University Centre student scoops Calderdale Open award

We are delighted to announce that Serena Rogers, one of our BA Art and Design degree students, studying at the University Centre Calderdale College, is the winner of the Calderdale Open Public Choice award for her work ‘Oligopoly – The Cost of Living edition’.

Now in its 10th year, Calderdale Open (in partnership with Calderdale Museums) is the regional showcase for professional and amateur artists from the Calderdale Borough and beyond. In total, 104 artists submitted 201 artworks in a variety of mediums, of which 87 were selected for display at Smith Art Gallery.

Oligopoly, which is a human interest piece, was voted the winner in the prestigious art awards after receiving over 500 votes and being. showcased to hundreds of people visiting the Calderdale Open Art Exhibition at Smith Art Gallery in Brighouse over the last six months.

The idea of ‘Oligopoly – The Cost of Living Edition’ was inspired by Serena’s work as a Community Artist, alongside her commitments as a mother and college student, in delivering community art workshops to make culture and the arts accessible to all in the local area. With a sustainable ethos in mind, second-hand waste and materials otherwise destined for landfill were upcycled and given a second life to complete the art installation.  

The innovative conceptual work which is a take on the classic boardgame, Monopoly, highlights the struggles and experiences of many people from all backgrounds going through economic hardship. It also shows how textiles can encapsulate emotive messaging and have a great impact on its subjects.

Serena said: “I believe passionately art is for everyone and it’s a privilege to engage with all cultures, abilities and communities to help people find their inner-artist.”

She is keen to represent other female artists and pave the way for creative industries in Calderdale through her emotive and stand-out work that resonates with all walks of life. She continued: “I would like to encourage others to produce art, submit work to exhibitions and believe art is for everyone, not just the elite. Thank you for all who voted for Oligopoly to win the 2023 Calderdale Open Public Choice Award, it was a real honour to be selected and raise awareness through my work!

“The experiences, knowledge and guidance I have received at University Centre Calderdale College has given me the confidence to work part-time in the Art industry as a Creative Practitioner whilst studying. Thank you to all my tutors, I wouldn’t be doing this without them.”

 If you’re interested in our degree courses at Calderdale’s only University Centre, click here.


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