Wolverhampton School of Art, George Wallis Building, University of Wolverhampton

Creative Enterprise

Creative Enterprise

Wolverhampton School of Art / Creative Enterprise

Since 1851 the Wolverhampton School of Art has shone a spotlight on contemporary artistic practice and acted as a beacon for creative enterprise – regionally, nationally and internationally.

Our courses are calibrated to meet the needs of industry and our graduates are primed to deliver as creative professionals – within the many pathways that comprise the creative industries. What’s more, our overarching philosophy illuminates all that we do – we actively support initiatives that resonate with a commitment to social engagement.

Here are just a selection of the many projects, initiatives and annual events that we currently deliver:

  • We provide a wide range of services to support you in your career development, through the university’s Careers, Enterprise and Workplace initiative. Including jobs, opportunities, careers advice, online resources, mentoring and business start-up support for creative enterprises.
  • We have forged numerous links with industry and, in return, many companies and organisations sponsor student awards in annual Degree Shows.
  • We provide opportunities for artists to access our facilities through our participation in the Artists Access to Arts (AA2A) scheme.
  • Our annual Artsfest program – a cornucopia of events, artist talks and performances – forms a cultural highlight of the creative calendar.
  • We run an established outreach program – engaging with local schools and colleges.
  • We actively embrace, within our programme of events, initiatives that give prominence to progressive causes such as Black History Month, Disability History Month and LGBT History Month.
  • Every year our graduating students showcase their work and achievements in our annual Degree and MA Shows – many of whom go on to establish successful careers as artists, designers and makers. joining the ever-swelling ranks of our notable alumni.
  • We enjoy fruitful and productive links with renowned arts institutions including the New Art Gallery Walsall and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Moreover, in January 2022 we open our doors to the world as one of the opening venues for the prestigious British Art Show 9.

All of which form an integral part of the School’s vision to provide opportunities for a wide variety of arts engagement and creative exploration. In addition to a focus on employability, which prepares our students for a career in the creative industries – an increasingly influential and valuable sector. One that is “growing more than five times faster than the national economy”* and continues to provide evermore employment opportunities.

*Figures, quote and statement (above and below) taken from the UK Government’s website: gov.uk. **Figures and statement (below) taken from the Creative Industries website: www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk.

£0Bn
New government figures show the country’s successful creative industries contributed £111.7 billion to the UK in 2018, equivalent to £306 million every day*
0Million
With an estimated 2,040,000 jobs – 75 per cent of them outside London – the UK's creative industries are developing new jobs faster than other sectors despite record employment in the UK**
0%
In employment or education within 6 months of graduation.
Employability is core to the ethos of the School of Art’s learning and teaching
  • Our students have access to a wide range of services to support them in the development of their creative careers. Including jobs, opportunities, careers advice, online resources, mentoring and business start-up support for creative enterprises.
  • We provide opportunities for our students to experience professional practice and work on subject-specific live briefs led by external clients/organisations through our links with industry.
  • We also have an enviable record of success in national and international competitions.
  • Our series of online Creative Futures Careers Talks are led by professionals working in the creative industries, many of them are our graduates. 
  • In addition, we provide opportunities to undertake professional placements and engage with interdisciplinary collaborative practice – alongside numerous other creative opportunities.

Enabling students to build experience and to enhance their confidence, forming a solid foundation on which to begin their creative journey. Towards a dynamic, exciting and successful career in the creative industries.

Cheryl Jones, BA (Hons) Fine Art (Painting) graduate 2000

Cheryl graduated from the School of Art in 2000 and is now Director of the Grand Union art gallery in Digbeth, Birmingham. She credits her time at the University for widening her experience and enjoyment of all art forms as well as just painting. 

 


Creative Futures

The talks are led by professionals working in the creative industries, many Wolverhampton graduates. Join us to hear about their career journeys so far, the challenges they have faced and how they made it happen. You will get the chance to hear from people from a wide range of roles, from self-employed designers/ artists to those working in large organisations and there will be a Q&A which is a great opportunity to have your queries answered by those working in the field.

 

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Graduate Success

Elliot Walker has claimed the top prize in the second series of Blown Away, a global glassblowing reality show which is currently being livestreamed on Netflix. Elliot studied for a master’s degree in Applied Arts in the Wolverhampton School of Art and graduated in 2012.

 Elliot Walker MA Design and Applied Arts (Glass) graduate, Wolverhampton School of Art, University of Wolverhampton

He secured a place in the reality show and took part with ten other glass artists from around the world. The artists competed in North America’s largest hot shop to push themselves to creative extremes in the quest to be named Best in Glass.

In each episode, the glassblowers must impress a panel of art experts or risk being eliminated in pursuit of a life-changing prize that will enhance their career prospects.

As winner of the show, Elliot has been awarded a residency at the Corning Museum and the Pittsburgh glass centre.

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Two University of Wolverhampton graduates: Harriet Rogers (Fashion and Textiles) and Aneesa Suleman (Business Management with Marketing), have a appeared in a recent episode of the ‘The Student Sessions’ podcast series. In this episode, Harriet and Aneesa talk about their experiences of university life and, in particular, the challenges of preparing for the world of employment during a global pandemic.

 

Case Studies

Throughout our half century of showcasing creative talent, many of the thousands of graduates we have produced have gone on to become successful in their chosen field – covering the entire spectrum of our subject portfolio.

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Degree Shows

Each year the University of Wolverhampton celebrates the accomplishments of our Undergraduate and Postgraduate students with a degree show of their work. Our undergraduate and postgraduate shows form a cultural highlight of each academic year. As well as providing the perfect stage to showcase their achievements, they are an opportunity for graduating students to meet with potential employers and gain invaluable experience of exhibiting their work. Providing them with the perfect planform to springboard their careers as artists and designers.

Degree Show 2021

Degree Show 2022, Wolverhampton School of Art, George Wallis Building, University of Wolverhampton

We are delighted to announce our end of year graduate showcase highlighting the work of our final year students in Art, Design and Screen based subjects.

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MA Show 2021

MA Show 2021

It is a great pleasure that we are once again partnering with Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the New Art Gallery Walsall in hosting our MA Degree Shows. 

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British Art Show 9

British Art Show 9, Wolverhampton School of Art, George Wallis Building, University of Wolverhampton

22 January - 10 April 2022

We are delighted to announce that the Wolverhampton School of Art has been selected as one of the venues for the prestigious British Art Show 9! In what is a major boost and sign of recognition for arts and culture in Wolverhampton, we are proud to be hosting this prestigious touring exhibition in January 2022.

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FEINART Lecture Series

The FEINART LECTURE SERIES will discuss the role, impact, and theoretical implications of socially engaged art. This series of public talks is organized by the Innovative Training Network FEINART (The Future of European Independent Art Spaces in a Period of Socially Engaged Art) jointly led by the Universities of Wolverhampton (coordinator), Zeppelin University (direction of the training programme) University Iceland, and University of Edinburgh.

FEINART, Research, Wolverhampton School of Art, George Wallis Building, University of Wolverhampton

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860306  

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