Before you book, make sure that the course is what you want. Sounds simple but there are a wide variety of possibilities and you need to be sure that whilst your tutor will provide what you want, you are still open minded and happy to accept criticism and guidance.
“Think about whether you want to be in a large class or a small group. What medium do you want to use? If you are experienced, then maybe you don’t want to try something new, but if you are a complete beginner you might well want the chance to try a variety of media. You might want to consider whether your tutor is also a teacher. How much tuition do you want? Do you want instruction or guidance?
Tessa Sulston, Director of Art, Callington School of Art, Cornwall www.callingtonartschool.com
Like many schools, full course details are available to view on our website, all of which are individually written by our experienced tutors. It’s important to carefully read the course details to get a flavour of what to expect, including the course level, what to bring with you, and what items can be purchased on-site at our college shop.
Deborah Petch, Short Course Programmer, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Sussex www.westdean.org.uk
A COVID-ready working space is important this year. Choose a school which offers large, well-ventilated studios. Make sure the school has a non-sharing policy on things like brushes, materials, easels and even chairs – if in doubt, take what you need so you don't have to share. Make sure the school has a Plan B, such as rescheduling your course dates or offering you an equivalent if you have to self-isolate or there is another lockdown.
Martin Kinnear, Course Director and Co-Founder, Norfolk Painting School www.norfolkpaintingschool.com
Do feel free to get in touch and ask how your chosen school or tutor plans on managing this whole new area of COVID precautions. Like us, they should be very happy to share what they have in place. After all, we have all spent months thinking and planning for when we can reopen, pondering everything from table spacing, hand sanitising, PPE, yellow tape, ventilation and notices, to refreshment and food provision, car parking, toilets and more, not to mention producing exhaustive risk assessments.
Allison Bond, Watershed Studio, Essex www.watershedstudio.co.uk
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