Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore
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The Abbey hosts an annual internship for two Conservation graduates, funded by Venice in Peril Fund. The collaboration with the Abbey started in 2012, and since then every year outstanding recently-graduated students have spent two months on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, living within the Abbey compound and working on conservation projects in the world-famous Palladian church.

ACME Studios hosts a one-year residency, begun in 2016, as part of a programme for select graduating students in Fine Art from top London-based Art Colleges, providing shared studio space, a mentoring programme and exhibition opportunities.

The Art School was given a pro bono stand at this international fair Art16 at Olympia in May 2016, showcasing work from a selection of graduating BA Fine Art students and providing numerous opportunities for networking during the four days of the fair.

In 2016, the Artists’ Collecting Society selected the Art School as the sole London institution to receive an ACS Studio Award, given to a graduating MA Fine Art student to provide studio space for the year following their graduation as well as membership to Bridgeman Studio. ACS also awards supports current students through a prize to a second-year Fine Art BA student to support their final year of study and professional practice talks.

Students are performing conservation work on a collection of polychrome plaster casts in the collection of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton.

A conservation group research project in 2014, relating to issues raised by public access, was held around the opening of the new visitor and exhibition centre, Revealing the Charterhouse. Projects focused on preventative conservation and on the historical context of the Great Chamber and its decorative scheme.

The British Museum is a longstanding partner institution and regularly offers work placements and internships to our conservation students.

Graduates from the BA Fine Art and Carving Diplomas have been selected to take part in the Clyde & Co Art Award since 2014/15, which includes exhibition and sales opportunities as well as mentorship. One of our students was the winner of the ambitious Blank Canvas Competition in 2015, to create a mural for the firm’s entrance.

The Art School is one of three UK art schools to participate in Collyer Bristow’s annual graduate art award and exhibition, with works displayed in and sold from their London offices. In 2017, Art School graduates won all four of the prizes on offer, as judged by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick

Over the years, numerous students have taken part in outreach programmes with children who do not have access to art classes run by Cool it Art, a social enterprise which was founded by an Fine Art alumna of the Art School.

A major commission was given to the Art School by the Corporation of London to carve 20 wooden benches for a new public space in Pancras Lane, EC4.

In collaboration with the Creative Dimension, a charity that runs fully-funded workshops for 14-18 year olds from schools across London, students have come to the Art School for courses including gilding, mural painting and printmaking.

A prestigious commission was granted to the Art School to create the prow decoration and cartouche for the Royal Barge at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, 3 June 2012. The barge’s most prominent feature, the large prow sculpture, as well as the canopy on deck, were designed and executed by a team of more than 40 students, tutors and alumni who for a period of five months collaborated using all the skills taught across the Art School’s curricula.

This international collaboration featured an informal exchange of drawings produced by undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Art School and the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in response to each other, showcased at the 2016 Degree Show.

English Heritage regularly entrusts the Conservation Department with objects that students conserve as part of their practical projects. Over the years, these have included a large number of objects from various English Heritage properties in the North East, and key objects from the Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House.

The Fishmongers’ Company regularly commissions carvings of past Prime Wardens’ coats of arms, which are displayed in Fishmongers’ Hall. The Company also funds an annual Art School wide competition, open to all students, for the design of a menu cover for Livery Court dinners.

The Foundling Museum offers practical conservation projects for students, including the cleaning of numerous plaster busts in their collection.https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/

In 2017, Historic Carving staff, students and alumni played a prominent role in the Georgian Group’s 80th anniversary exhibition, celebrating traditional Georgian crafts and their place in the 21st century. Students and graduates exhibited pieces in the show and performed demonstrations for the public, and Head of Historic Carving Tim Crawley delivered a public evening lecture.

Since 2014, the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice annually hosts second-year undergraduate conservation and historic carving students during their one-week study trip to Venice.

The Grocers’ Company commissioned the production of a customised stone plinth to support a pre-existing bronze portrait bust of the late Queen Mother.

