Celebrating Tamiko O’Brien

On Tuesday 22 November, the Trustees of City & Guilds of London Art School and the Art School’s Property Trust were delighted to host a formal celebration lunch in honour of the Art School’s outgoing Principal Tamiko O’Brien.

Former Student Trustee Tina Roe, on behalf of the Board members, presented Tamiko with a specially commissioned carved pear wood brooch depicting a Japanese beetle on a Gingko leaf (pictured below) expertly carved by de Laszlo Senior Woodcarving Tutor Tom Ball, to thank her for her commitment to the Art School and all that was achieved under her leadership from 2014-2022.

Former and current Chairs of the boards, Robin Holland-Martin, John Taylor MBE and Jamie Bill, spoke of Tamiko’s dedication to the Art School, reflecting on her contribution and developments made during her eight-year tenure as Principal of the Art School. Trustees were pleased to celebrate the news that validating partner Ravensbourne University London had conferred the title of Professor Emerita in recognition of Tamiko’s long and distinguished career in Higher Education, her pedagogic and practice based research as well as her leadership at City & Guilds of London Art School. Read more HERE 

At the event Tamiko spoke with conviction and warmth about her time at the Art School and how honoured she felt to have worked with such extraordinary colleagues and students. In all of her years working in Higher Arts education, she had not previously come across such a strong sense of community and shared purpose. She felt that this drive and commitment came from the strong focus on teaching by professionally active practitioners and that this had been core to the way the Art School had responded to the pandemic. After reflecting on memorable instances where staff members had acted ‘above and beyond’ with ingenuity, generosity and personal dedication, she spoke of her admiration for colleagues and students and her gratitude to the trustees and the wider community of friends who had supported the Art School over the years.

City & Guilds of London Art School’s Board of Trustees extend their deep gratitude to Tamiko for her excellent leadership and for her skill in steering the Art School through the particular challenges of recent times. They look forward to her future engagement with the Art School.

Tamiko is succeeded by Dr Lois Rowe, who took up the post of Art School Principal in September 2022.

The Art School is grateful to the Fishmongers’ Company for their generosity in hosting the lunch together with their ongoing support, including funding towards the Art School’s widening participation initiatives.

Left to right: Tamiko O’Brien; close up of brooch; brooch completed in Tom Ball’s carving studio.

Copyright: City & Guilds of London Art School 2022 and Tom Ball Carving, 2022.



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