Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) has announced it is launching a new art school, with the gallery hosting Teesside University’s fine art courses from April in advance of a new cohort of students starting in September.

Fine art courses which were previously located in the university’s School of Computing, Media and the Arts will now be based at the gallery. These include: BA, MA and PhD specialisms in photography, performance, experimental digital work and studio practice.

By relocating to MIMA, students will be given the opportunity to connect with artists as they prepare exhibitions, as well as having access to established curators working on commissions, projects and collections.

MIMA director Laura Sillars, who moved to Middlesbrough from Sheffield’s Site Gallery last summer, explained: “Artists have an important role to play in our complex, global environment and the establishment of a MIMA School of Art enables us to nurture, develop and support significant new talent for the future.

“It is a meaningful move marking considerable support from Teesside University which will allow a truly exceptional experience for our students.”

Professor Paul Croney, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Teesside University, said: “The creation of the MIMA School of Art will enable us to get the maximum benefit from the natural synergy between our fine art courses and the work being carried out by MIMA.

“The exposure that our students will get from being part of an award-winning working museum with a strong international reputation will enhance their experience and improve their employability. At the same time it will allow fine art staff to benefit from the excellent community links that MIMA has developed.”

Teesside University took over the running of MIMA from Middlesbrough Council in 2014. Councillor Mick Thompson, executive member for Culture and Communities at Middlesbrough Council, said: “MIMA is a huge asset to Middlesbrough with a national and international reputation for excellence.

“The creation of a new School of Art in partnership with Teesside University will further enhance its standing in the art world, and help to nurture a whole new generation of artists.”

Professor Mark Simpson, pro vice-chancellor (learning and teaching), said the school will have a long-term impact on the area: “As the Tees Valley prepares to bid to become UK Capital of Culture in 2025, we are very excited about the potential the MIMA School of Art has to grow and strengthen our arts offering.”

1. The team from MIMA and Teesside University Fine Arts. Laura Sillars, MIMA director, situated far left

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