The Art School was asked to run a commission for Historic Carving alumni to create new figures for this 20th century cathedral. The winning designs are now installed in the east wall of Guildford Cathedral‘s central tower.

The partnership, established in 2013/14 through the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, includes summer conservation projects for students and the ongoing conservation of the Cemetery’s collection of headstones.

Art School students have worked on the conservation and complex repair of a life-size plaster cast of Canova’s famous Three Graces from the Knole House collection, as well as researching their 17th-century frames and undertaking work placements since 2013.

The Art School was entrusted by the Landmark Trust to carve two new wooden brackets at Queen Anne’s Summerhouse to match those in 19th century archival photographs

Since 2016, the Art School has been a participant in London Craft Week, staging an Open House that showcases work and workshops in the Historic Carving Department and a public 2-day student stone carving competition.

In Summer/Autumn 2016, the Trust hosted an exhibition of work by recently graduated Historic Carving students at the Lettering Arts Centre at Snape Maltings, home of the Aldeburgh Festival.

The Art School is an official partner of the Michelangelo Foundation, an international non-profit entity that celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design.

The Museum of London is a longstanding collaborator, offering regular work placements and internships to Conservation students.

The National Maritime Museum offers work placements and internships to Conservation students.

The National Portrait Gallery regularly offers summer placements to Conservation students.

The National Trust regularly offers opportunities for student-led research projects and practical conservation work.

The Art School was a participant in the 2016 edition of the biennial OnForm Stone Sculpture Exhibition held at Asthall Manor, Oxfordshire. The Beakhead Arch project, a collaborative venture by stone carving students, held a prominent place, and several alumni were also included in the show.

The Natural History Museum offers work placements and internships to Conservation students.

The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers support a one-year fellowship for a Fine Art graduate, focusing on specialist decorative surface techniques with a work base at the Art School and skills based teaching.

Since 2016 the Art School has participated in the annual Open House London weekend, a festival which attracts visitors to important architectural sites around the city. Our MA Fine Art exhibition coincides with this major event.

Since 2014, a Conservation project at the Palace of Westminster led by DBR (London) Ltd for the conservation of Westminster Hall and the Sovereign’s Robing Room, in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute, has involved a large team of alumni and current students. Another team of students worked on a frame conservation project in the Committee Rooms.

Conservation students are involved in the treatment proposal for a sculpture of Minerva from the Pitzhanger Manor House collection.

A longstanding partnership with the Conservation department has involved cleaning of the Rochester Cathedral Lapidarium’s collection.

In October 2016, Raynham Hall invited second-year conservation students to stay at the Norfolk property to study, analyse and produce condition reports and treatment proposals for some of the house’s renowned furniture, including important pieces designed by William Kent.

The Conservation department is involved in a longstanding project involving the ongoing cleaning of the Royal Academy’s collection of historical frames.

The Royal Collection Trust regularly entrusts the Conservation Department with the conservation of objects and gilded frames from its collections. The Trust also offers summer internships to students each year.

A partnership with the Royal College of Physicians enables final-year conservation students to research and conserve objects from the RCP collection, including a series of plaster relief busts.

An ongoing project with Art School involves the conservation of a series of busts belonging to the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Royal Literary Fund generously funds the services of a professional author to come to the Art School and work with students on their writing skills and course essays.

The Science Museum regularly hosts conservation students for placements and internships.

Sir John Soane’s Museum regularly offers summer placements to Conservation students.

A partnership with Southwark Cathedral was established in 2014/15 for conservation and restoration projects involving Conservation students. In Summer 2017 a team of Historic Carving students, staff and alumni was employed to create new bosses to replace eroded Victorian carvings on the east side of the Cathedral, as featured on BBC London News.

Since 2005, Art School students and graduates have been producing new grotesques for the string-course girdling the external walls of St. George’s Chapel as part of its £45m restoration programme. To date more than 40 new grotesquese have been approved by the Fabric Advisory Committee with many already in situ. In 2015 an exhibition held in the Cloisters of St George’s celebrated the 10th anniversary of the project, with a publication printed in 2016.

