Studying Creative Arts at MK College: Artist and Industry Links | MK College

Studying Creative Arts at MK College: Artist and Industry Links

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Gaining real-life work experience and equipping our students beyond the classroom is an important part of student life here at MK College, and when it comes to the Creative and Digital Arts, there’s no exception.

As a department, the Creative Arts have connections with a wealth of partner organisations, professional visiting artists and fellow collaborators that continue to enrich our courses and in turn, our students’ experiences.

Artist and Industry Links

As a result of these fantastic links, our Creative Arts students are continually exposed to their chosen industry, equipping them with a broader knowledge of their subject and a professional outlook.

In addition to creative professional and industry links, MK College is proud to be part of the Milton Keynes Cultural Educational Partnership through MAKE (Milton Keynes Arts Education). We have also worked in collaboration with organisations such as Future Fossil on new and exciting projects such as their current competition, Future Producers.

Despite the challenges over the past year, the Creative Arts department have been overwhelmed with support received from local creative professionals and Industry specialists. As we’ve adapted to online learning throughout lockdown periods, this has also enabled students to learn from contributors beyond Milton Keynes which has been fantastic.

During the first term of this academic year, Level 3 Fashion & Textiles had the opportunity to work on a live client brief, as they were tasked to put their skills to the test by collaborating with an innovative acoustic panel company, Agile AcousticsCEO of Agile Acoustics Stuart Jones, tasked the students to create Biophilic patterns that could be used on the ceilings of offices, schools and workspaces around the world to bring the natural environment into urban workspaces, promoting better wellbeing for all. The students met with Stuart Jones and their head designer Antony online and were briefed to create botanical designs that were “simple and sophisticated” with a white background.

Acting Students had a brilliant time working with Rosemary Hill, an inspirational local Theatre practitioner with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Rosemary is Artistic Director of The Plays the Thing Theatre Company who have been granted Arts Council funding to realise the Project ‘Invisible / Visible’, which our students were lucky enough to work on.

In the Performing Arts department at MK College, we had been keen to work with Rosemary Hill again since a successful collaboration with Grid Arts on Home Sweet Home kick-started the academic year in 2016 and made a huge impact on that year’s cohort of students. Many of the students from that year group continue to work with Rosemary, gaining invaluable industry experience.

Students on our Games, Animation and VFX course were able to work with established Games Company, MuHa Games. As a company, they continue to invest in the Games developers of tomorrow through a number of fantastic opportunities. Peter Leask, one of the Course Team Leaders for the Games, Animation and VFX Course, explains more:

“Its quite uncommon in the industry for Games companies to give the amount that MuHa Games are giving; they are doing a dedicated talk where they talk about story, programming and quality assurance. They have set a brief that is really open ended with some fantastic industry advice for the students, and in addition to that they have released multiple steam codes for the students and challenged them to modify their pre-existing game – Thea 2 The Shattering which is really exciting as it effectively gives the students the opportunity to work for a Games Company”

In July 2018 Graphic Design students were set a live project from Thames Valley Police. In response to a national and local crime initiative, students produced a campaign to highlight Hate Crime under the banner “101 conversations”.

Students were briefed by Thames Valley Police and upon pitching their finished designs, several were chosen to be produced, printed and featured in a regional campaign.

The project set really inspired our Graphic Design students and was a rewarding experience for all involved. Following the success of 101 conversations, in 2019, Thames Valley Police returned to us with their new initiative for the design of an Anti-Knife Crime campaign. 

There are simply too many fantastic collaborations and creative professionals to showcase and thank. For a full list of artist and companies that our Creative Arts students have worked with recently, take a look at the dedicated MK College Arts website here.

Want to join the next cohort of Creative Arts students and work on live briefs yourself? Take a look at our range of Creative and Digital Arts courses to find your pathway.