Fine Art students exhibit across Middlesbrough

This August sees a number of fine art students from the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University exhibiting their work for the general public to see


Friday 19th August sees the opening of an exhibition at Parkside West  featuring the work of MA Fine Art students. Titled ‘FEMELLE’, the exhibition is a showcase of the work of female artists including:

  • Amy Austin
  • Charley Duffy
  • Robyn Fyfe
  • Vanessa Langford
  • Donna Morris
  • Evelyn Rodgers

Amy, Charley and Donna all completed BA Hons Fine Art degrees in the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University before progressing on to study their masters in Fine Art.  Along with Robyn, a studio holder at Auxiliary, they have all been accepted onto teacher training courses in September, with a view to sharing their creative talents with the next generation of arts students.

Vanessa is an experienced Community Arts Practitioner of 20 years. She is looking forward to working towards showing her work in the local area on completion of her MA.

Evelyn also completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art at Teesside University and she has plans to develop her sculptural and textile practice, working towards exhibiting locally after her MA studies.

The exhibition opens to public viewing at Parkside West, Middlesbrough TS2 3LF at 10am on Friday 19th August, closing at 4pm. On the 20th August the exhibition is open between 10am and 2pm.

Another Fine Art student, Ellen Ranson, is currently exhibiting her most recent work, inspired by a fellowship in Venice, at Pineapple Black in Middlesbrough until 20th August. Ellen is an abstract expressionist painter who works on large canvases, using bright colours and layers to create a sense of depth on the canvas.

Ellen Ranson

 

PR students land jobs before graduation

Even before they have received their graduation certificates and flung their mortar boards high into the air, 60% of our final year Public Relations and Digital Communication graduands* are already in their dream roles! 

(*a graduand is someone who is eligible to graduate, but has not yet graduated – it can be your fact for the day!)  


Don’t take our word for it, listen to what our future graduates have to say. We asked them three short questions about their time at Teesside University: 

How did Teesside Uni help me prepare for my job?  

“My time at TU helped me to build confidence in my abilities, which left me feeling prepared to take on a new career!” – Sarah  

“Working with real world clients and developing the skills to help clients achieve their goals really helped me prepare myself for working in the industry. It helped me develop a ‘can-do’ attitude, which proves useful in an agency environment where no one day is the same.” – Adam 

“My time at Teesside University has helped me massively prepare for my job in so many ways, I don’t think I’d be this prepared for it without going through the University route!” – Laura  

Laura – Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough

Laura also says 

“Through my course I’ve been able to have a better understanding of the industry and build connections through guest lecturers and modules pushing me to speak to other creatives in the Northeast (especially when building my portfolio), which then led me to push my work out further to the online community. 

Through one of my modules, Teesside University helped push me to start my own blog which allowed me to speak to different businesses and related individuals. My blog helped me gain my first marketing job and helped me get accepted into the role I’m in now. Without this, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”   

The best thing about the PR course is… 

“The fact I was able to work on real world projects for real clients in a safe space where I could experiment with ideas was my favourite part of my time at university as it gave me a solid foundation of real-world experience and skills and still allowed me to try new things.”Adam 

“The best thing about the course was that a lot of it was practical, meaning we got the opportunity to design and create a range of PR and communications campaigns.”Sarah 

“The best thing about the PR course was the detailed learning because I was involved in quite a small cohort, this allowed all of us to be a consistent support line for one another through social groups and being friends with one another outside the classroom. The smaller groups allowed for us to get in-depth answers from our tutors about certain topics and more involved help with our learning.”Laura 

How’s work going and what are you doing?   

“Work is going great thanks, I love it!  My role is a mix of internal and external comms for a global company”Sarah  

Sarah – Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office)

Adam sounds rather busy too:  

“My job as an account executive at an advertising agency entails taking care of clients’ needs to relay that to the necessary departments within the agency. For example, if a client wants a front-page advertisement including in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph, I would be the first point of contact for the client and would relay that message to the artwork department in order to ensure client’s needs are met. 

I’m also currently compiling a competitor review for a football club to analyse competitors messaging techniques and any changes in (kit) design, and I’m working on populating a social media video report to see which of our videos have a higher level of engagement, and which videos don’t.” 

Laura is also multi-tasking: 

“I’m the sole marketeer across Middlesbrough and Durham studios for both tattooing and barbers, Skins and Needles Apparel, and other barbershops we have in the Northeast.  

My day-to-day responsibilities include social posting, customer relations, brand management, content management (with the team), paid advertisements, email marketing, but they’re not limited to any ideas that the team or our artists can come up with! Sounds a lot I know but with the right time management you can do anything. “– great advice from Laura.  