The ‘Corbel Angel’ (which was privately commissioned by the Danish Royal family to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee) was completed by a student and installed in Spring 2012.

An ongoing project since 2014/15 involves the conservation of reredos in St Agnes’s church, located near the Art School in Kennington Park.

The Drapers’ Company commissioned the design and execution of a wooden roundel for St Michael’s pulpit.

Projects with St Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren’s masterpiece in the City of London, have included the ongoing conservation cleaning of stones belonging to St Paul’s Cathedral’s Lapidarium, and the rearrangement of approximately 500 archaeological stones from the Cathedral’s South Triforium.

The Art School was involved in the restoration of polychrome plaster figures from a life-size nativity scene at St Peter’s Vauxhall

Tate regularly offer work placements and internships to conservation students.

Prior to the formal reopening of Strawberry Hill House, the Art School conserved the large gilt ceiling of the Great North Bedchamber and a detailed mosaic inlay on a fireplace surround.

Second-year Historic Carving students were commissioned by the Temple Trust for Historic Building Preservation to restore the main doorcase of Frogmore House in Watford, an 18th century grade II listed building

In May 2017, three master wood carver/Buddhist sculpture conservators from Tokyo University of the Arts visited the Art School on a funded exchange to run workshops for the Art School’s Historic Carving and Conservation students, deliver a paper at a symposium held jointly with the V&A, and demonstrate their skills to the public during London Craft Week. Further plans for a reciprocal exchange to the University are currently under discussion.

Conservation students entering their third year have the opportunity to undertake a practical internship at Tsurumi University in Japanese Urushi lacquer, working with Professor Tomio Koike and taking part a variety of workshops

Through a partnership with English Heritage and the University of Roehampton, a final year student carried out conservation work on a 17th-century Venetian wellhead

Venice in Peril funds an annual internship for two Conservation graduates, hosted at the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The collaboration which started in 2012, and since then every year outstanding recently-graduated students have spent two months living within the Abbey compound and working on conservation projects within the world famous Palladian church.

The Victoria & Albert Museum regularly offers work placements and internships for Conservation students and has hosted the annual conservation symposium. In 2016, an agreement was established for long term loans of historic plaster casts from the V&A collections, for conservation and study.

Students have worked on the conservation of objects from the Wallace Collection, including an 18th century marble and gilded wood pier table from the Wallace Collection’s Great Gallery.

The Watts’ Gallery offers work placements and internships to Conservation students. The Gallery also entrusts the Conservation Department with objects from its collection that are in need on conservation care, as well as Conservation of the terracotta grave of G.F. Watts and the restoration of two ceramic funerary monuments within the Watts Cemetery.

Conservation students treat objects from Welbeck Abbey’s collection of this traditional landed estate, located within Sherwood Forest.

The Abbey regularly offers practical conservation projects, work placements and internships to our conservation students, and entrusts the Conservation Department with objects in need of conservation care. Head of Department Marina Sokhan and students were involved in the conservation of Westminster Abbey’s world-famous Cosmati Pavement and cleaning of the Chapel of Elizabeth I. Historic Carving students created two new portrait carvings to replace originals with contemporary equivalents, working within a medieval style.

As part of the programme of the newly established Reading Room, the Wellcome Collection hosted a one-day symposium, curated by MA Fine Art students from the Art School and BCU’s School of Art & Design.

A number of objects from the William Morris Gallery, including a small box table with a hinged lid and a plaster bust formerly situated in the Socialist Hall in Walthamstow, have been restored by Conservation students.

At Winchester Cathedral, students have undertaken the cleaning of 13th century architectural stones and the conservation of a 17th century decorative wood carving frame.

A multifaceted partnership, established in 2015, the relationship with Winsor & Newton includes demonstrations for Fine Art students, connections to artists and access to materials. In 2016, two Fine Art students held residencies at London’s Griffin Gallery, resulting in work shown in their BA and MA Fine Art exhibitions.

