Gray’s School of Art Degree Show goes virtual for 2020

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Virtual Degree Show
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a partnership between Gray’s School of Art, Look Again and independent design agency Design and Code, is working collaboratively with the graduating students of 2020 to create a Virtual Degree Show.

The fully immersive show, which will be curated by the students, will take visitors on a virtual tour of Gray’s, visiting individual exhibition spaces for each student from Painting, Contemporary Art Practice, 3D Design, Communication Design, Fashion and Textiles and Photography courses.

This entirely new online space will allow graduates to showcase the breadth of their creative work and also allows the viewer to engage with each student’s unique practice.

Gray’s Virtual Degree Show 2020 launches on 10 July with an opening club night, and for the following week the virtual space will host webinars, Q+As and events for the public to interact with.

Libby Curtis, Head of Gray’s School of Art, commented: “This year’s Degree Show is different; it is remarkable in its difference. Graduates of 2020 have suffered greatly in not having the usual facilities that they imagined they would have to make their final work. They have had to leave their studios and workshops behind and create these in their homes.

“This virtual exhibition showcases not only our students’ commitment to their practice, their professionalism, and of course the myriad forms of production, artefact, and ideas; it is in itself a show that celebrates their creative resilience and enterprise in the face of COVID-19.

“These students are truly amazing; their fortitude in carrying on and continuing to create and re-create in such challenging conditions is inspiring.  I owe a debt of gratitude to our students and indeed our staff in realising this year’s show.

“In collaboration with Look Again and Design and Code we will bring our show to life through curated 3D environments, physical avatars, on-line events and audience interaction.”

Sally Reaper, Look Again Co-Director, commented: “We are very proud to contribute to this hugely collaborative creative process. For us, it’s about using Look Again’s expertise and connections to ensure that an online degree show is not a compromise, and is just as ambitious as the physical one would have been.

“This is about developing new cultural capital for graduating students as well as the university; it’s a new rite of passage to a global audience, something that many graduating students would not have considered at this stage in their career.”

Colin Leonard, Design and Code Director, added: “We’re proud to play a part in launching this year’s graduates out to a global audience and help showcase what Gray’s and the North East has to offer.

“Allowing students the freedom and flexibility when curating their spaces has been our main focus. We’ve been working closely with everyone at Gray’s through workshops and focus groups, and providing support with digital tools and tutorials. It’s important we give the students an opportunity to spend time in their virtual space and really make it their own. We can’t wait to see the results.”

Gray’s Virtual Degree Show 2020 opens to the public with a launch event on Friday, July 10 -

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