National awards at art show

Wednesday 19 June 2013

George and Katrina - national award-winning Bedford College students

An art exhibition at Bedford’s own South Bank showcases the talents of students from Bedford College’s nationally applauded Creative Arts and Media courses.

The exhibition is staged at the riverside South Bank Arts Centre, a “hot house” for the creative skills of students who will then go on to great careers.

Bedford College students have productive links with the creative industries, connections with top London design agencies and regularly win awards in national competitions.  This year winning designs include work for Marriott Hotels Group and the British Glove Association.

Visitors to the art and design exhibition this summer will be given a taste of the artistic talent on their doorstep with imaginative creations by students from Art, Design, Media and Fashion.  On the opening night (Friday 14th June) the grand finale was a parade of models wearing designs by students studying Fashion and Textiles. 

Sue Blackman (Director for Arts and Sixth Form at Bedford College) said:

“This exhibition is testament to the creative talents of our students, staff and the strong links we have with industry.  These links ensure our HND and Foundation Degree programmes provide a creative progression route from A levels and BTEC Extended Diploma to successful careers across a wide range of subjects.

“The value of our higher education courses is that they are very employment focused.  At the end of their studies students have portfolios to show employers they are job ready.  That gives them a head start in the competitive world of the creative industries which is one of the UK’s fasting growing sectors.

“We are proud of our strong links with employers who actively seek our students for employment. We have employers here at the launch of the exhibition this evening doing just that.”

Links to the Business Community

John Park of EMC Design Ltd is looking to recruit for his successful graphic design business.  A former student of Bedford College, where he gained National Diploma in Graphic Design, John explained:

“We now employ 5 people who are former students of Bedford College and have another vacancy for a Graphic Designer.   We are the largest ELT (English Language Teaching) designers in the country and work for publishers such as Oxford University Press.  The first place we look for new recruits is Bedford College where we know the standards are extremely high. 

“Students studying HND learn the skills needed for employment and that is what we need.”

National Awards

For the fourth year running students studying HND Graphic Design have won YCN awards, proving that Bedford College’s South Bank is recognized on the national stage.

*Katrina Dixon and George Henderson beat designers from colleges and universities across the UK to the Young Creative Network award for their artwork for the International Marriott Hotels Group.

Talking about their award winning design they explained that they had to meet a brief to encourage young travellers to attend European events whilst staying with Marriott Hotels Group and said:

“We identified the audience as young, modern urban travellers with extremely busy lives.  We needed something that would be convenient and fast and came up with an idea for an App for Smartphones to alert travellers to events and make it easy to book.  People trust friends’ recommendations and so our approach was to turn Marriott into a friend recommending events to travellers.

“We were surprised and delighted with the award – it is a real achievement!”

*Matthew Churchill, studying Extended Diploma in Graphic Design, was awarded first prize in the British Glove Association’s annual safety poster competition. Matthew won a cash prize of £400 for his winning design and will be presented with his award at a ceremony in the City of London Livery Hall. Entrants to the competition were tasked with designing a safety poster that highlights the importance of wearing the appropriate protective gloves when handling exceedingly hot materials and dangerous objects.

The exhibition at the South Bank Arts Centre is open to the public throughout the summer.

Find out about Art & Design classes at Bedford College

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