Andy Reeve studied an Access to Higher Education course in Art and Design at City College Norwich 2007-2009.
Here, in his own words, Andy shares his story of how City College Norwich offered him an opportunity to achieve his ambitions which resulted in him going to university and being awarded the Vernon Crowther Prize for Painting!
Before attending City College Norwich, I’d worked in numerous jobs and had no idea what I wanted to do. I did, however, know that I didn’t want to grind away for 40 hours a week just to earn money.
A last-minute interview and tears of joy (nearly!)
After a terrible interview (on my part) for the Computer Game Design course at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). I got a last-minute interview for the Access to Higher Education Art and Design course at City College Norwich.
I remember very clearly Brenda Unwin (Course Leader) going through my portfolio of drawings and saying how well some of them were composed. I could hardly believe it. This was nothing until Brenda said she would be very happy to offer me a place.
I had to work very hard to not burst into tears with happiness. When I left the interview, I’m still not sure if I walked or floated home.
Joining the college collection
Very soon the final exhibition took place. I remember placing my work on the floor near where it was going to hang and I popped to the lavatory. When I returned there was a note attached to one of my paintings informing me that the Principal at the time, Dick Palmer, had purchased it for the College’s collection. I couldn’t believe it!
The whole experience was, for me, something I will never forget. I still think of Kieta, Phil, Brenda, Jai, and Chris who taught Critical Studies.
Achieving his ambitions
I never thought I would achieve anything like it until I was awarded a place on the Fine Art course at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) upon my successful completion of the Access course at City College Norwich.
Very soon the degree show exhibition took place. I couldn’t believe it when I was awarded the Vernon Crowther Prize for Painting by Sylvia Ackling and her late husband, renowned artist Roger Ackling. NUA purchased a work for its permanent collection, and the Chancellor, Sir John Hurt, purchased a work for his private collection.
During the private view, who should I bump into? Brenda and Phil from City College Norwich. I nearly burst into tears with happiness because if it wasn’t for Brenda giving me the opportunity, I would never have known just how real one’s ambitions can become.
Today I’m a practicing artist and although it is a difficult world to be in, it is nonetheless immensely rewarding.