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FIN8000 : Professional Arts Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Richard Talbot
  • Lecturer: Ms Helen Smith, Mr David Butler
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module is concerned with the development of knowledge, understanding and experience of professional arts practice. It provides a grounding in the professional skills necessary for exhibition, management and design. It encourages critical considerations of cultural conventions in the staging of exhibitions and introduces a variety of intellectual and practical approaches to issues of curatorship.

The module is delivered through a programme of seminars and workshops relating to professional practice and exhibiting. Topics covered include team-work, practical planning, funding and curating, proposal writing and case studies of contemporary exhibitions, publications and interpretive material. An Interim Exhibition in Semester 2 provides the opportunity for practical experience and to further explore the roles of exhibiting artist, curator and fundraiser, as well as technical expertise in relation to exhibition design and exhibiting online or in an exhibition space.

Outline Of Syllabus

Team work, planning, funding and curating, and the roles of visual arts agencies and other arts bodies. Practical experience of designing and presenting exhibitions and proposal writing. Case studies of contemporary exhibitions, publications and interpretive material.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion25:0010:00Preparation for assessment. Practice based.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading43:0012:00Directed independent research in relation to professional practice.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities40:302:00Group exhibition planning. PIP/SYNC
Guided Independent StudySkills practice34:0012:00Skills practice in relation to workshops and demonstrations. Practice based.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching24:008:00Show and Tell – Series of 20 minute presentations by each student on their work. PIP/SYNC
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminar series. PIP/SYNC/NON SYNC
Guided Independent StudySkills practice18:008:00Interim Exhibition organisation. Set up show in venue or design virtual exhibition.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching13:003:00Interim Exhibition Group Crits. PIP/SYNC
Guided Independent StudyProject work1120:00120:00Practice based, not online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Portfolio preparation, intro to library, Technical installation. PIP/SYNC/NON SYNC
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork43:0012:00LWA -visits to professional venues/studios and external exhibition site. PIP/SYNC/NON SYNC
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to Module PIP/SYNC
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Most Guided Independent Study, including project work and skills practice is focused on the individual development and production of experimental and fully realised artworks, including research and preparation such as sketch books, test pieces and technical trials. Also included is the regular upkeep of a ‘Digital notebook/ sketchbook’ that records and reflects upon research, progress and outputs.

Scheduled leaching and learning activities such as workshops, demonstrations, individual tutorials and small group teaching will also be conducted present in person in the Fine Art studios and workshops (or synchronous online if made necessary by Covid-19 restrictions). Where scheduled leaching and learning activities are delivered via non-synchronous online sessions they will be followed by a synchronous on-line drop-in Q&A session.

A programme of seminars and workshops extends over Semester 1 and 2. These cover subjects such as history of exhibitions, case studies of contemporary exhibitions together with publications and interpretive material, funding, curating and practical planning. The design of an exhibition and exhibition proposal develops skills necessary for negotiating with galleries, curators and funding bodies in the development of exhibition projects. Students are encouraged to explore issues around exhibiting and siting their work in galleries as well as alternative spaces.

This proposal supports development, preparation and realisation of an Interim Exhibition in semester 2 which is mounted in the studios, an external venue and/or online. The Interim Exhibition provides the opportunity to further explore the roles of exhibiting artist, curator and fundraiser as well as technical expertise in relation to exhibiting. The module works in conjunction with FIN8002 Studio Stage 1 as it includes an exhibition proposal for the final exhibition at the end of semester 3.

Teaching methods may be liable to adjustment in response to changes to Government and University advice in relation to Covid-19 restrictions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2A100Assessment is on a Pass/Fail basis. Please see module guide for details
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Following a series of seminars and workshops in semester 1, students will develop an exhibition (A), for the public 'interim' exhibition of work in semester 2 and another exhibition proposal (B) for a 'final' public exhibition of work at the end of semester 3. The module is assessed by the submission of exhibition proposal (B) which is assessed in relation to the realisation of the proposed exhibition at the end of semester 3.

The exhibition proposal will therefore be assessed alongside the practice based work from FIN8002 at the end of Stage 1.

Reading Lists