As it took some time to post my first entry, I think it is appropriate to spend some time recording the activities of October.  Preparation for one of these events began some months ago when Barton’s in Beeston, Nottingham announced they would be resuming their annual arts celebration Carnival of Monsters, a two week multi-media show using all of the industrial spaces that once comprised Barton’s bus depot http://www.carnivalofmonsters.co.uk/.  (This event had been rested in 2013 owing to the tram works running past their door – these should have been completed by this summer but, of course, that’s another story!)

Our Fine Art course was very well represented with a group of current (and just graduated) students – Lydia Crump, Marilyn Deakin, Uta Feinstein, Maud Lannen, Ali Morgan-Tansley, Tony Moss, Ju Smith, Jane Wheat and Janet Wilmot.

There was also a group show by Socket, made up of some alumni who operate as a collective http://www.socketart.org.uk/.

This event provides artists across the East Midlands to respond to some exciting (and potentially daunting) spaces in a Festival of Contemporary Art.  We were all delighted that the organisers of the event have returned to the annual art scene in the city.

We have also had the opportunity of attending the launch of EM14: Arrivals, the East Midlands Graduate Project residency, held at Surface Gallery, Nottingham on 24th October.  The Residency provides eight selected graduates with four weeks of space and support as part of their transition from university to professional art world. The exhibition of new work produced during the residency includes two of our recent graduates, Tony Moss and Ali Morgan-Tansley.  The show last Friday evening demonstrated what can be achieved in just four weeks of concentrated work and the very real development of ideas.  Particularly evident for us, as we knew their work from June this year, was the progress made by Tony and Ali.  Congratulations to them and all the others.

For an evocative description of the residency see http://www.surfacegallery.org/blog/ written by another of our graduates, Shelley MacDonald, herself a member of EM13: Arrivals and now Writer in Residence for Surface Gallery.

In amongst all of this excitement and celebration, the real activity of teaching and learning has been progressing well.  Four weeks into the autumn term and the pattern of the week has once again established itself.  We’re a very intimate group now with our 20 students – I’ll write more next time on the challenges of providing “quality of experience” in such circumstances.