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Carshalton College’s Art Department is celebrating another successful year with a increasingly high number of graduates progressing onto University and students remaining at the College to complete the next level.
90 students currently study on BTEC courses or the one year Foundation Diploma. The objective is to explore all areas of art, experimenting and developing portfolios for the next step in their career. Students spend time on projects learning about fine art, textiles, fashion, interior design, graphics, illustration and 3DD.
The courses are quick paced to cover the variety of topics plus time looking into art history. The learning space is vibrant and lively to provide an engaging environment for learners to be creative and explore, play and manipulate on a large scale. The contemporary and traditional projects involve photography, drawing, making theatrical costumes, posters, magazine layouts and decorative objects.
The department has print making facilities and equipment including mannequins, sewing machines, paints and easels. Each year ends with an Art Show in June last year at the Secombe Centre in Sutton to showcase the student’s work.
Local residents, Betty and Norman Pearson, from Sutton recently made a generous donation and gave the College three Knitmaster machines. The retired couple in their 80’s wanted to find the machines a new home where they would be of use. It is a great asset for department to give the students an opportunity to create samples during the textile and fashion modules. Not only did the couple pass on the machines but also a selection of wool and industry magazines.
Norman and Betty, who have been married for 57 years, purchased their first knitting machine after their daughter was born and Betty wanted a hobby. Self taught from knitmaster tutoring tools, Betty became renowned for her knitting and showed the students a press cutting from the Evening Standard from 1974 where her work was featured in an advert for Miss Selfridges with a woman’s wool suit. Betty worked from home for years working for fashion designers as a sample knitter and creating patterns. The couple purchased new machines as the models were upgraded and produced for specialised style of knitting such as chunky knitting.
Students on the course also get the chance to see artwork at exhibitions and museums regularly with visits organised to galleries in London including the Saatchi, Modern and Tate Galleries.
Staff teaching on the course are all artists and Jill Zucker, Course Leader, is always amazed by the work produced by the students
“The fresh ideas and creativity from our students makes teaching so rewarding. The feedback is always so positive that they love the course. In making the most of experimenting in different skills they produce stunning portfolios that have enabled so many to progress onto University to study art in more depth or move to the next level with us. Students like Declan have gone through the whole journey from joining the College at 16 on Level 1 and returning for Levels 2 and 3. The mix of ages on the courses means the learners can bounce ideas off each other and see work from different perspectives.”
Declan Stewart from Purley has returned to the College three times to complete his Level 1, Level 2 and now Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Joining the College at 16, Declan chose Carshalton College because of its reputation and art as he enjoyed studying it at School and the talent he showed in this area. On graduating, Declan will be continuing to learn about his favourite art subject, graphic design, at University. On his time at the College, he said
“The tutors have been so helpful and small class sizes have been beneficial in building a relationship with the tutor and learning more. The courses here have incorporated everything you need to learn about art, giving you a chance to experiment and have a go at all aspects. Graphic design is the area I enjoy the most, experimenting with text, signs, symbols and images. We have worked on a variety of projects which has helped me decide on the direction I want to progress into and hope to work in advertising in the future.”
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