Thanks to all of your donations, Art Academy London have raised enough money to buy two 3D printers to print protective face masks for NHS staff. Taking only 12 hours to raise enough for one printer and another 4 to buy a second. This is evidence of the brilliant community that the Academy is a part of.

Our Sculpture Pathway Leader, Julian Wild, has printed over 1000 visor bands, which have been sent to several care homes and surgeries. We are now also an NHS supplier, so our visor bands are being sent directly into an NHS pool, to be sent where they are most needed.

We have been really pleased to see photos of the PPE in use at a care-home in Chichester. Thank you health heroes!

There is no doubt in saying that COVID-19 has proven to be an incredibly scary shock to everyone. Just about every strata of our livelihoods has been affected by the virus, in some ways far more difficult than others. From the perspective of the Academy, the virus’s effect on artists and their world had been clearly evident. With cancelled exhibitions, tutorials moving online and our close-knit community being dispersed, it’s been really tough for our artists!

But it has been fantastic to see Academy student’s practices thrive despite social distancing. Many of our students have been taking part in the Artists Support Pledge on Instagram. Started by artist Matthew Burrows, the Support Pledge was designed to encourage artists to support each other through this economic slump. The idea being: artists sell selected artworks on Instagram for £200 each, then once five pieces are sold, they will buy a piece from another artist. With the affordable pricing of £200, the initiative has been designed to be accessible and attractive to a wider group of people.

See the below gallery of our students works being sold on Instagram. It shows the variety of practices that our students work in. Check out BA (Hons) student Scarlett Standen’s innovative drawings and prints and Contemporary Portraiture student Ruth Swain’s clever still life paintings. Our tutor, Kim Whitby, inspired us to get involved with the Pledge and has been selling her watercolours.

We love to see supportive initiatives like the Pledge. It reminds artists that they are not alone, and that their work can be a part of a network, separate from the world outdoors!

This online exhibition, titled ‘Not The Grad Show’, showcases the work that the students have been making during lockdown, whilst their studies have been suspended. Diploma student Jonathan Faragher, created a video of the final works exhibited in a virtual version of the Newington Gallery. This video will go live on Thursday 2nd July at 12pm. It will be hosted on the Art Academy website here, along with individual versions of the work and artist bios.

We would like to invite you all to a Zoom Private View to celebrate the opening of ‘Not The Grad Show’ with us. If you would like to join please fill out the below form to receive an invite link.

UPDATE: Friday 19th June 2020

We are reopening!

Next month the Academy will be reopening for summer school and, from September 2020, welcoming academic students back on site.

As you can imagine, the lockdown has posed challenges for us all here at the Academy but we are learning and adapting and innovating to help us keep things running as normally as possible for all our students and tutors.

Many of you on our academic programmes have undertaken assessed modules online during the lockdown, but we miss the vibrancy and creative buzz that students, staff and tutors bring to the Academy.

At a time when creativity has never been more essential and as the country prepares to ease out of lockdown we have been busy making preparations for a ‘new normal’. Our main priority, of course, is to ensure the wellbeing of our community of staff, students, tutors and models. To this end we will be running a reduced number of courses over the summer.

Going forward there will inevitably be more online and remote teaching for our academic courses. In the meantime we are making changes to our buildings to reduce any risks posed by coronavirus. So, whether you are a returning student, or a new or prospective one wanting to develop the art skills you rediscovered during lockdown, we understand you will probably have questions.

We hope that our Coronavirus FAQs are helpful to you. We have also created a dedicated Keeping the Academy Safe page that will be kept updated with the latest information.

We look forward to welcoming you on-site soon.

As you may have seen in our newsletter a couple of weeks ago, Art Academy London raised enough money to buy two 3D printers to print protective face masks for NHS staff. Donations came to over £10,000, it only took 12 hours to raise enough for one printer and another 4 to buy a second. We were really impressed and grateful for all your donations. It is evidence of the brilliant community that the Academy is a part of.

Our Sculpture Pathway Leader, Julian Wild, has printed 1000 visor bands so far. The protective equipment have since been sent to several care homes and surgeries. We are now also an NHS supplier, so our visor bands are being sent directly into an NHS pool, to be sent where they are most needed.

See the featured photos of our 3D printer and PPE in action at a care-home in Chichester. Thank you health heroes!

“Exploring digital art has allowed me to learn how to edit videos, use projectors for installations, and go into animation, which are transferable skills I can use for future projects, in the workplace, and both during and after university.”

Fine Art Foundation alumna Grace Yan-Au talks about how her time at the Academy thoroughly prepared her for university:

My Foundation course at the Art Academy was exactly what I needed after finishing my A-Levels – it’s ideal for exploring current and new interests and skills that would benefit me for future projects and prepare me for university life. During A-Levels, I didn’t really have the time to think about which course I wanted to do as a degree or have the support I needed to better my chances of getting into university – until I did this Foundation course. The Foundation tutors are incredibly supportive of each individual’s own practices and interests and put in the time to make sure that we get the step-by-step support for our UCAS applications and our personal projects.

The skills modules gave me the opportunity to explore new and different art practices; some of my favourite electives were Collaborative Installation and Moving Image. I had never worked with digital art before and the skills courses were suitable for beginners like me, and diverse in allowing us to experiment as well as honing in on particular skills or themes to be explored. I was excited to learn that I very much enjoyed digital art, as it presented a new way to create (and it was also great that I no longer needed to worry about ruining everything I own with paint!). Exploring digital art has allowed me to learn how to edit videos, use projectors for installations, and go into animation, which are transferable skills I can use for future projects, in the workplace, and both during and after university.

