Discover your inner artist at Harrogate College

6 September, 2022 12:20 pm

Our Art courses are so good that established artists have been signing up with us to hone their skills.

Three local artists, Tom Ransom, Irene Vassiliou and Douglas Thompson, recently achieved their MA Creative Practice degrees at the college.

Another respected local artist, Catt van Leijen, is currently halfway through the two-year, part-time programme and is urging others to embark on the same creative journey.

A rewarding creative journey

She said: “The MA in Creative Practice will take you on an unexpected path of discovery.

“This course at Harrogate College is a great opportunity to explore your creative self on another level.”

Catt, who is a ceramic  and paper mache  tutor at local charity, Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, hit the headlines recently through the ambitious collaborative project she did for her course.

Teaming up with the National Trust and Art Maker students at Henshaw’s Arts and Crafts Centre, Catt oversaw the creation of all kinds of nature-inspired artworks. Those were then installed in and around Fountains Abbey’s water garden and stream, to the delight of visitors.

Confidence-building support

Douglas, meanwhile, who also teaches at Henshaws and specialises in paper cutting, also thoroughly enjoyed his time with the college.

Speaking just after receiving his degree, he said: “I really loved the course. All of my tutors’ support has boosted my self-confidence so much, and created a rigour in my practice that wasn’t there before.”

While the MA Creative Practice degree caters for those who have already begun their artistic journey, and want to specialise, the college also offers a range of courses for others at different levels.

A liberating alternative to school

Those include short, part-time introductory courses like Arts, Crafts and Design along with full-time programmes for school leavers, such as Art and Design Level 2 and Creative Practice (Art & Design) level 3 Extended Diploma.

Level 3 course lead for FE Art & Design at Harrogate College, Jonathan Leng, said: “We offer an exciting learning experience here, in level 2 and level 3 art and design, for 16 to 18 year olds.

“We continue to have outstanding success, in fact amongst the highest in the country, on our Level 3 course – with more than 40% of our students gaining a distinction (three A*s at A level) last year. We are able to do this by offering each of our students individualised learning and the chance to work with practising artists and highly skilled technicians.

“Our students recognise that this approach gives them the freedom to explore and develop their skills and be the individual that school, perhaps, does not allow. As the new academic year begins we look forward to welcoming lots more aspiring artists!”

Enrolment for this year’s art classes is underway now and there is still time to apply. Click here to find out more.