Cheltenham College Art Department is unique in that its six practical studios surround Thirlestaine Long Gallery, an enviable space for exhibitions, musical performance and lectures. It is a busy department with some two hundred pupils passing through it each week generating energetic and wide ranging work.
As well as a central main studio for teaching the first three years there is a well equipped ceramics studio with three kilns, darkrooms, fifty one seated lecture theatre, well stocked Art History library and study areas. Although primarily a Fine Art department, three dimensional work is encouraged in plaster, papier mache, ceramics and resin. IT provision includes six Apple Macs, internet connection, colour scanner, laser colour printer and full networking facilities.
An introductory course in the first year equips pupils for GCSE courses which are open to anyone. There are also weekly activity sessions which include ceramics, printmaking, painting and drawing. Pupils who have been successful at GCSE are encouraged to continue to A level courses. Here each pupil has their own studio space so that work can be developed whenever there is the opportunity. Much time is spent in one-to-one tutoring to develop individual programmes of work suited to the skills of each pupil. We also set great store by the use of free time where the most ambitious work takes place.
Our aims are to: develop the interests and skills of the individual, to ensure that by the time a pupil leaves he or she is well versed in art historical knowledge, has life-long skills in drawing and painting and an understanding of how to communicate and express ideas through materials as a vital part of personal development.