Located in a former library and community centre in De Beauvoir Town, East London, Open School East is a unique space that brings together:
A free study programme for emerging artists;
A multifaceted programme of events and activities open to all.
Open School East was founded in 2013 in response to spiralling tuition fees and student debt, and a climate of increasing bureaucracy in arts education. It was instituted as a space for artistic learning and production that is experimental, versatile and highly collaborative.
Central to Open School East’s approach is a commitment to foster cultural, intellectual and social exchanges between artists and the broader public. We do this by opening our study programme outwards, responding to our locality and providing an informal environment for the sharing of knowledge and skills across various communities – artistic, local and otherwise.
Open School East is an innovative model of an artists’ study programme that engages socially and culturally with its local context.
We provide a unique environment for artist-led learning through:
• Shared studio provision;
• Tuition and mentorship from internationally renowned practitioners, theorists and curators;
• Support in the production of artistic projects.
The study programme is run according to principles of collaboration, experimentation and openness, and welcomes practitioners who engage with these notions in different ways.
We continually reinvent our approach, exploring new modes of engagement and forms of inhabitation on an annual basis.
Please note that applications for 2016 will open in August 2015.
How does the study programme function?
Free to attend and non-accredited, the study programme runs across twelve months and is principally self-directed, creating platforms for the associate artists to develop their practice.
The associates come together two days a week (Thursdays and Fridays) to receive tuition, meet the mentors, work and collaborate on projects, and plan activities. Tuition is delivered through a combination of tutorials, group crits, presentations, workshops, seminars and excursions, some of which are open to the public. Term 1 and the mentorship programme are organised by the OSE team, while term 2 and 3 – as well as part of the public programme – are shaped by the associates around their practice and shared interests.
While at Open School East, the associates are required to develop a specific project or line of enquiry. Their research is advanced and shared with the public via open studios and events taking place at different times throughout the year.
Every year, medium- and large-scale participatory projects are organised by the OSE team in collaboration with artists, producers and local partners. These projects contribute to bridging the study and public programmes and constitute another part of the associates’ learning experience.