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Former Art and Design Access student making her mark as a portrait artist

9th September 2020 – Tags: Access to Higher Education, Art and Design

Jennifer Wright, who says that the college’s Access to HE: Art and Design course convinced her to pursue a degree in Fine Art Drawing, has gone on to excel in her studies and is getting noticed as a talented portrait artist.

Access course kept degree option open

After finishing Sixth Form and taking a year out, during which she visited museums and galleries across Europe, Jennifer says that she “fell back in love with the idea of creating”.

Although unsure as to whether or not she wanted to go to university, Jennifer decided to do the Access to HE: Art and Design course, as this would give her the qualifications needed for Higher Education should she change her mind.

Tutors push you to aim high

Very early into the Access course, Jennifer realised that “I’d found something I was truly passionate about and was willing to take further”.

She says that she got on well with her tutors right from the start and that they pushed the students to achieve the best grades and apply to leading art schools:

Without Amanda [my Access course tutor] telling me that my work was up to a high enough standard to apply for a place at some of the top London art schools, I would never have applied for Camberwell College of Arts. She also very astutely noticed that I’d be a good fit for the Fine Art Drawing course, which ended up being an incredible decision as it led to three amazing years of studying.”

Jennifer adds that she has kept the portfolio of work she produced on the Access course, because she is so proud of all that she produced during that year.

Developing reputation as an artist

Jennifer excelled at the Camberwell College of Arts, graduating with First Class honours.

During the lockdown earlier this year, she painted a series of self-portraits – one of which was featured on the BBC News website.

Jennifer has been approached by galleries about both representing her as an artist, as well as being interviewed about creating art during lockdown. She has also started to offer commissions to paint portraits.

She is now commencing an MA in Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts as she continues to refine her practice as a professional working artist. 

“Anything is possible”

Reflecting on her Access course with City College Norwich, Jennifer concludes:

If you have ambition and amazing tutors like Jai and Amanda to guide and push you, anything is possible. It’s a lot of hard work but worth every second. If you put in the time, you’ll leave the course prepared for university with an amazing portfolio, and an understanding of how to study that isn’t possible on other courses.”