Arnolfini welcomes UWE Bristol students in exciting arts and cultural partnership

Issue date: 21 September 2015


A group of UWE students outside the Arnolfini

Around 300 hundred students studying arts subjects at UWE Bristol will have a new base for their studies at the internationally renowned Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, located on the harbourside in Bristol, as of 21 September 2015.

In an exciting new partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and Arnolfini, students based at the harbourside location will gain practical experience through proximity to the international exhibition environment, live briefs and work placements. Staff will also benefit with the potential to develop research, and the partnership will help to further develop the profile of Bristol as a cultural and creative centre regionally, nationally and internationally.

In one of the newest and most exciting arts partnerships in the UK Arnolfini and UWE Bristol will share resources and facilities and collaborate on programming and education workshops, seminars and events, as well as academic research. In bringing together expertise, reputations and resources, Arnolfini and UWE Bristol will establish a new hub in the Arnolfini building for creative students and culturally interested visitors, taking a lead in shaping Bristol's cultural narrative.

The combined creativity and resources of the two organisations will enable them to jointly offer a more dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and other activities to students of UWE and visitors to Arnolfini, offering an exciting new future for the gallery.

At the heart of the partnership is talent development and ideas leadership. Both partners are committed to developing the talent of emerging artists, practitioners, colleagues, learners and performers, and to providing exhibition, studio and performance space in which they can develop and exhibit their work in sympathetic contexts. The mission of the partnership is to establish communities of learners, practitioners, artists, performers and researchers who can thrive and collaborate within and beyond the gallery, studios, digital and social spaces.

UWE Bristol will run BA Graphic Design, BA Drawing and Print and MA Graphic Arts at Arnolfini. The Centre for Moving Image Research (CMIR) and spaces for Drama students and cultural modules will also take place in the building. Joint programming, research and the sharing of other resources will also shape the partnership. Approximately 300 students will be based at Arnolfini from 21 September 2015 and will use Floors 3, 4 and 5, which are currently unoccupied. Arnolfini will retain all its current spaces, which will be improved as part of renovations made ahead of September 2015.

Kate Brindley, Director of Arnolfini says: “This important partnership with UWE Bristol signifies an exciting new future for Arnolfini. By inviting UWE creative students to take permanent residence within the building, we will establish a new hub at Arnolfini for students and culturally interested visitors, taking a lead in shaping Bristol's cultural narrative. We look forward to welcoming our new residents to the building in September.”

Professor Alex Gilkison, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education (ACE) at UWE Bristol says: “We are thrilled to be entering into this exciting partnership with Arnolfini, which has the potential to extend and enhance the Faculty's footprint and engagement within Bristol. The combined expertise and excellence of Arnolfini and UWE Bristol will create new routes into learning and employment for our students. By combining our knowledge and interest in the arts we can offer both UWE Bristol students, Arnolfini visitors and the wider community so much more than the sum of our parts.”

The partnership has been greatly supported by Bristol City Council and the Arts Council and will open up exciting opportunities for both organisations. By working together Arnolfini and UWE hope to offer more to visitors to Arnolfini, students at UWE, and the City of Bristol.

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