning can sometimes feel quite a lonely business and a visit to the OCA HQ is an excellent way to way to remind oneself that this is very much a team effort. A visit puts faces to the names most of us will be familiar with and by the way I am sure this is a two way deal – we benefit as students but it will work that way for staff as well – no longer just a number on the student file. My own personal experience has always been really positive as a sculpture student with staff helping to unload and store my projects and then the reverse on completion of assessment and you are left with the very clear impression of staff who are genuinely interested in you and your work. I highly recommend visiting for anyone who has yet to journey over to Barnsley and suggest you take the time to travel over to Wakefield as well to the Barbara Hepworth – a real gem.

  • I suppose I may well have spent more time at OCA HQ & made more visits than pretty much any other student. Even before getting OCASA going, I always delivered my assessment work and collected it afterwards. The welcome was always a good one (even after I became OCASA President!!) and I shall be there early next year dropping off my latest work.
    Well done, OCA, for making a point of encouraging students to visit. On top of all the considerable benefits already mentioned by others – faces to names, chance to chat & discuss etc – there is a lot to be gained from more people understanding just what OCA is (and is not). This isn’t some remote, bureaucratic educational institution but a small, flexible, friendly, supportive educational charity at the centre of a remarkable international community of creative people, offering students the chance to study creative arts in a manner that is, I think (but don’t quote me), unique. So do take up the invite, if you can (though not all at once!).
    And many congratulations, Tanya; good luck with whatever you’re up to next.

  • I’ve dropped work off and collected it when I’ve been visiting the area and ever time I’ve been welcomed and had the peace of mind in knowing my work was safely delivered. I’ve also had my in laws who lived locally collecting work for me so that shows how easy it is. It’s also really worthwhile getting a look at the different courses on offer and can help the student in their decision making.

  • I hadn’t thought of ‘dropping in’ from London, but I am unsure of my future pathway and really welcome the idea of seeing more of the course materials than the samples online, and perhaps discussing with a adviser. Not committing materials to the post would be a definite plus!

  • Thanks for the congrats everyone, much appreciated.The journey to this degree has been unexpected and amazing and so many at OCA have accompanied and helped me flourish, it feels like I had my own personal team of coaches and supporters, I am grateful. Thanks!

  • Well done Tanya! We are all very proud of you.
    I’ll think about making the journey perhaps when the time is right for delivering my first assessment work for L3 which it will not be soon; I’ll be making the journey from Aberdeen so I’ll be expecting coffee and buiscuits. ;-P

  • Congratulations again Tanya. You look so snappy – wish I could have been there in person.
    If ever I come up North again I’ll definitely call into the OCA office. Hadn’t really thought that there’d be so much extra to see.

  • I can only add my voice to everything that has been said already, both to the office and staff and to the radiant Tanya!. I enjoy my visits to Barnsley and seeing everyone. It is so human and friendly. They always have time for you and make you welcome.

  • After giving a ring first, I have twice dropped off work for assessment at Barnsley. Access is very easy. Both times everyone I met there was friendly and heplful. This last time I had a coffee as I looked through the material for the next course I was considering doing. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is only minutes away and well worth a visit afterwards with a lot to see inside and out.

  • I cant add much more to what others have said. I have been “up north” to deliver and collect work and found a good cup of tea, smiley faces and good advice.

  • Out of curiosity I went to Barnsley plus as it was my first assessment it meant I knew all that work had arrived safely.
    Hah! The staff were smashin’! Lively, bright, friendly, efficient. I was given a guided tour and offered tea.
    Seriously can’t praise the staff enough.
    If they are are able It must be to any student’s advantage to make at least one visit A face to a voice helps everyone .
    On top of that there’s all that Yorkshire stuff nearby- Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Leeds , Hepworth Wakefield . Lovely
    Worth a trip to the OCA!.

  • Although I’m not a student of OCA, I am a frequent visitor to the office in Barnsley and am always made to feel very welcome by everyone who works there. The visits when I meet students bringing in or collecting work particularly stand out – yes, Keith, that includes you! Tanya – a wonderful photo of you. Good to see you again!

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