It has been refreshing to be around people from all walks of life and still be able to come together and connect over what we will have in common: a love for art! Being in a community of people who are interested in your art practice and inspirations, and learning the same about them, is very eye-opening and exciting. I highly recommend this course if you are unsure in your aspirations for academic learning or simply want to learn new skills and meet people who love creating art as much as you do.

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Art Academy BA Prize 2020, in association with Hitachi Capital UK. Congratulations to Chikaora Obiora who wins a full scholarship for tuition fees on our BA (Hons) Fine Art course starting September 2020 for the duration of the programme.

Our inaugural prize was judged by, Rob Pepper (Principal, Art Academy London), Henry Little (Executive Director, The Fine Art Group), Kate Gordon (Founder, London Art Studies), Sid Motion (Founder, Sid Motion Gallery) and Tai Shan Schierenberg (artist).

Henry Little said of the judges decision:

We were immediately impressed by Chikaora’s technical fluency and her clear potential for the future.

Chikaora was announced as the winner at our Fundraising Auction & Dinner at Christie’s on Thursday 20th February.

At Art Academy London, we believe everyone should have access to high-quality art education. That’s why we offer art courses to suit all levels of skill and commitment, and provide bursaries to help students with tuition fees for our BA, Foundation Degree and Fine Art Foundation.

Shortlisted entrants received an Art Academy London sketchbook and drawing pack, and will have their work shown in our online gallery.

Don’t forget that you can still apply for our BA (Hons) Fine Art starting September 2020.

 

Apply Online Now

Our Fundraising Auction & Dinner at Christie’s on Thursday 20th February was a complete success! The evening raised over £40,000 for Art Academy London.

Six works by Academy Tutors were auctioned on the evening, and another 12 of our tutor’s works were displayed on the walls for sale. Academy Pathway Leaders, Alison Hand and Julian Wild, spent the day curating the artworks for display. It was incredible to see the final hang of tutor’s work under specialist lighting at the renowned auction house.

Once the evening’s (around 120) guests started arriving the space came to life. A pop-up studio was set up in one of the anti-rooms, so that guests could do some life drawing before dinner. Academy students: Suzon Lagarde, Paul Starns, Ruth Swain and Richa Vora led the life drawing.

Arlene Blankers auctioned the six artworks by Academy tutors, saying it was “the most fun” she has had as an auctioneer. Guests took a particular shine to our canvases (with evening class paintings) which were used to represent our silent lots. By the end of the night, the canvases were sold at auction as well!

We are so grateful to all of our donors, who are listed on the last pages of the Auction Brochure. We are also very thankful to Academy staff for all the hard work that went into the event’s organisation. It was a true highlight in the Academy calendar.

Contemporary Portraiture student Constance discusses the challenges and rewards of studying art part-time

After two years of working full-time and squeezing in the odd painting I realised I wanted to pursue art more seriously. I began exploring part-time study options in London and visited Art Academy London on a cold March afternoon. I loved what I saw. The building is a little rough around the edges, but there’s a real sense that everyone who was there really wanted to be there.

I met with Darren from the Academic team, and learnt about the flexibility of the programme, and the incredibly high amount of tutor contact time you receive. When I went home that night and discovered over Facebook that an artist I had been admiring for years occasionally works as a tutor there, I decided that this was something I really, really wanted to do.

However, knowing you want to do something and having the means to do it are different things. First off, work: Art Academy London offers a part-time course with two contact days, so I knew I’d need to quit my job and find part-time work. Then there’s the matter of course fees: the Academy has a great bursary culture, and I was lucky enough to be granted a course fee reduction, but I’d still need to fund the annual balance on a part-time salary. In the months before the course began in September, I began saving as much of my full-time wage as possible, and hunted for a new part-time role. After a few interviews, I secured one with a September start, and I just snuck into the Academy’s 2018 intake.

Working and studying part-time is incredibly rewarding but not without its challenges. In the nine months that I’ve now been with the Academy, I’ve seen my art progress in bigger leaps than ever before, and I’m so excited by the new skills I’m learning and developing. I just have to focus on that when I’m eating my fourth 45p Lidl soup of the week and trying not to think of how much of a botch job I’ve made of my DIY haircut! Of course, there will be things you miss out on and other goals, like saving for a house deposit and progressing at work, that need to be put on hold.

A saving grace has been art commissions. I began taking on portrait commissions when I was raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK in the summer before I started school. I produced four paintings, and realised I should start doing this more seriously once I was working part-time. I took the Academy’s ‘Digital Development’ module in my first term, and built my website. Since December, I’ve produced eight paintings for paying clients. Over a year, this will make me enough money to cover my course fees and keep my head above water, and it’s so rewarding that I’m actually using the skills I’m developing at Art Academy London to support myself.

Our Life Size Figure Sculpture Masterclass had some fantastic results this August! Students created a full human figure from clay, working both with a life model and self-directed without a model. Lasting four weeks, each student completed a fully formed sculpture. The finished works are a testament to the course; they are fantastic studies of the model’s form.
The Masterclass is a truly immersive experience from start to finish. Starting with the construction of a steel black iron foundation, students then used clay to build the full figure. As well as developing the technical skills of measurements, plumbing, anatomy and clay application, students honed their creative skills, developed an understanding of sculptural texture and forms, and learned how to capture the model’s unique expression. The finished sculptures were both products of anatomical study and works of art!
If you are interested in taking this class, email shortcourses@artacademy.org.uk, for more information on future course dates.