It's end of year show season
Different jobs create different cycles of activities. For staff, like myself who work at a full time art college the last couple of weeks always feels like working on a till at Christmas and struggling to get the harvest in on time all rolled into one; lots of people needing your attention and too much work to do in the amount of time allocated. Final year projects, assessments and end of year shows all happen at once, creating a very exciting if tiring dynamic.
The fruits of all this work go on public show during June, with final year students presenting their best work to an audience. These exhibitions are both a celebration of what they’ve achieved as learners and a public declaration of their identity as emerging practitioners; it’s an art college debutants ball in which soon to be ex-students hope they might be introduced to potential patrons and employers; they’re coming out into the world as eligible artists and designers.
Leeds College of Art opens its doors today and many other art college departments will be doing the same throughout the month. If you are close to an art college then it’s certainly worth having a look at what full time courses have been up to.
Reflection on this annual cycle reinforces the much steadier approach that distance learning offers. We don’t have the focus of the public exhibition or the intensity created by the absolute deadlines of the end of term, but we do offer the opportunity to develop as practitioners over longer and more sustainable periods of time.
I’d be really interested to find out what people thought of their local art college shows and also, whether there’s an appetite for the OCA to create similar exhibitions (perhaps online) for you to participate in?