It’s all very well being open-access, but what if you’ve never studied before? With distance learning you can’t turn up at an office and ask for help. Well, you can, but Barnsley is a bit of a trek for most of our students. So what can you do when you need a (virtual) cup of tea and someone to help you make sense of it all?
These characteristics allow OCA to put access at the core of what we do, to join the dots between tutors and students and support opportunities in widening participation and tutor or student led initiatives.
What do you get if you mix parents, carers, artists, teachers, retirees, and those whose career took them down a different path to their artistic leanings? No, there’s no punchline – our student body is made up of a diverse student community from around the world and all find their place within OCA.
A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a famous phrase, and the more I think of it, speaks directly to the access principle at the heart of what OCA is. Text, essays, blogs, articles, may not be easy for everyone to digest, so why not offer the same message but in a visual context?
The tutors you will work with across your studies are not just experienced tutors at HE level. All the Open College of the Arts tutors are practising artists, photographers, designers, writers or composers, with an understanding of the difficulties of distance learning – some of our tutors studied with the OCA themselves!
Our group comprised textiles, painting/drawing and photography students at all three levels. This, in itself, was an important factor contributing to open and critical discussion. Added to this was Rebecca’s excellent talk on her own practice and formation as an artist and tutor. Following this she led a discussion on work that several of us had brought along.
That’s what Creative Arts is, a place for you to experiment and be yourself. If you’re not sure what most interests you, this could be the place, as with no qualifications needed anyone can join us and start creating all things bright and beautiful today.
What did you learn today, this week, this year? As we grow older we need new opportunities and different environments to unleash our creativity.
Money and finances should be no barrier to study. If you have the passion, and the desire to study, OCA can help you access the resources to study.
If degree study is new to you or you are uncertain about where to start, look at the OCA’s Open Foundations courses. These courses are all designed to lead you into degree-level study, get you thinking academically, and putting you in the best position to start.
A lot has changed in the thirty years since Michael Young founded OCA. Cassettes became CDs, which then became downloads, and then streaming. Liverpool won their last league title just three years after we became a thing, and are still searching for the next one. Mario Brothers were all the rage… and still are, surprisingly.
In 2005 an 8 year old girl was told by a security guard to stop sketching Picasso and Matisse paintings as ‘they’re copyrighted’ (Jardin 2005). So what is a copy and how much new, creative work is required to term the work as ‘influenced by’, or an ‘homage’? Is her version in a different medium a copy?