A three-part programme of events, generated by the staff of the Foundation Art & Design courses at UWTSD, examining the ethos of the Foundation course and the art school, and the current condition of art education in Wales and the UK.

Arts in education is the best instrument we (potentially) possess for a small nation’s (confident) future to be played out on a global stage. Only if we step forward can we take a bow.

Dai Smith.
An independent report for the Welsh Government into Arts in Education in the Schools of Wales (2013). http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/130920-arts-in-education-en.pdf

Green & Golden:
An Art Education Symposium exploring the Impact of location on Art Education and The Art School. With speakers from the WJEC, Crafts Council, Arts Council Wales and universities in Wales, London and elsewhere.

@ ALEX Design Exchange, Alexandra Road, Swansea
Saturday 27
th June 2015, 11am – 6pm.

This event was organised by Q-Art in Collaboration with the Foundation Art and Design Course at Swansea College of Art at UWTSD in partnership with Mission Gallery. Inspired by Beck and Cornford’s book The Art School and The Culture Shed, it invited people from across the sector (school, FE, HE, arts council, arts organisations) to discuss the theme of location and art education.

Green & Golden Symposium, Reading Room, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD

Key Questions included:

What relationship does the art school have to its local community, schools, and arts scene?

Does location impact on who does or does not attend art school or shape what its graduates go on to do?

How does the location of the art school shape its curriculum? What role does online and distance learning have on widening participation in art education and how important is the physical learning/studio space?

What is the role of international partnerships? What is the role of art school in society and how has this evolved?

Speakers: David Alston (Arts Director, Arts Council Wales), Dr Ian Walsh (Dean, Swansea College of Art) Bella Kerr (course leader Foundation SCoA), Catrin Webster (BA Fine Art course leader SCoA), Amanda Roderick (Director, Mission Gallery), David Hooper and Mari Bradbury (Welsh Joint Education Committee), Sophie Hadaway (Raising the Bar), Swansea Foundation Alumni, Matthew Cornford (Head of Critical Fine Art practice BA Brighton and author Art School Culture Shed), Kieren Reed (Undergraduate coordinator Slade School of Art), Christian Lloyd (Curriculum Leader BA Visual Communications Open College of the Arts), Michelle Letowska (Lecturer BA Fine Art Lews Castle College/University of the Highlands & Islands), Dereck Harris (Head of Painting at Wimbledon College of Art), and Dr. Stephen Felmingham (Programme Leader: BA Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, Plymouth College of Art).

The event coincided with two exhibitions: Time Let Me Play at the National Waterfront Museum and Gathered Again at Mission Gallery featuring the work of the Foundation staff and alumni respectively. 

Read a-n article on this event: a-n news article

Gathered Again:
Foundation Art & Design Alumni Exhibition @ Mission Gallery

This exhibition will bring together alumni from the Foundation Art and Design course at UWTSD in Swansea. The Foundation Art & Design team would like to celebrate over 100 years of the course and the students who have attended it, based, as it is within the oldest art school in Wales.

Records show that a course called the Foundation Art Diploma started in Swansea in 1967, 47 years ago. However, there have been classes following the Foundation pattern since 1909, so that it can be confirmed that the course has, in one form or another, been in existence for 105 years. From 1909 – 1967 the course was titled General Art & Design, and described at the time as a ‘general preliminary art course’.

Foundation students have gone on to a broad range of careers within the art and design industries and elsewhere. This exhibition will celebrate the work of a selection of alumni from recent years.

Time Let me Play
Foundation Art & Design Staff Exhibition. A Mission Gallery offsite exhibition at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.
6 – 28 June 2015

Members of the Foundation Art & Design team present diverse work from their individual practices in the context of their teaching on the Foundation Art & Design course at UWTSD, exhibiting their skills as writers, practitioners in 3D design, bookbinding, animation, photography, fashion, textiles and fine art.

Featuring: Anthony Arrowsmith | Kath Clewett | Shellie Holden | Bella Kerr | Anna Lewis | Terri Saunders | Tim Stokes

I think what the Foundation course brings to the student and teaching staff alike is that we enter a white room – there is no knowledge in that room, only the knowledge we contain. The knowledge that we acquire has to be sought after, refined, examined, criticised, modified.

I say to my students: If you were studying medicine or architecture you would go into a room full of books – it would all be there, the answers would all be there for you.

But this is about you and you alone – you in relation to the discipline. You have to find your own way through it, your own path – you construct the knowledge. The knowledge is made with us, with you, with each other – in a way that doesn’t happen on any other course. Art is unique in this sense.

Osi Rhys Osmond 1942 – 2015
Lecturer, Foundation Studies, UWTSD, Swansea 1996 – 2012
Osi Rhys Osmond. Still taken from Fire Green as Grass, a short film of Osi Rhys Osmond reflecting on his life. Commissioned by Lyndon Jones as part of Swansea International Festival 2015. Credits: Andy Cole & Lyndon Jones (Cameras); Bella Kerr (Interview); Lyndon Jones (Producer).