    • Adam is an Account Executive for Drummond Central, Newcastle. 
    • Laura is Marketing Manager for Skins and Needles, Durham & Middlesbrough.  
    • Sarah is a Communications Assistant at Venator, Winyard (Head office) and range of global locations. 

Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in Media and Journalism, along with other courses in the School of Arts & Creative Industries

Celebrating a Winning Year

Students and graduates from the School of Arts & Creative Industries are encouraged and supported by lecturers to enter national and international competitions, and to apply for funded programmes. Find out more about our recent successes in a truly winning year.


Competitions are a great way for students to gain experience of responding to live briefs, as well as creating noteworthy content for a CV and a topic of discussion for interviews. That’s why our lectures encourage students to enter their work.

The support doesn’t end there though – we encourage students to keep in touch once they have graduated and turn to the lecturers who know them so well for support in applying for a variety of funded opportunities.

We’re incredibly proud of all our students, but in particular wanted to give a shout out to a handful of students who have achieved some outstanding successes over the last 12 months and celebrate their success, including:

Keavey Gamwell, a Graphic Design student, was so successful in The Adobe Certified Professionals National Championships that she has been selected as one of just 20 students in the UK representing the UK and Ireland at Certiport’s Adobe Certified Professional World Championship in California, USA, from 24 to 27 July 2022. Read more about Keavey’s story here

Earlier this academic year, Fashion graduate Emily Dey completed a rigorous selection process to be selected for an exclusive and 10-month, paid training programme funded by YOOX NET-A-PORTER and The Prince’s Foundation, the YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP Modern Artisan paid training programme in responsible design and luxury textile craftsmanship.

fashion designs
Fashion designs from Emily Dey’s final year portfolio

3rd year Product Design student Kristina Kuzcenova has reached the next round of the Pro Carton Young Designers Award 2022. The Pro Carton Young Designers Award is Europe’s leading annual young talent competition for packaging design. Focussing exclusively on cartonboard, the award plays a pioneering role in promoting sustainable packaging and innovation amongst students across Europe.

Kristina Kuzkenova

There were over 800 entries and Kristina was notified in June that she is in the top 100. She has now sent her prototypes for the next stage of judging, taking place in the Hague. Judges will announce the shortlisted top 25 in July and these entrants will go to the public vote – if Kristina makes it to the top 25 she can be assured of the vote of all our lecturers and students!

Nick Moffatt

Nick Moffatt an MA Illustration student has been longlisted for the World Illustration Awards in the Book Covers category for his classic beat generation collection  With category winners yet to be announced we’re holding our breath and wishing Nick the very best of luck.

Zara King

Second year Product Design student, Zara King, secured a place as one of just six finalists in the Design Plastic Awards in April.  The challenge this year was to design an innovative product for use in any part of the healthcare sector and Zara desgined EASYMODE, a reusable bed pan.

The finalists presented their products to the judges in London on May 27, and the final award ceremony, announcing the results, takes place on July 1.

*** WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT ***

Zara King won the Design Plastics Award 

With the academic year drawing to a close,  lecturers are busy scheduling the next set of entry dates for competitions to share with students. Meanwhile, we’re holding our breath to find out if any students will be announced as 2022 winners…but if truth be known, they’re all winners in our eyes!

Live briefs, research and community engagement

We’re often told that research informs teaching, but what does that really mean? Here’s a great example of how the research undertaken by academic staff supports innovative teaching methods and informs teaching.


Senior Lecturer in Comics and Graphic Novels , Julian Lawrence is an award-winning cartoonist and educator specialising in comic books. Julian’s work concentrates on the undercurrents of communication through gesture in the medium of comics.

In June 2021 Julian presented his conference paper, 21st Century Winter Journey, at the Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association Conference (MeCSSA). The paper introduces his visual essay book chapter describing a collaborative comics-based research (CBR) project between a homeless charity and a cohort of 2nd-year university students. The 21st Century Winter Journey project explores the status of community art education (CAE) in Middlesbrough UK, and the ways learning and making comics impacts communities locally and internationally.

Cover by Julian Lawrence

The project challenged Year Two students in Comics & Graphic Novels at Teesside University to make comics, do research beyond the classroom boundaries, and explore the surrounding local community. Academics and students partnered with staff and homeless members of Streetwise Opera (SWO) who were staging a performance of Schubert’s opera Winterreise. SWO provides resources and community support to people affected by homelessness across the UK. The task as a class was to collaboratively develop the opera into a narrative with SWO and adapt the libretto into a graphic novel.

Traditional comics-making methods informed the foundation of the project’s artistic practice:

• Rough sketches and thumbnails based on research
• Cleaner pencil drawings and lettering
• Rendering inks and colours
• Final, camera-ready artwork.

