Why Should I Study Fine Art at Lancaster?
The Fine Art degree at Lancaster is built on an innovative and ambitious studio culture and support for a wide range of approaches from the cutting edge to conventional. Our aim from the beginning of your studies is to support your creative aspirations and ambitions. We produce informed practitioners - artists knowledgeable about contemporary art and ideas, and clear and determined in their own aims and goals. We do this through the integration of studio practice, art history, theory and professional practice. This combination equips you with the skills needed throughout your career, whether you continue as an artist, curator, academic or as a professional in the wider art economy.
Students follow core and optional courses that mix cutting-edge contemporary research with studio and lab-based artwork. Painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, digital, live and sound art, may be pursued singly or together as an interdisciplinary practice.
Art maintains high standards of provision and resources. From day one of the degree, all students have a dedicated space with 24/7 access. Our purpose-built studios include AV seminar facilities, digital art lab and installation space, fully equipped wood/metal workshop and life-room. All staff are active researchers, either as artists or writers, publishing and exhibiting nationally and internationally.
The degree show offers graduating students the opportunity to curate their work in two shows. All students are part of a group show in the University gallery and also mount a solo show of their work in the department studios. The University sponsors the exhibition and supports it with a fully illustrated catalogue, which the students design. Valuable professional skills in marketing, print, curation and copy are acquired.
Students actively curate and exhibit their work beyond the department and University. Through their society - Up North Arts – they have mounted exhibitions in Lancaster, Liverpool and London.
We encourage students to develop an international perspective on their thinking and making. We have an international exchange programme, conduct study trips, and encourage students to visit exhibitions in the region and beyond. The University an international community, in art we host students from many European countries, North and South America from the Middle East and further afield.
Our aim is to support into the professions rather than simply into work and jobs. Our graduates secure work in a wide range of professions ranging from journalism, museums and gallery work, media, TV, teaching, at all levels, design and marketing. Lancaster graduates consistently go onto the very best studio practice and theory MA’s in the UK and Europe.
Structure of the Degree
Learning is strategically designed to support increasing specialism and independence as you progress towards graduation. In studio practice there is an emphasis on 1:1 tutorial support.
The first year focuses on acquiring core art knowledge, skills and understanding, alongside the opportunity to discover other new or related subjects. Fine Art students may take other LICA subjects as their minor, Design and Film and, with previous theatre experience, Drama. Or they may take a subject from across the university, for example Politics, Religions. Media Studies, Entrepreneurship, Marketing or Gender and Women’s Studies. The first year studio module provides skills training in material techniques and processes of art. Painting, Life Drawing, Sculpture and Installation and Digital and Screen based art is taught by specialist tutors in hands-on workshops.
In their second and third years students select a mix of core and optional practice and theory modules. Alongside compulsory practical and academic modules LICA has developed an innovative suite of optional modules written and taught by specialist artist tutors, enabling students to work at the cutting edge of contemporary practice.
Specialist artist tutors teach their discipline at all levels of the degree, this allow the student to be supervised by an expert in their chosen discipline, be that painting or digital art, throughout the three years of your degree. While Lancaster has no ‘house style’- we are open to many interpretations of Fine Art- our ethos accepts that artists today have a responsibility to engage with issues of the day and shared experience. In many highly individual ways Lancaster students address topics of local and global concern, from environment and sustainability, gender and selfhood to materiality, aesthetics and visual experience.
Provision and Costs
Over ten years campus has been renovated from north to south. The LICA building, where art studios, performance space and seminar rooms are located, completed in 2008 at a cost of 10 million pounds, sits at the core of our provision. The department has strong links with Lancaster Arts and their programme of exhibitions, concerts, comedy, dance and theatre. Our visiting speaker programme brings in a wide variety of artists and curators, many of whom have one-to-one tutorials with fine art students.
All books and journals are held by the library and students are encouraged to order new publications to enhance our collection of art books. The University provides labs and enough PC’s for all students, a laptop loan scheme operates and LICA has an equipment store from which students can sign out Digital SLR cameras, projectors and video and sound equipment. Technicians are on hand to assist students in selecting and using equipment.
Study at university inevitably include some extra costs for example print costs and art materials. However costs on first year studio practice module are kept as low as possible and basic materials for compulsory workshops are provided. In studio practice the general expectation is that students will use their resources thoughtfully in relation to appropriate materials, rather than simply spend high or always buy the cheapest.