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Photography in sharp focus with Open Eye Gallery partnership

Sarah Fisher, Executive Director at Open Eye Gallery, joined Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal, and Michael Walsh, Dean of UCEN Manchester, and David Gaffney, Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, at UCEN Manchester’s Fielden campus to sign the new partnership between the FdA Contemporary Photographic Practices course and the gallery.

Backed by the Arts Council England, the partnership will enable students to engage with professionals from the sector, including photographers, publishers, curators and creative producers.

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal, said: “Today marks the official start of our partnership with Open Eye Gallery, which will help to provide some truly amazing experiences for our photography students and tutors at UCEN Manchester. Industry partnerships like this one are critical to preparing our students for the world of work and we are delighted to be working in partnership with one of the country’s most prestigious galleries.”

Michael Walsh said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, whose professional expertise will enable our students to gain the industry experience and skills that will help them to make their mark in the creative industries.”

Andrew Moseley, Tutor and course leader, said: “This partnership provides amazing opportunities for our students and will make our course one of the most exciting, industry-led photography courses in the UK and further afield.”

As one of the leading photography spaces in Europe, Open Eye Gallery present an international programme of contemporary photography exhibitions in the UK and globally.

Sarah Fisher, Executive Director, said: “UCEN Manchester is the perfect partner for us. We both recognise the need to support people from a wide range of backgrounds to gain photographic skills.

“Photography has always been important, but is now the main visual language by which people share their own lives and interests - with billions of photographs uploaded on social media every day - and increasingly, we all make purchasing decisions based on photographs of goods and services on line.

“The growing interest in photography is reflected in growth of visitors to our exhibitions each year – hundreds of thousands - and in the growth in pupils choosing photography at GCSE.

A UCEN Manchester and Open Eye Gallery partnership has the collective knowledge to support the next generation of photographers to have real impact in the world.

David Gaffney, Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, said: “We’re really delighted that this partnership has been established between Open Eye Gallery and UCEN Manchester. The benefits it will provide in terms of industry experience in training future creative practitioners from a diverse range of backgrounds are immensely valuable.”

The partnership will enable UCEN Manchester students to access:

  • personal tutorship from the Head Curator 
  • exclusive work placements 
  • the gallery's socially engaged photography residencies
  • a final BA show curated by the Open Eye Gallery Head Curator
  • exhibition opportunities within the gallery
  • wider Open Eye Gallery partner organisations such as Shutter Hub, Redeye, Axis Web and the Socially Engaged Network
  • post-course support and networks.

Apply now for FdA Contemporary Photographic Practices or find out more about our wide range of Creative Arts and Digital Media courses.

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