To Create is Great!

Being creative is important…in fact, it’s great! Creativity can help to reduce stress, make you feel calmer, improve your wellbeing, combat depression and anxiety and generally alleviate stress, leaving you happy and content. In fact, entering our MIMA Great Create competition could be just the tonic you need – here’s what you need to know.

The School of Arts & Creative Industries  and MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) are celebrating the third birthday of our MIMA Great Create competition, and this year’s theme is sure to prick your social conscience. This year we’re challenging entrants to submit a creative piece that responds to the theme of ‘creating a sustainable future’.

MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art)

The creative piece, which must be developed solely for MIMA Great Create, could be a painting, an illustration, a comic, a piece of music or a film. It could be a model, a photograph, a fashion item or a piece of creative artwork in any form.  All shortlisted entries will be featured in a special pop-up exhibition at MIMA and the winner of our special People’s Champion category will be displayed in Teesside University’s Net Zero Centre for all visitors to see.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over and this year entries will be judged in three categories:

  • School or college student
  • Current Teesside University student and
  • Creative in the community.

There will also be an exciting opportunity for everyone to vote for the ‘People’s Champion’ from the shortlisted entries.

Judge Drucilla Burrell

The MIMA Great Create judges come from across the creative industries, and this year include magazine founder and fashion academic Abigail Dennison, artist and curator Bobby Benjamin, children’s art charity Theatre Hullabaloo chief executive Ben Dickenson, Professor Dawid Hanak of the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, photographer Drucilla Burrell, artist and illustrator Errol Theunissen, MIMA artistic director Elinor Morgan, and last year’s Great Create winner Hayley Harris.

MIMA Great Create winner, 2023 – Hayley Harris

Hayley was announced as the second winner of the World Book Day themed MIMA Great Create in March 2023 with her illustration inspired by her favourite book The Secret Garden. Speaking when she was announced as the winner, Hayley said:

“I feel a strong connection with the book and characters, having lost a parent and being surrounded by wildlife and nature has helped to heal, give guidance and comfort. The scene that I chose to encapsulate is when the robin shows the way to the door and sadness is given some light and healing through nature.”

2023 winning entry, The Secret Garden

Haley’s advice to anyone considering entering the MIMA Great Create was:

“Let your imagination run wild and don’t be afraid to let your artwork out into the world. It helps others in giving encouragement and a bit of inspiration.”

The standard of entries gets higher every year and entries already received for this year are no different. With a closing deadline of Friday 29 March 2024, there’s still time to get your entry in, so if creating a sustainable future matters to you, then get those creative juices flowing and head to  The MIMA Great Create | School of Arts & Creative Industries | Teesside University

Judge Errol Theunissen
Judge David Hawak
Judge Ben Dickenson

Study at our School of Arts & Creative Industries

National Apprenticeship Week

This week at Teesside University we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and highlighting the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers, and the economy.

Apprentices in the MIMA Gallery

It’s a very exciting time for the apprentices on the Curator Degree Apprenticeship MA, because they are spending their week at MIMA on our Teesside University Campus for one of their intensive weeks of learning. This course is the first of its kind in the sector and offers a unique approach to learning by combining online seminars, on the job learning and 3 intensive weeks across the 24 months of the course.

What is it like to be on our blended, unique learning model?

Curator apprentices in MIMA

We asked some of our current apprentices to tell us…

Alice Wilde is a Talent Development Producer and Curator for Visual Art at HOME in Manchester.

My favourite thing about the course has been learning from one another I think it’s a very special environment. Everyone is coming to the subject from very different backgrounds and disciplines, but there’s a universal language and a way of understanding one another.

The course is for someone who wants to expand their practise, hone it and work out what your values are as a curator and the direction you want to go into in the future. One of the main priorities of this course is thinking about access and inclusivity – who our audience are, who encounters our spaces and institutions. Just having the time to reflect and discuss all of this together has been really amazing.

Adam Rose is a Trainee in the Exhibitions Team within Wellcome Collection, 

The thing that’s really stood out for me has to be these intensive weeks in my daily working life as an apprentice curator we must think of delivery all the time you very rarely get that space to hold conversations with like-minded people and that’s a really nice thing to have.

Why not sign up to one of our webinars to find out more about our Curator Degree Apprenticeship MA?

MA Curating apprentices at MIMA

Find out more about Degree Apprenticeships available at Teesside University – Teesside University is an outstanding provider for Higher Apprenticeships (Ofsted further education and skills inspection report 2019).