A campaign to save the ceramics department at City and Islington College has attracted the support of contemporary art’s most famous potter, Grayson Perry.
The Turner Prize-winning artist has backed a call for the college to rethink its plans to close the department, which is based at the college’s Centre for Lifelong Learning in Finsbury Park. College principal Frank McLoughlin has said that the proposals are due to funding cuts.
A petition against the closure of the department has been signed by over 2500 supporters.
In a letter of support for the campaign, Perry said: “I am appalled that a popular and beneficial course should be considered for closure just because it does not fit neatly into an instrumentalist idea of education.
“As an artist who studied pottery in evening classes I am proof that people can and do progress from such classes into successful careers in ceramics. The college provides a vital training ground. Without it, where will we find the artists of the future?”
McLoughlin said: “Our adult funding has been cut by more than 25 per cent over the last five years and we are expecting further cuts into 2015/16 and beyond.
“As a result we have to prioritise carefully how we use our limited resources and our priority is around provision which helps people progress on to employment and university.
“The ceramics provision has been very important to the college, however, it is expensive to run, and involves very small numbers of students.”