National Glass Centre
Contact: Arabella Plouviez, Dean, University of Sunderland.
The National Glass Centre, an Arts Council England NPO, is part of the University of Sunderland. The formal link was made 5 years ago and the building is co-occupied.
The National Glass Centre is stronger for being embedded in the university environment: glass and ceramic students exhibit their work there and as with the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, the resources are shared between artists.
The University of Sunderland has been involved in the setting up of The Cultural Company, along with the business sector and the city, bringing together cultural assets and growing them. This has led to increased opportunities for students. For example, they progress from undergraduate training to PhD in one location, and can take on studios after their courses, or stay nearby and rent spaces.
There is little or no separation between the student life/ development and the artist life/ development.
However, there is a separation between the Glass Centre’s visitor’s area and the students. In both, attempts are made to make resources more accessible. For the university, this means widening participation, for example making provision for the large number of students with dyslexia.
There are opportunities for sharing, (as is the case with the NEPN) students can pull on the academic team to realise a project.