[A] college is building on its successful reputation for helping students progress into careers in the creative industries with the launch of a Centre of Excellence for Art and Design.
Furness College, which merged with Barrow Sixth Form last year, is combining its courses onto one site to launch the new centre at the sixth form campus from September.
Students will benefit from redesigned, flexible workspaces and increased specialist teaching as new rooms are created in a purpose-built facility at Rating Lane. This will enable students to study Cambridge Technical and A levels in Art and Photography right through to the BTEC Art Foundation and HND Art and Design.
A new iMAC computer suite is being opened at Rating Lane, there will be a photographic studio for A level photography, a dedicated room for screen printing and a brand new textiles room.
Head of Art Nikki Conigliaro said the move means staff will combine their knowledge and expertise to strengthen the teaching still further.
“It’s an exciting development to be able to combine talent from across the two campuses. New tutors always bring a fresh approach and we are gaining gifted staff with complementary skills.
“Between us we have experience in fine art, design and animation, photography, graphics, ceramics and textiles. I think the students will be really inspired by the work that is being produced around them.”
The announcement was made as the sixth form gears up to hold its 22nd annual exhibition of work by the Art Foundation students on Wednesday (24th May).
Exam projects from band promotion to game design and fine art to architecture will be on view to the public from 4pm to 6pm with students on hand to talk about their work and their next steps to university or into careers.
Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said he was delighted to introduce the first Centre of Excellence for Art and Design to Barrow and the Furness area.
“Results for art at the sixth form are up there with the best nationally with seven students achieving perfect A* grades in their A levels last year and two thirds achieving high grades. We know there is a demand for art courses which lead to exciting and varied careers in the creative industries.”
“In addition, at Channelside we offered the HND courses that meant students could study higher education art on their doorstep.
“This is a positive move and shows, as a college, we are committed to excellence not only in disciplines such as engineering but also the creative sector. It’s really important that we continue to expand the broad range of courses on offer for the people of Furness.
He urged people to come along to the Art Foundation exhibition this week to see the high quality of the students’ work for themselves. The A level art exhibition will be on June 8th and is also open to the public. Both run from 4pm to 6pm.
HND Art and Design Course Leader Vicky Shaw said: “Joining departments with the art team at the sixth form is incredibly exciting for the team here at the Channelside campus. We are really looking forward to working together. I think this will create some fantastic and inspiring opportunities for creative students in south Cumbria.”