Following each iteration, SWO and Julian (as tutor) gave students feedback and revisions.

Page by Ebonny Cavanagh

Julian suggests that analysis of the project widens conversations in CAE through Research Informed Teaching (RIT), Just-In-Time Teaching (JITT) and Paolo Freire’s “conscientizaçāo” (awareness). RITT, JITT, and awareness triangulate and locate learning in a community’s relational and public spaces. In applying these theories with cartooning practices, a powerful pedagogical tool emerges. When students become researchers and make comics they negotiate their understandings of community, their identities, and their futures. These observations are evidenced in the reflections students wrote as well as in the finished comics they submitted at the conclusion of the project. RIT, JITT, awareness, and cartooning guide the flow of artistic practice through shared group experiences within community spaces.

Page by Mia Redfern

Forms of comics such as comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels are recognized internationally. Creative practices of making comics and cartooning are transferrable to schools, community centres, universities, and care homes everywhere. As such, the medium of comics functions as a transversal language and participatory culture that links people and communities together.

Tragically, the global pandemic hit as students were developing the comic, and all teaching migrated online. Despite increased pressure to self-isolate, socially distance, and learn online the 64-page graphic novel was successfully completed and deliverd as Christmas presents in December 2020.  Julian continues to use live briefs to encourage research and create meaningful and community-based learning in and outside of the classroom for students.

The School of Arts & Creative Industries offers both a BA Comics & Graphic Novels and an MA Comics & Graphic Novels

 

2022 Graduate Showcase – a Sneak Peek!

May is the month of the Graduate Showcase in the School of Arts & Creative Industries and with just two weeks to go, we’re so excited about the incredible work that we have seen, that we just can’t help but give you a sneak peek…

P.S. Shout out to Becky Thomas, 3rd Year Graphic Design & Illustration student, for the fabulous Graduate Showcase promo artwork! 🙌


Each year, students from the School of Arts & Creative Industries submit their finest pieces of work, the culmination of three years of study, for inclusion in THE event of the year. This year’s Graduate Showcase opens on Monday 16th May and is open to anyone who wishes to come along to see the work of our students. Check out the full programme of events here.

Unlike the 2021 Degree Show which was all online, this year we’re thrilled to be opening our doors to students, families, friends, employers, schools, colleges and local organisations that wish to come along to applaud the achievements of our final year students.

A full printed programme showcasing student work will be available for visitors, along with a showcase of our film and media work on a digital platform. But you don’t have to wait – here’s a taster of what’s in store for you! For each course we’ve randomly selected just one amazing piece of work to show you, to help whet your appetite for more!

BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels

Student Sophie Poole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA (Hons) Fashion

Student Grace Goodfellow-Lovlo

 

 

 

 

 

BA (Hons) Product Design

Student Scarlett Bonas

 

 

 

BA (Hons) Graphic Design 

Student Jue Shuen Soh

 

 

 

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Student Amelia Curry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Student Lauren Bailey

 

There’s much, much more to see when we open our doors on 16th May AND watch this space for information about where to find work from students of our Music & Media Production Courses, which will be available to view on our TUxtra platform. You’ll see some incredible work from students on the following courses:

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek and look forward to welcoming you during Graduate Showcase week, 16th – 20th May.

International Collaboration on World Storytelling Day


To celebrate World Storytelling Day 2022 the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Teesside University held a special international celebration of creative storytelling with participation from alumni, partners, our staff and  students. We asked everyone to join us in celebrating World Storytelling Day 2022 using the theme ‘People and Places – Lost and Found’. Participants were asked to tell us what it is like being a global creative student or creative professional, to share their stories about where they live and the people around them., to tell us their stories of people and places in their your way – video, images, words or music.

A digital live 48 hour event was staged across global timezones using our TUxtra platform, to stream and build digital content  sharing live on social media. The resulting 48 hours of streamed and hosted content with participation from our international friends, partners, alumni and our students at Teesside students can be seen below.

The Man Who Wouldn’t Look Up

WECreate Memories

Obama 100 Days

Being an International student at Teesside University

The Deer Rising

In conversation with Feride Cicekoglu

Fashion Students collaboration with Marmara University 

Lonely Planet

 

Jane O’Neill, Editor at Commercial Interior Design

Being a Global Creative Today

Alice tells her Teesside Story

Study and Life at Teesside University

Jackson remembers Teesside University

A Story of Retired Teachers

Running in the Dark

Fashion Students collaboration with Marmara University – Part 2

From Teesside to Australia

The train to Kherson, Ukraine

In and around the Tees Valley

Photography Students Celebrate World Storytelling Day 2022 

 

Courses in Art & Design

 

Courses in Media & Journalism Courses in Music Technology