From education to employment

See the work of creative graduates across the city and beyond in Plymouth College of Art’s 2022 Summer Shows


From immersive animations and cutting-edge fashion design to contemporary illustration and timeless glass and ceramics, creative graduates are preparing to take over sites across the city with a host of exhibitions and showcases, taking place as part of Plymouth College of Art’s season of 2022 Summer Shows and events and as part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity.

Visit Plymouth College of Art online to check dates and locations for where you can see students from the college’s range of Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Pre-Degree courses, showcasing their work through May and June and into early September 2022.

Graduate work will be shown through May and June and into early September 2022.

At points during the Summer Shows Plymouth College of Art’s main Tavistock Place campus will open as an exhibition space for students, staff and members of the public, including the opening from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday 23 June of a stunning exhibition of work by graduating BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing and Printmaking students in MIRROR, the public art gallery based out of and supported by Plymouth College of Art.

The annual Summer Shows see Plymouth College of Art transform into a hub of creativity and inspiration each year, showcasing work produced by final-year BA (Hons) students across the School of Design + Communication, including Textile Design, Graphic Communication and Commercial Photography, the School of Arts + Media, including  Film & Screen Arts, Animation & Games and Craft & Material Practices, as well as Postgraduate Masters students and Further Education students from the college’s Pre-Degree campus. Professionals from the creative industries and local businesses across the South West who are interested in connecting with graduates during industry events as part of the Summer Shows can email [email protected].

One million people attend events organised by creative and cultural organisations in Plymouth each year, and culture is worth more than £98 million to the city annually. For graduating students, the Summer Shows mark an important step towards contributing to that creative economy, from meeting new industry contracts and securing work, to setting up businesses or planning further creative study.

Plymouth College of Art’s Summer Shows are part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity, which connects creative graduates, businesses and members of the public to spark employability, drive community engagement and develop new creative economy opportunities across Plymouth and beyond. IGNITE runs from 27 May to 15 July 2022, putting a unique spin on the traditional art degree show model, showcasing work by graduates from Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth both online and in physical installations and exhibitions in community and business spaces in the city. 

A showcase of work by graduating Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students from Plymouth College of Art’s Pre-Degree campus kicks off the Summer Shows in Plymouth, with work on display for visitors to Palace Court on Buckwell Street from 6 to 17 June. 

Outside of the city, BA (Hons) Photography graduates are showing work at Positive Light Projects in Exeter from 13 to 17 May, BA (Hons) Fashion Design students will take part in Graduate Fashion Week at Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London from 20 to 24 June, and students from BA (Hons) Textile Design and BA (Hons) Crafts & Material Practices are going to New Designers, the longest running and leading design showcase in the country, which runs over two weeks, from 29 June to 2 July and 6 to 9 July. 

By utilising new technologies during their studies, identifying emerging markets and defining sustainable working methods as they establish their creative practices, Plymouth College of Art’s graduating students demonstrate purposeful design and highlight the benefits of learning in a collaborative cross-disciplinary environment. Following the Summer Shows, the graduates join an international community of alumni who have worked and created for clients including Marvel, Sony, Disney, the BBC, LEGO, FENTY, Rockstar Games, Burberry, Kerrang!, Vans, Red Bull, Animal and Princess Yachts.

For anybody considering a course of creative study, Saturday 2 July marks an Open Day at Plymouth College of Art during the Summer Shows, offering an excellent opportunity to explore specialist facilities such as Fab Lab Plymouth and the dedicated Material Practices workshops for ceramics, glass and metalwork, as well as visiting exhibitions of work by graduating students to see what sort of skills and outcomes can be achieved after university-level creative study.


Plymouth College of Art has been shortlisted for Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards. The College was also shortlisted  for the CSR/Sustainability Transformation Award at the 2022 international Think Global Awards,for its embrace of sustainability best practices. Plymouth College of Art Students’ Union (PCA:SU) won Best Campaign Supporting Student Wellbeing at the 2021 Think Student Awards, beating leading international universities to be selected as the winner by the Student Pulse panel of 40,000 students.

IGNITE, which was shortlisted in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Award for the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year and in the HEIST Awards for Best Student Engagement Campaign or Initiative, is supported by Plymouth City Council as part of the iMayflower project, and by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund (administered by Arts Council England).

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