7th April 2020
Here at NSCG, we are proud to hear how well our past students are doing in their careers. Past Higher Education students, Anna Everett and Gilly Davies tell us all about their journey since leaving NSCG.
Q: Why did you decide to choose the BA (Hons) Contemporary Creative Practice (Top-up) course?
We both returned to education after raising our families with the intention of updating our skills. We wanted to immerse ourselves in a subject that we were both interested in and passionate about.
Q: How has studying for your degree changed your life and careers so far?
We met later in life as mature students and the course really sparked a passion in us both for the subject. The course taught us so much about the business side of being an artist which has proved invaluable to the success of our business. We have not looked back!
Q.Tell us about your journey since graduating.
We graduated, mortar boards and all in 2017, just as the arts funding was being reduced nationally and the local council run Shire Hall Gallery closed. This was our catalyst for setting up an art gallery in Stafford and Guildhall Gallery Ltd was born!. With support from the local shopping centre who kindly gave us retail space, we set up five pop-up galleries over a period of seven months during 2017.
Each pop up was built by us, populated with art sourced by us which we are so proud of. This was a really exhausting time for us, but we learnt a lot and found that there was a genuine need for a gallery in Stafford.
In 2018, we found our long-awaited permanent home here on Mill Street for Guildhall Gallery Ltd. We quickly learn the art of becoming baristas alongside our love of art and combining the two and we haven't looked back. Our exhibition space changes approximately four times a year, so there is always something 'brewing' in Mill Street - either a drink or new art! We are proud to support and promote British artists, makers and designs and in particular, those that have a connection with Staffordshire.
Q.What has been the biggest challenge for you?
Moving from the ease of running pop-up exhibitions into permanent premises that involved legal negotiations, financial planning and long term financial commitments was a real learning curve for us. And, on top of that learning the business operations of running a coffee shop including food handling, health and safety, customer service and working with new artists and suppliers has been a pleasurable challenge.
Q.What has been your biggest reward?
The biggest reward has been putting our degrees into practice, and while we don't have time to make our own art anymore, we love curating exhibitions at the gallery and running the coffee shop.
Q.What would you say to other people in your position who are looking to study Higher Education at NSCG?
Our advice would be to take the leap!
Are you inspired by Anna and Gilly's story? Click here to find out more about the entry requirements for this course.