Alumni relive student days at Leeds College of Art

10 March 2016

In celebration of 170 years of Leeds College of Art, former students celebrated in style with a reunion party for alumni from the 1940s-1960s on Saturday 20 February.

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Guests reminisced with old friends and were treated to an afternoon tea with a private view of the Edna Lumb: Industrious Pioneer exhibition. 

To celebrate a rich history of music and art at the College, fondly remembered by many former students, the Alex Fisher Jazz Trio from Leeds College of Music played during the event.  The music reflected the influence of musicians such as Diz Disley and Ed O’Donnell who studied during the 1940s and 1950s, and played in the College band The Vernon Street Ramblers.  

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Image: The Alex Fisher Jazz Trio played during the event.

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Image: Former students return to the Lecture Theatre at Vernon Street. 

Alumni also met current students who led tours of the building’s workshops and facilities. 

Alumnus Tom Jackson said:

“It was good to see how well the college has “weathered” and to learn of the exciting projects and developments planned for future years and to meet up with some interesting “old students” from earlier years.”

The event took place at the historic 1903 building on Vernon Street in Leeds city centre.  The building was designed by Leeds based architects Bedford and Kitson in the new revolutionary Free-Style design.  For much of the twentieth century the building was the centre of College life with former students including Henry Moore (1919-21), Barbara Hepworth (1920-21), Damien Hirst (1983-84) and Marcus Harvey (1982-83).  A further building was erected in the 1990s at Blenheim Walk to accommodate the growing number of BA and MA students at the College.   

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Image: Leeds College of Art Principal Simone Wonnacott meets former students of the College. 

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Image: Director of Studies - Professional and External Development, Simon Thorpe with alumni.  

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More information on 170 years of Leeds College of Art can be found HERE