Our vision for Exeter School of Art is to re-engage with the long history of art education within the city. Working with an ethos based in traditional practice with an eye on the future, we want to build on a belief in specialist teaching and creative methodologies and to develop the skills in our students that they will need to be successful in their chosen field. We want to bring that learning to a contemporary contextual arena where the hand rendered and digital have a home.

We are a small school, within a much larger institution, so we have the physical resources, teaching excellence and infrastructure needed, but we are able to focus on the individual, the hand made and the hand skills, the digital and the conceptual, the thinking and the process, and a continuous development of a personal visual language.

We continue to develop our contemporary practice by working with partners across a wider artistic community within Exeter and the South West, with Plymouth University and with the University of the Arts London, Awarding Body.

"Exeter college of art" by Theroadislong - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Brendan Barry completed his MA in Photography and The Land from Plymouth University in 2012 and has since then gained a rich and varied experience in education teaching and lecturing at a variety of levels. He has a diverse background having worked as a photographer & designer in the corporate and commercial industries as well as developing and maintaining his own artistic photographic practice. His personal work combines elements of construction, education, performance and participation and is mostly concerned with the transformation of different objects and environments into spaces capable of viewing and capturing a photographic image, using the mechanics of photography as a tool for exploration and collaboration.

Caroline studied BA Fine Art at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design and was awarded her MA in Fine Art by Liverpool University. Having exhibited for several years, she shifted her practice to supporting the work of other contemporary artists and has since worked for art galleries in roles that include, education curator, project manager, exhibition organiser and curator. Caroline has extensive experience of informal education gained through youth work and gallery education and before starting at Exeter School of Art in 2015 she was an Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University.

Matthew supports provision and training in practical skills on the Fine Art course and across the wider Faculty. As a Part time Lecturer he provides lecturing and technician provision. He teaches painting, drawing, sculpting, moulding, carving, cutting, constructing and forming. If you have a certain process or artwork you want to create Matt can give you the skills to design and create it!

Matt’s training is very multi discipline artisan craftsman covering everything from constructing sea going catamarans, to restoring church ceilings, designing and creating large stain glass windows and laminating helical spiral staircases to name just a few projects. His degree was a Double Combined Honours in Fine Art and English Literature which he then expanded into the application of larger projects bridging the Art and Construction disciplines, so that he is able to bring a certain aesthetic awareness to the use of skills, bringing this “outside” knowledge back into the college context.

Mike’s first job on graduating from Somerset College of Arts and Technology was to work for Roundel Design Group in Hanover Square in central London. After a year of making the tea (reluctantly) and art-working designs (badly) he went on to work for Demon Records for 8 years producing album covers, adverts, posters, catalogues and all other marketing material for a diverse range of artists including Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Ian Dury. After a year travelling he returned to the UK to work for the Times Newspaper, where he designed the covers for the daily Times T2 section, designed and launched The Times ‘metro’ magazine (arts, books and listings) for The Saturday Times and worked as the design editor. He also worked as the Design editor for The Times newspaper ‘Bricks and Mortar’ property section for 3 years.

Mike has more than 20 years’ experience in graphic design and art direction and has worked with a range of clients including top music companies, national newspapers, major companies as well as social enterprises, schools, colleges, charities and local government.

He has also been a visiting lecturer at Plymouth University, Somerset College of Arts and Technology and at the University of East London.

Mike’s design practise, Krage Design is based in Exeter where he continues to be excited by the potential of design and art.

Nigel graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Graphic Design at Norwich School of Art in 1982. He then worked as a graphic designer for various Exeter-based design consultancies, before eventually running his own design company for nine years, producing design-for-print for a wide range of local and national clients.

He enjoyed over twenty years of working in the creative industry before gaining his PGCE qualification in 2006 at the start of his teaching career.

Since then he has taught graphic design at Plymouth College of Art and Petroc before joining Exeter College in 2011, lecturing and tutoring on the UAL Extended and Foundation Diploma courses. He is now Programme Manager of Exeter School of Art’s university-level FDA Graphic Communication course.

Gavin studied Fine Art Sculpture at Winchester School of Art, followed by an MA in Fine Art sculpture at the Royal College of Art. His professional practice is multidisciplinary, recently working with a variety of printmaking processes, wood carving as well as a range of photographic projects, he has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Gavin has worked in the creative industries for over 20 years; working for a diverse range of clients including artists, architects, museums and theatre companies. Gavin is an established member of staff at Exeter College with many years teaching experience in Photography, Fine Art and Scenic Construction.

Jessica obtained an MA in Photography and the Book from Plymouth University in 2012. In 2013 she co-founded Dodo Photo in Exeter, a gallery and project space for contemporary photography with the aim to support qualitative photography in the South West. Her practice is a careful and sensitive investigation of the social environment and more specifically of the relationship between people and places in an urban environment. The current work focuses on the medium of the photobook in order to construct photographic narratives. Jessica is an Associated Lecturer at Plymouth University, Bath Spa University and Exeter College.

Since 1854 art education has thrived within the city of Exeter, in various locations, many of them close to where Exeter College’s Faculty of Art and Design is located today, in Queen Street.

In 1854 a School of Art was founded in Milk Street, Exeter. It was established at a time of growth for the art schools across England due in part due to the response to the Great Exhibition of 1851 which brought to prominence the subject of manufactured products and the enormous influence on the development of many aspects of society including art and design education.

In 1861 a parcel of land was purchased in Queen Street, Exeter and as a result the Albert Memorial Museum, School of Art, and Free Library was established, the Museum opening in 1868 and the School of Art moving into the building in 1870.

In 1893 an ambitious scheme was put forward for a University Extension College as well as a proposal for the expansion of the existing School of Art into a technical school. With support from the University of Cambridge, the School of Art and the School of Science became Exeter Technical and University Extension College and in 1900 it became the Royal Albert Memorial College and made the short journey to a new building at the top of Upper Paul Street. In 1922 it was again renamed as the University College of the South West of England.

In the 1940s William Green, a well-known painter and exhibitor, helped to support the enrichment of the cultural climate of Exeter and in 1948 a ‘modern school of art’ was formed, fostering an appreciation of the arts by means of lecturers and exhibitions.

In 1951 Exeter School of Art was upgraded to College status being renamed “Exeter Central College of Art”. By 1973 a new building at Earl Richards Road North was completed and shortly after the opening the College was renamed Exeter College of Art and Design. It remained independent until its merger in 1988 with Polytechnic South West, which became the University of Plymouth in 1992. By 1989 The Faculty of Art and Design was in place and continued to support and promote higher education in art and design within the city. Then in 2000 the University of Plymouth began to move its provision to the main Plymouth campus.

Exeter College is proud to re-establish Exeter School of Art within the City in 2016. We are mindful of the history of art education within Exeter and our responsibility in playing a continuing role in it.

© Exeter School of Art 2022