As we do not benefit from any direct government funding, the Art School’s resources are mostly used to fund the generous teaching provision, and the purchase of teaching materials. For this reason, the Art School has historically rely on philanthropic sources to help to fund the upgrading of specialist equipment and facilities.

Examples of this include the Conservation Department’s laser; FTIR and long arm microscopes, in addition to various other elements that were funded as part of the refurbishment of the Department in 2012.

 

The Art School has a long history of providing financial support to students, based on need and merit. Grant, Financial Assistance and scholarship support is essential to be able to offer talented students access to our specialist courses, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Due to the Art School’s status as independent provider, our students have limited access to current sources of Student Loan funding that only covers a portion of the tuition fees:

  • Students on degree validated undergraduate courses – BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Conservation and BA (Hons) Historic Carving – have access to Student Loans if they do not hold a previous degree, but only up to £6,000. Some students therefore need support to cover the gap between the loan and the full tuition fees.
  • A significant number of students on undergraduate courses (in particular in such subjects as Conservation) hold a prior degree and therefore are not eligible for Student Loans.
  • Unlike undergraduate students, Foundation students do not have access to Student Loans and are not eligible for fee subsidy by the Local Education Authority.

The annual financial assistance pool currently allows the School to assist ca. 60 students each year, across our departments. We are working to increase this both to benefit more students, and to be able to offer higher levels of support to individual students with specific needs. We are also keen to increase scholarship support for students of particular talent and promise.

PHASE 2 (2015-2016)

An extremely generous pledge from the Hamish Parker Charitable Trust allowed a seamless progression to Phase 2: the creation of a new entrance for the Art School, and a striking covered atrium space between the Georgian terrace and the studio buildings. The works were delivered in two stages. The first, comprising all works at ground level, was completed during the summer break of 2015. This was followed by the installation of the new roof structure, street and garden elevations in 2016 with the new entrance opening to students, staff and visitors in January 2017.

The project transformed the arrival at the Art School and created DDA compliant, step free access route from street level off Cleaver Square into the main studios and via a ramp to the Georgian buildings at basement level. From there a lift now provides access to all ground and first floor studios, the Art School office and the Sackler Library. The new atrium has brought into use an underutilised space, doing full justice to the architectural quality of the Grade 2 listed Georgian terrace buildings seen from the rear.

In Summer 2017 further work took place in the garden area immediately adjacent to the new entrance, creating much increased outdoor terrace outside the Art School canteen and level access to the rear Stoneyard Area.

The project was also supported by grants from the Linbury Trust, HB Allen Charitable Trust, Monument Trust and Band Trust.

BEYOND PHASE 2

The Art School is in the process of reviewing the final stages of the 2008 Masterplan. This will see the re-development of the purpose built studio building at the rear of the site, including the Stoneyard area, and involve the creation of additional north-lit studio spaces, expanded workshops and communal facilities such as a large canteen, gallery and lecture space.

 

PHASE 1

Phase 1, the renovation of the Art School row of six Grade 2 listed Georgian terrace buildings on Kennington Park Road, was completed in 2014 after five consecutive summers of work.

Through Phase 1 we were able to refurbish and enlarge 35 studios; carry out a full upgrade of the Conservation Department; create the expanded Sackler Library, new seminar and meeting rooms, and install new lighting and centralised heating throughout. The works also improved circulation between buildings (which in 2010 where all separate houses) from basement to second floor, and allowed for the relocation of academic and administrative offices, IT room and wood workshop.

Phase 1 was made possible thanks to the generosity of a large number of benefactors, some funding successive years of work, with a total of £2.2 million raised. Click here to see their names. We are also grateful to our team led by Alan Higgs Architects, with Mode PD as contractors and Mitchell Price as cost consultant and project manager, for delivering the project on time and on budget each year.

