Are you a fan of discounts? I know I am. Some just absolutely blow me away! See what I did there? No? Yes okay, I should probably quit while I’m ahead. All joking aside, the first thing I do before I purchase anything, is check if the store has a sale on or if they have any valid online voucher codes.
We understand that the flexibility of distance learning means people from all over choose to study with us, old and young, artists and designers, carers, students with disabilities, students from every possible background.
OCA’s student association or OCASA for short, is a group of altruist students representing the vibrant and diverse body of creative people studying foundations, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in fine art, photography, music, creative writing, textiles and visual communications, to name but a few, with the Open College of the Arts.
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.