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A flexible course

Marylyn Molisso, Backbreaker 2019
Marylyn chose to study BA Art at Reading due to the flexibility of the course compared with other universities. She could learn new skills and experiment with different mediums without the pressure of choosing a specialist subject area.

“I really enjoyed the attitude of our tutors; that as long as we worked hard, we could try anything we wanted. This allowed me to transition from painting to sculpture and installation in my third year, when I had previously been too afraid to try.

“The studio spaces were also amazing, allowing for huge and ambitious works. We had ample space to try out anything we wanted.”

Grabbing all opportunities

Marylyn took advantage of all the opportunities available to her. She took part in the Study Abroad programme, where she studied in Budapest, and also contributed to other University-organised projects.

This included exhibiting her art at the Horse Hospital in London, painting a mural in Reading town centre with artist Pavlo Keresty, and creating and exhibiting work at the Nova Perla Gallery in the Czech Republic.

She also designed a permanent exhibition at Didcot Railway Centre – highlighting the Centre’s use in film over the past century – as part of the Reading internship scheme.

“Working with artists was a fantastic way to learn what a professional art career could look like. Exhibiting at different galleries gave me skills in curation, planning and organisation.

“These experiences also gave me exciting deadlines to work towards and allowed me to be ambitious with my projects.”

“The opportunities we were given at Reading, such as exhibiting in London and abroad, gave us experiences we couldn’t otherwise have had so early in our careers.”

Creating a network

Marylyn has benefited greatly from collaborating with her peers in the Reading School of Art.

“There was a great bond between all of us in the art department. This has carried on through the years, where we have collaborated to exhibit in London and Essex. The network I have created with my Reading peers has been invaluable to starting my career as a young artist.”

Since graduating, Marylyn has worked in a London museum managing volunteers, and worked on her art practice. She was the recipient of Acme’s Graduate Award 2018/2019, which culminated in an exhibition at Peer Gallery, and organised a solo exhibition in King College London.

“Since leaving Reading, I have collaborated with my fellow graduates on a few group shows, with another in the works! I have also presented artist talks and workshops with other Reading graduates.

“At Reading, we were taught skills in managing artist websites and writing essays, which has helped me in roles such as running companies’ social media pages, updating websites and writing content for online magazines.

“My art skills have directly contributed to gaining design work since graduating.”

Choose Reading for the adventure

Marylyn’s advice to anyone thinking of studying art at Reading is:

“Choose Reading if you want to be adventurous. There are no limitations to what you can try, and there is definitely an excitement and energy in the studios.”

Visit Marylyn’s website

Image: Marylyn Molisso's 'Backbreaker', 2019, Peer Gallery (photo credit: Stephen White).

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