“It would be hard to find better provision for an artist.”
Good Schools Guide 2014
A level students enjoy an Art College atmosphere where students are welcomed at all times during the working week, not just during lesson times. Spacious studio spaces are available with individual working zones for fine art students and an open area for graphics, textiles, ceramics and photography students. All those who teach within the department are active, practicing artists, designers and photographers whose concern for the subject is not restricted to teaching and who therefore bring the freshness of experience to the process of teaching. By the time students leave they know how to work, they know better who they are and can take responsibility for themselves and the direction of their work. The final outcome of artistic activity and personal reflection is as important as the journey that gets students to that point. Art students often benefit from the theoretical and historical insights gained by studying A level Art History alongside their creative subjects. All Art students follow a Ways of Seeing course, based closely on the first AS Art History module.
There is a culture of encouraging students to become active and involved in their own learning by referring them to other sources. Art, Photography, Graphics and Art History students are all inducted into using the neighbouring University of the Creative Arts library.
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Students specialise in one of the following areas:
Fine Art (including drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking)
Graphic Design (including corporate identity, packaging, illustration, printmaking and computer aided design)
Photography (including traditional and digital photography, studio techniques, lighting and photoshop)
Textiles (including fashion)
Students are able to combine Visual Arts courses with additional A levels in Art History, Theatre Studies, Film Studies and Media Studies. Students at the end of their courses are well placed to proceed to either degree or foundation programmes at Art Colleges and universities.
Regular half and one day artists workshops are held to encourage a broad approach to the creative process.
An artist in residence scheme is in place with a diverse range of artists/photographers/designers working with students on the college premises throughout the year.
Trips organised by the Art Department include overseas visits to Paris, Barcelona, Florence, Rome and Pisa as well as many visits to the V & A, Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery, the London Museum of Transport, the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Academy. 2010-11 visits included The Design Museum, Zandra Rhodes’s Museum of Fashion and Textiles in Bermondsey, the Computer Arts Graduate Showcase at Cafe 1001, Brick Lane, the Museum of Brands, Advertising and Packaging in Notting Hill, the Powell Cotton Museum in Birchington and Billy Childish’s studio in Whitstable.
There is an annual summer show where the students’ work is showcased and it is opened to the public as part of Medway Open Studios
The well known artist, poet and musician Billy Childish is a Visiting Lecturer. Billy was closely associated with the Young British Artists, founded the Stuckist movement and has been described by fellow artist Peter Doig as “one of the most outstanding, and often misunderstood, figures on the British art scene.” Billy is the only RIC member of staff as far as we are aware to have inspired the name of a Kylie Minogue album and to have counted Kurt Cobain and Jack White amongst his celebrity fanbase.