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Celebrating 160 years of Bristol School of Art

One of England’s oldest Art Schools will celebrate its 160-year anniversary this Saturday 15th September, with a special event where visitors can take a look behind the scenes at this historic building and try their hand at a variety of art disciplines.

Originally established in 1858, Bristol School of Art in Clifton will mark the occasion with a tour of the Victorian and Edwardian studios, where dedicated studios combine with beautiful high ceilings and windows. Visitors will be able to try their hand at drawing in the life room, pull their own silk screen print, and look back through 160 years of the school's history, reading archived newspaper articles.

Bristol School of Art is situated in the right-hand wing of the Royal West of England Academy on Queens Road, Bristol’s oldest art gallery. The Grade II listed building was purpose built to house an art gallery and an art school. Its Italianate grandeur balances the Victoria Rooms to form a dramatic focal point above the Triangle.

Today, Bristol School of Art is home to over 250 students, offering 14 courses both part time and full time, with an emphasis on contemporary art and design, and a cross-disciplinary approach to idea development - preparing students for careers within the arts both nationally and internationally.

This 160-year anniversary event will be part of the Bristol Doors Open Day, a once-a-year opportunity to see inside some of Bristol’s most fascinating and important buildings and also discover the city’s hidden treasures, many of which are not normally open to the general public. People can explore fascinating buildings, join guided tours and enjoy a range of events and activities.

Learning Area Manager at Bristol School of Art, Abigail Nicol, comments:

“Since its inception, Bristol School of Art has earned a highly regarded reputation for its high-quality education across a range of creative disciplines. Staff and students are extremely proud of the teaching, learning, facilities and culture at Bristol School of Art. We are delighted to share our college with the public through Bristol Doors Open Day and join with our local community to celebrate 160 years.”

Entry to Bristol School of Art this Saturday is completely free, open 10am-4pm.