AA2A General Newsletter - February 2015

All images taken from the 'Dotbiz' networking site

Welcome to the first general newsletter of 2014-15.

Latest project news

This year's AA2A schemes are well under way meaning that in 21 Colleges and Universities across England there are currently around 90 artists and designer/makers undertaking projects and research.

This year we've recruited several new institutions: York College, Sheffield College and returning to the scheme are: University of Wolverhampton and Teesside University.

This year York College will host a four artist AA2A scheme, two of which will be 'AA2A Plus' placements managed in conjunction with York Museums Trust. Karen Thompson and Ian Kirkpatrick are working with the Trusts collection of contemporary ceramics and York College proposes to run a parallel student project, working with the Trusts collections alongside the artists projects. We aim to have more AA2A Plus schemes next year - so watch this space...

'Dotbiz' - the AA2A artists networking site

The AA2A artists networking site (affectionately known as Dotbiz) is a phenomenal showcase of work being produced on the AA2A scheme. You can get an in depth and up to date view of artists work as the schemes progress. All colleges and all artists have profiles on our networking site. Search the college or an artist's name on Dotbiz.

AA2A Student representatives

So far this year we have 20 students at participating AA2A institutions who have become more involved with the scheme as AA2A Student representatives. AA2A Reps have profiles on Dotbiz and the same site privileges as artists, so they can upload blogs, image albums and exhibitions. Each month we issue an 'AA2A Reps Challenge'. Student Reps get points on completion of the tasks which go towards a prize for the 'Student Rep of the Year'. Last year Kathryn Poole from University of Central Lancashire was the winner of the Student Rep of the Year. As a prize she received a magazine subscription and itunes vouchers and we also invited her to Sheffield to speak at our Briefing day for Colleges.

We've been impressed with what this year's Reps have done so far. Here are some of the highlights:
Tina Dempsey from University of Central Lancashire. Josephine Gomersall from Sheffield Hallam University and Paige Barnard from Plymouth University.

AA2A Artist of the Year and voting

Voting is now open so you can vote for your favourite AA2A artist of 2014-15: vote now! Congratulations to last year's AA2A Artists of the Year: Henrietta Corbett Students vote winner (Derby University) and Leila Houston Public vote winner (De Montfort University).

AA2A and employability

We try to make sure students benefit from the life and career experience of AA2A artists particularly when it comes to employability. When colleges sign up for AA2A, they choose from our Employability packages. On the standard package your college will run the scheme and also have access to our AA2A Engage members group. These are previous AA2A artists who are willing to meet students outside the institution. It could be inviting a small group of students to visit their studio, or maybe attend a private view, or 'Open Studio' event with them, as well as having a licence for students to use our AA2A Digital pack (details below). Our top employability package includes a self-employment presentation for students as well as the other benefits.

So depending on which package your college signed up for, you may have some extra resources available to help you get more from your time at college and make some informed career choices.

2014-15 AA2A Digital pack available now!

'Making it out there', our digital pack aimed at students, graduates and artists is designed to introduce you to the key UK arts organisations you'll need to make it in the art world. With more than 80 embedded links it's designed to be easily read on a smart phone or iPad so you can check out the sites as you read. Updated for 2014-15, you can view sample pages and buy it online for 5.95.

'Pic of the Week on Twitter and Facebook

During the year, many of the new AA2A artists will be featured in our Pic of the Week. These are weekly posts on the AA2A Twitter and Facebook pages showcasing our favourite images from the Dotbiz networking site. We also post weekly project news. So, if you want to stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook


Please do feel free to forward this newsletter to any artists, designer-makers or arts organisations who might be interested and if you're not already on our artists' or organisations' e-mail list, do get in touch.

Best wishes

The AA2A team...
Wendy Mason - National Director
Georgia Rodger - National Coordinator
Jo Warren - National Administrator

(If you have received this twice yearly newsletter by email and wish to unsubscribe send us an email with unsubscribe newsletter in the subject line.)

Justyna Kaczmarska - Dudley College

Bonnie Craig - University of Central Lancashire

Lauren Spencer - Sheffield College

John Wheeler - Teesside University