Radley School of Art is situated at the heart of the College in Clocktower Court. Our aim is to engage and encourage all the boys to experience enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts during their time at Radley and gain a broad knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers across global cultures and throughout history. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in the art lessons to help develop the boys’ practical artistic skills as well as an appreciation visual culture.
The Art Department is staffed by four specialist art teachers; Ruth Tufnell (Head of Department), Tom Ryder, Maxine Hart, and Kate Knox, all of whom practice as both artists and teachers, and supported administratively by Claire Mosedale. There are five purpose-built and fully equipped studios which have facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, computer graphics and digital photography together with other ICT equipment. In addition, the Sewell Centre Gallery exhibits the boys’ work alongside the work of Old Radleians and invited external artists. Whenever possible, the boys are encouraged to research and respond to the work on show in the Gallery, attend the many talks given by visiting artists, review work and read journals and periodicals available in the comprehensive art library and use the Art Department’s computers for research, all with a view to helping put art into a context as this is an important part of the examination curriculum.
There is a weekly drawing class, working from first hand observation in a range of materials, as well as scholars' weekend workshops, both designed to provide Radleians of all abilities with the opportunity to explore and develop their own creativity. The Art Department also run a number of Art Trips for each year group to provide stimulus outside the art studios and to further engage the boys in a wider range of visual experiences. During the last three years, these have included Florence, Rome, Venice and New York as well as numerous visits to galleries and exhibitions within the UK.
Outside lessons, boys are encouraged to work alongside each other in the Art Studios which remain open during the evenings and over the weekends. This enables them to continue working on their art exam projects, but also, importantly, for their own personal pleasure, creativity and experimentation. Furthermore, our close links with the Design Engineering Department, located adjacent to the Art Department, mean that the boys are able to create final pieces of work/installations that are even more ambitious and technically exciting, with access to laser cutters, wood work and welding materials. With the fast moving, ever changing art world, Radley School of Art continues to embrace both traditional methods of art making, whilst also exploring new technologies, contemporary materials and new ways of working.
All boys in their first year at Radley have one double period of Art per week, along with the opportunity for a further art session as one of a number of extra activity options. Art and Design is then available at GCSE, AS and A level, with a number of boys going on to read Art and Design in its many different guises at University or Art College. With the creative industries becoming ever more important to the UK economy, we are very proud of the expanding list of successful Old Radleian artists, including BAFTA winning film producers, sculptors, media technicians, fashion designers, graphics producers, gallery and museum curators, architects and craftsmen.