The University of Brighton has announced that at the end of the year all adult arts and design evening and Saturday classes (the Arthouse) will be closed.
Courses being shut down include photography, printmaking, bookbinding, ceramics, silversmithing, illustration, life drawing, carpentry, fashion, web design and so on.
Redundancy notices have already been sent out marking an end of Adult Arts Education in the University which used to be Brighton Art School.
We understand that as there isn't a firm economic case for closing the courses, the decision seems to have been made on prejudice against what is perceived to be 'leisure courses'
Having known both artists and tutors who have taken courses at the Arthouse it seems to be a shame as the courses have encouraged some great artists and is a good community resource for Brighton. It seems to mark the final chapter in the intellectualisation of art where art is now a university course to be written about in an academic way as much as a course where skills are learnt, explored, and developed.
Tom Hickey, Chair of the UCU branch, said yesterday: “We do not understand this decision at all. We were not consulted in advance, and were later told it was because of a large budget deficit. But there seems to be no deficit at all for these courses. To walk away from adult education would be to trample on the commitments that the University has previously given about its role in the community.
Since there is no apparent financial justification for this decision, it can only represent a prejudice against short course provision, and a repositioning of the Faculty. That has a major effect on the relationship between the Arts Faculty and the city. Yet it is a decision taken behind closed doors with no section of the University community consulted about it, and no prior notice to the City Council or consultation with other agencies. It is a serious misjudgment.”
A campaign has been formed http://www.savebrightonarthouse.org/ if you want to learn more or sign their petition.