Arts University Plymouth’s Class of 2023 will celebrate their graduation with friends and family in a ceremony at Theatre Royal Plymouth on Sunday 1 October 2023, alongside Professor of Imagination Penny Hay and renowned contemporary artist George Shaw, who were both awarded Honorary Fellowships by the city’s arts university.
The graduates, whose studies culminated in a range of exhibitions and showcases as part of Arts University Plymouth’s Summer Shows 2023, come from a range of undergraduate courses across art, design and media specialisms.
Professor Penny Hay is an artist, educator and researcher. Penny is Professor of Imagination at the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries, a Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning at Bath Spa University, and Founding Director of the House of Imagination. Her signature projects include School Without Walls and Forest of Imagination. Penny’s doctoral research focused on children’s learning identity as artists.
Penny is the strand leader for Creative Pedagogy in the Policy, Pedagogy and Practice Research Centre, Associate Director of TRACE at Bath Spa University, Chair of Imagination Research Space, and co-chair of the eARTh research group focusing on education, arts and the environment. She was recently the co-investigator on an Erasmus+ project Interstice in Europe researching the space between art, children and educators.
Penny is a visiting lecturer at Arts University Plymouth, National Teaching Fellow, and Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, with awards from Action for Children’s Arts, Thornton Education Trust, Landscape Institute and Creative Bath.
Artist George Shaw was born in Coventry in 1966 and lives and works in Devon. He graduated from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1989 and the Royal College of Art, London in 1998. He has worked in medical illustration and as a school teacher.
Goerge was nominated for the Turner prize in 2011 and a Sky Arts Award in 2017. He was the Associate Artist at the National Gallery in London from 2014 to 2016. In 2018 he had a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Yale Centre for British Art in New Haven in the United States, which toured to the Holburne Museum in Bath in 2019.
Over the last twenty five years George has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad most recently at The Box in Plymouth, England, Taiwan and Quebec in Canada. He is currently preparing a new exhibition for Limerick City Art Gallery in Ireland, opening in November this year.
Every year Arts University Plymouth awards Honorary Fellowships to recognise exceptional achievement in the creative arts, as well as recognising individuals that have achieved significant social change through arts and culture.
Past recipients of Honorary Fellowships from the university include: celebrated children’s artist David McKee (1935 – 2022); Anne Barlow, Director of Tate St Ives; Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England; Richard Deacon CBE, leading British sculptor and Turner Prize winner; British designers and renowned advocates and campaigners for creative education and the creative industries, Sir John Sorrell CBE and Lady Frances Sorrell OBE; and French glass artist Antoine Leperlier.
Graduates from Arts University Plymouth’s Class of 2023 have already landed roles assisting on costumes for the BBC, secured painting residencies with Royal Drawing School’s Dumfries House and with other respected organisations across the UK, won prizes in the International Photography Awards, secured work placements with Eden Project, worked with charities including the National Trust, been awarded placements with film production companies including TwoFour, and much more.
Successful recent graduates include BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices graduate Tyrone Vera, who was selected as one of the Director’s Picks at New Designers, as well as winning the Habitat Loves award.
Other success stories from Arts University Plymouth’s Class of 2023 include BA (Hons) Fashion Communication graduate Harry Langford, who won the Styling & Creative Direction Award at the inaugural size?syllabus awards, as well as having his portfolio selected at Graduate Fashion Week 2023 to be reviewed by INDITEX, the multinational clothing company behind Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear. BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate Molly Adlington also had her collection included on the Graduate Fashion Week catwalk as part of the Talent of Tomorrow campaign, alongside being shortlisted for the Graduate Fashion Foundation’s Childrenswear award and included in Draper’s picks for Graduate Fashion Week 2023.