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About Fine Arts

Fine Arts student Luc JonesStudents studying Fine Arts at York St John receive specialist tuition in both conceptual and practical aspects of contemporary fine art practice. Our programme is geared towards developing students' understanding of the location of fine art within contemporary society. Through this, we help them unlock their potential as emerging art practitioners. Students are exposed to a wide variety of historical and theoretical material while simultaneously accessing a wide variety of contemporary art practices. Students take part in dedicated history and theory modules and specialist studio based classes and workshops. Both aspects of the course typically include skills workshops, talks by visiting arts professionals, trips to exhibitions and opportunities to participate in international exchange programs.

The numbers of students studying on the course is kept intentionally small so that staff can gain an intimate knowledge of each student’s developing practice over the course of the three year programme. The same tutors who teach in the studio also teach on the historical and theoretical modules of the degree programme. Thus students are given the best possible support in the development of their own practice. All staff are internationally active practitioners within their own fields, producing artworks and publishing texts.

Our graduates develop and sustain their creative practice through a wide range of routes including sale of work, commissions, grants and residences. Many also apply their learning through arts therapy, teaching, community arts work, curating and arts management or within other areas of the creative industries such as media production. Many will also later incorporate postgraduate study and advanced research into their practice.


Catherine Scriven

Catherine Scriven with her artwork Alumni AbundantesCatherine Scriven, a Fine Art graduate from York St John University, had her first public commission of artwork in 2011, marking the start of a historic heritage trail at York St John.

The artwork ‘Alumni Abundantes 1841 - 2010’, meaning alumni in abundance, depicts an artistic collection of the many York St John alumni and staff.  The six aluminium panels, were created using the University archives of both York and Ripon, as well as the memories and experiences of alumni. Catherine graduated in 2008 and was awarded the University’s Start4Art prize for outstanding achievement. She has recently secured a residency with HAFNEY (Hospital Arts for North East Yorkshire) to produce public work for one of the hospitals. Catherine uses a combination of digital photography, drawing, printing and handmade papers. In her practice she focuses on repetitive processes, everyday routine structures and systems. 

More of Catherine's work can be viewed here