Q-Art Symposium @ Glasgow School of Art, 25 June 2016

Q-Art Symposium @ Glasgow School of Art

Transitions Out of Fine Art Education

Date: Saturday 25th June 2016

Location: Glasgow School of Art, Reid Auditorium


Event outline

Staff from across the UK will give their views on the role of fine art education today and share their approach to supporting students as they transition out of art school:
  • What and who is an undergraduate fine art education for?
  • How are students prepared for life beyond art school?
  • How are attitudes and approaches shaped by factors such as location, intake, and the cultural/political climate?

At this event undergraduate fine art staff from across Scotland and the rest of the UK will come together with students, graduates, academics, and industry professionals to share practice and address these questions. We invite a sector-wide audience to attend the event.


Confirmed speakers:

Dr Alistair Payne, Head of School of Fine Art, The Glasgow School of Art

Bella Kerr, Programme Director, Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design), Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and Dr Catrin Webster, BA Fine Art Course Leader, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and Amanda Roderick, Director, Mission Gallery, Swansea

Dean Hughes, Head of The School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art

Sophia Hayes, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, UWE, Bristol

Prof. Vicky Gunn, Head of Learning and Teaching, The Glasgow School of Art

Soraya Rodriguez, Diploma Leader, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Diploma in Professional Studies, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Kirsty Hendry, Student Engagement Coordinator, The Art School, GSA Students’ Association and  Lewis Prosser, President, Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association

Michael Agnew, Course Leader BA (Hons) Contemporary Art Practice, Grays School of Art, Aberdeen

Marie Taylor and Amelia Webster, Year 2 Students, and Dr Stephen Felmingham, Programme Leader: BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, Plymouth College of Art.

Dennis Magee Lecturer/Course Leader BA hons Fine Art, University of the Highlands and Islands, Lews Castle College

Prof. Matthew Cornford, Course Leader, Fine Art Critical Practice University of Brighton,

David Butler, Coordinator LifeWorkArt, Newcastle University Fine Art Department

Dr Marianne Greated, Year Tutor Painting and Printmaking of The Glasgow School of Art
Dr Dean Kenning, Research Fellow, Kingston University

Myra Ostacchini, Phoenix Graduate, Glasgow School of Art

Eddie Summerton, Senior Lecturer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design


Booking: via Eventbrite

£10 entry.  Includes lunch & 10% off Q-Art’s new book (see below)

Free for contributors and for GSA staff and students

This event is organised by Glasgow School of Art in collaboration with Q-Art. It is hosted by Glasgow School of Art as part of its engagement in the Quality Enhancement Theme Transitions Out .

Q-Art has received support from Glasgow School of Art, Swansea College of Art, a-n and Kingston University to produce a book on the topic. The book will be launched shortly after this event.

Book contributions have been received from staff from the following institutions: University of Highlands and Islands, Edinburgh College of Art, The Glasgow School of Art, University of Bedfordshire Luton, University of Falmouth, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Brookes University, University of the Creative Arts Farnham, Salford University, Southampton Solent University, University of West England Bristol, Arts University Bournemouth, Plymouth College of Art, University of Wolverhampton, Open College of the Arts, Leeds College of Art, Central Saint Martins, Newcastle University, University of Lincoln, Leeds University, Glyndwr University Wrexham, Brighton University, Goldsmiths College, Chelsea College of Art, Isle of Man College, Swansea College of Art UWTSD, Gray’s School of Art RGU Aberdeen, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Sheffield Hallam University, Kingston University.

Event feedback

Read the a-n review of the event

Symposium testimonials – selected quotes:

“It was a great pleasure to attend the event. There were very diverse presentations, with a broad range of topics for discussion and some amazing example of how ‘professional practice’ is delivered. I enjoyed meeting peers and listening to their opinions and approaches. As I may have said to you, I am just feeling my way back in to the education scene in the UK. I get a hell of a lot from attending events such as this one. I have a bucket load of notes and quite a few great contacts to follow up. Thank you!”

Fine Art Lecturer, University of the Highlands and Islands


“Thank you for hosting the event – it was a great success, and I found it extremely informative and valuable. It allowed me to look back on my education and make sense of it in a new light. I’ll be buying the book as soon as it’s out!”

Recent Fine Art Graduate, Glasgow School of Art


There are things to change in art education but there is also a good amount of people willing to change them!”



“I enjoyed the sharing of ideas and peoples views on important aspects of the future graduates in art and design. As a result of the event I’ll probably do more partnership working”

Fine Art Course Leader


“I enjoyed hearing about a slightly different sector to the one I work in. I learned that there is scope for my organisation to make more and better contacts with the art college sector.”

Sarah Yearsley, Coordinator for engage Scotland


“I enjoyed listening to a wide range of approaches and critical discussion about Transitions Out and being introduced to new strategies for learning and teaching across the Fine Arts course. As a result of the event I will be critically evaluating my approach to teaching Professional Practice as a module. Thank you for hosting such a fascinating & stimulating conference!”

Sophia Hayes, Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts, UWE Bristol


“I enjoyed learning what peers were doing differently in the field of professional development. I gained an understanding that whilst there is a lot that tutors and courses can do for students by way of professional development, there is also a lot that tutors and courses should not do – i.e. to allow and encourage the student to take responsibility and be active within their own development is often more important.”

Soraya Rodriguez, Diploma Leader, Diploma in Professional Studies, BA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins UAL


“I enjoyed the wide range of perspectives embodied by the speakers, combined with the opportunity to engage them formally and informally through the structuring of the sessions. Most useful was getting case specific insights into the way that other schools and individuals have developed and adapted their teaching in response to the subjects of professionalisation and transitions in an Art School context. I learned that transitioning out of higher education in the arts remains a fluid and volatile subject. There is no best practice, nor necessarily should there be, but course leaders, tutors, and ‘non-teaching’ staff are trying to balance the needs of cohorts from positions that reflect their own personal experiences – hence why the subject can be so divisive. It will be interesting to incorporate some of the perspectives and ideas put forward during the sessions into my own teaching, especially with a view to initiating dialogues with student’s about their own perspectives on these issues. It was a really enjoyable day and stimulated a lot of exciting conversation during and after the event. The subject of the event was timely and prescient, it is also in my experience a topic that is critically undeveloped so it was great to hear such a diverse range of perspectives on the issues that confront all arts education. Thank you for putting it together!”

Jake Watts, PhD Researcher (University of Edinburgh)


“I wanted to thank you for putting on such a great event. I have pages of notes and the ideas are still filtering through. We have just had a staff research day and I found myself referring many times to things that came up in Glasgow, really fascinating. Thank you as well for inviting myself, Amelia and Marie to speak, lots to think about now and develop into the next academic year.”


Stephen Felmingham, Programme Leader: BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking,

Plymouth College of Art





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