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Creative Connections – University of Reading

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  • Connect with the creative world beyond the University

Creative Connections

Benefit from our partnerships and connections with the creative world and your access to a high profile alumni network of practicing artists and curators.

At the Reading School of Art, we understand the importance of working collaboratively with industry professionals and arts institutions, and we encourage our students to engage with a wide range of practitioners and to regularly collaborate with artists, curators and writers.

All our staff are actively involved in the arts and are highly connected with the creative world beyond the University, giving our students access to experience, expertise and career opportunities.

We also have ongoing relationships with an international collection of universities and arts institutions, including:

"Reading has partnerships with several international art schools, and so when I was offered an opportunity to exhibit my work at the Seoul Institute of Arts I jumped at the chance."

Alia Coleman, BA Art and History of Art

Reading international

Reading International is a three-year Arts Council-funded visual arts programme led by the Reading School of Art. The programme brings world class artists to Reading to work with students and the community.


Student work displayed in Munchies Cafe.


ArtLab is a dedicated art and technology facility whose purpose is to support outreach and widening participation in the arts. ArtLab was designed to bring together the University of Reading, its students, and the local the community; to engage young school children and teachers alike in what it means to be creative.

Student mentors working with ArtLab

Artist talks

On all our courses, we provide you with direct access to artists and curators.  We regularly invite a member of the creative community to speak to you, enabling you to learn from their experience and advice.

Art is not made in a vacuum; collaboration is at the heart of how we teach and the approach you will be taught to develop in your own work. Recent visiting professionals have included: 

  • Sanja Iveković
  • Sidsel Meineche Hansen
  • Katrina Palmer
  • Olivia Mole
  • Francesco Pedraglio
  • James Richards
  • Heather Phillipson
    Benjamin Noys
  • Paul Clinton
  • Liv Wynter
  • Megan Nolan

Asian Universities Network

Reading School of Art is part of a network of Asian universities, who annually host a joint exhibition at one of the partner universities. These include the Seoul Institute of Visual Arts in South Korea, Musashino Art University in Tokyo and Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts in Shanghai.

Each year a group of six students takes part in a visit and travel abroad to one of the partner universities, where they engage in workshops, study visits and a joint exhibition which they develop together with their international peers. 

The Wuhan Exchange

An example of an Asian Universities Network partnership is the Wuhan Exchange, a fully-funded bilateral exchange programme organised by British Council China.

A group of eight undergraduate and postgraduate students from Reading School of Art joined eight students from the University of Wuhan to participate in a three-part exchange programme.

The programme started in the UK with Reading School of Art hosting the Wuhan students. A varied and stimulating programme of workshops and activities, including cultural visits and social activities was enjoyed by both Reading and Wuhan students.

A remote working period followed; four mixed project groups collaborated and developed a series of exhibition proposals together.

In the third phase of the exchange programme, Reading School of Art students visited the University of Wuhan and undertook a programme of workshops and activities together with the Wuhan students. The programme culminated in the students developing a joint exhibition displayed at the Times Art Center in Wuhan.

Adam Stead in China on the Wuhan Exchange



We have a strong and impressive alumni network, including high profile, active, artists and curators, including:

  • Mark Beasley, Curator of Media and Performance Art at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington
  • Susan Collins, Professor of Fine Art, Head of Department, The Slade School of Fine Art
  • Andy Hunt,  curator and Turner Prize judge
  • Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
  • Mike Nelson, installation artist, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and was Turner prize nominee in 2001
  • Cornelia Parker, sculptor and installation artist, Turner prize nominee, 1997
  • Bob and Roberta Smith, contemporary artist
  • Elke Krasny, Professor of Art Education, Academy of Fine Art Vienna

Alumni are regularly involved with our students - running workshops, curating exhibitions, and offering career development advice.  For example, Kerry Campbell,  an alumni and curator, lead a workshop and project "the Bagel Shaq exhibition". Students were involved in all aspects of curation, sourcing the space, developing concepts, fundraising, marketing the events, and hosting the private view.

Every student has the opportunity to join our prestigious alumni network when they graduate.

Other partnerships

  • Research Platform in Curating

The PhD in Practice in Curating is an innovative international practice-based doctoral programme that focuses on the combination of curatorial practice and theory. The programme is delivered in partnership with the Zurich University of the Arts.

It offers curators, artists, art critics and designers the critical framework to focus on specific curatorial and  research topics in order to earn a doctorate from the University of Reading through a combined theoretical and practical approach.

You will be able to take part in seminars, conferences and communal meetings in Reading and Zurich and  benefit from travel funding to international events.  Participants will be able to engage with the ongoing international public programmes connected to the Postgraduate Programme in Curating Zurich, and with the independent OnCurating magazine.

  • As part of Reading Assembly we will be collaborating as Tate Exchange Associates programming participatory workshops, activities and debates that share our research interests from Spring 2018.
  • Other partnerships, include Reading Arts Organisations, our Erasmus Partners, and our overseas student exchange partners.

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