The Art Department is always a hive of activity and students are able to use the Art facilities on a regular basis outside of lesson times to catch up with their prep (homework) or further their development in the subject.
The Department is open to students during activity slots, Central Hour (free time between 1.50pm-2.45pm), and during and after prep in the evening. The Department’s two main studios and three specialist classrooms for print, ceramics and photography are great resources for students to develop their GCSE or A Level coursework, or simply as an activity for enjoyment.
Students are given numerous opportunities to leave their mark at Pangbourne. Each year, the Art Department hosts an internal competition to create Christmas card designs with a selection being chosen for sale in aid of Pangbourne’s partnership school, the Nabugabo Community Learning Centre in Uganda. The best pieces of GCSE and A Level work are reproduced in the College magazine, Colours, and displays of artwork adorn boarding houses, as well as other areas of the school.
The whole College is invited to appreciate the artistic efforts of the Art Department’s staff and students twice a year. Displays of their artwork, whether it is ceramics, print, photography, drawing or painting, are available to view after GCSE and A Level examinations and also on Founders’ Day (last day of the academic year).
The Department caters for students wishing to go further in the subject. For example, a Sixth Former had her work short-listed for the Royal Academy of Arts A Level Summer Online Exhibition in 2014 after being supported with her entry to the competition. There is also an annual A Level trip to the University of London for its Creative Processes Day with recent guest lecturers including Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry, and respected photographer, David Montgomery. The inspirational trip gives pupils a glimpse of how it’s possible to make a living in the industry and what challenges there are as an artist or photographer.
In March 2019, the College introduced a week-long Festival of Culture celebrating the best of the Art, Music and Drama Department at the College. There were special events across the school throughout the week, focusing on creativity and interpretation, and with the aim of getting pupils to attempt ambitious activities which they would not normally try. Events were staged by different departments including English, Art, Drama, Music and the Library.