 

NEW FOUNDATION SPACES IN THE OLD VAUXHALL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE

Another important development connected to Phase 1 took place in 2012 with the relocation of the Foundation Department to the Old Vauxhall Telephone Exchange, a disused 1930s building adjacent to the Art School. The opportunity to secure a lease of one floor from BT, for a period of 10 years, was supported by the Duchy of Cornwall as freeholder of the building. In summer 2012, this large space of 6,000 square feet was turned into flexible, multipurpose studios with workshop facilities and a lecture space, transforming the quality of facilities for the Foundation Department.

Since 2010, the Art School has embarked on an ambitious programme of renovations and enhancements of studios and facilities on the Kennington site it has occupied since 1879. The Masterplan for the project, established in 2008 under the direction of Alan Higgs Architects, is based on a phased delivery, with work taking place each year during the summer recess.

After completed Phase 1 of the project’s Masterplan – the full refurbishment of the Art School’s Georgian buildings – Spring 2017 saw the completion of Phase 2: the creation of a new entrance and barrier free access to the our historical campus.

We are hugely grateful to all the donors who supported our progress, contributing a total of £3.35 million to the success of these first two phases. You can read who they are here.

Alongside the completion of Phase 2, a design study was conducted to review the proposals for the final Phase 3 of the Art School’s masterplan: the renovation and partial redevelopment of the Victorian and Edwardian studio buildings and the stoneyard area at the rear of the site. Again carried out under the direction of Alan Higgs Architects, this work was generously funded through a grant from the Sackler Trust, taking the scheme designs to full feasibility and planning by late 2018.

If you would like more information or to contribute to the project, please contact the Director, City & Guilds Art School Property Trust, Magnus von Wistinghausen at m.v.wistinghausen@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

In 2007, the Art School embarked on a strategic options review for its future development, addressing in particular its need for enhanced facilities. Steady growth in student numbers and a backlog of repair and maintenance work necessitated a holistic appraisal of the School’s requirements in terms of space provision. This resulted in the decision to commit to the Kennington site which the School has occupied since 1879.

Alan Higgs Architects were subsequently commissioned to design a Masterplan for the site. The Art School’s Trustees then decided to proceed with the plan’s delivery in distinct, stand-alone phases:

  • Phase 1: the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Georgian terrace buildings on Kennington Park Road;
  • Phase 2: the creation of a new, barrier free entrance to the Art School, with the installation of a covered atrium which creates a new utilisable space at the heart of the site;
  • Phase 3: the re-development of the rear studio block, creating a new floor of studio spaces, and additional areas for workshop and communal facilities.

Having completed Phase 1 and with Phase 2 well on the way, the Art School will review the final stages of the Mastreplan, to update it and start planning for the final Phase of the project.

 

The Principal’s Fund has been established to enhance our core provision and create opportunities that will align with our key values, which include:

– Ensuring very high levels of contact time between our 230 students and our teaching staff of 80+ practising artists and other expert professionals
– Providing dedicated work space for students on all of our courses, supporting a daily commitment to practice and ‘learning through making’
– Operating specialist resources and workshops to support hands-on skill development including drawing, woodworking, casting, etching and glass-working
– Collaborating with leading institutions and organisations, providing students with rare insights and experiences of professions and careers in the Arts and Heritage Sector

Being independent means that the Art School receives no direct revenue funding from government. The Principal’s Fund is intended to enhance our corn provision and create increased opportunities for students, helping to ensure that the most promising individuals can thrive on our courses. Gifts to the Principal’s Fund are directed towards the areas of greatest need, including student support, as well as new initiatives. As such, your support has a tangible impact, enabling us to uphold our commitment to our mission and to develop for the future.

Download the Principal’s Fund brochure and donation form here or click the button below to donate online.

If you are passionate about a specific discipline that we teach, a great way to facilitate its vitality is to support the post of those artists and professionals who deliver the teaching and transmit their knowledge, skills and experience to generations of students.

If you would like to know more about this, please contact Magnus von Wistinghausen at m.v.wistinghausen@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk

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