Justin Gregory – (independent), Head of Arts, SGS College
I studied 3 Dimensional Design (Wood Metal and Plastics) at Bristol Polytechnic. From there I designed and made furniture; domestic and commercial. I also worked on various Films, as assistant art director. From here I started working peripatetically with Art Shape in Gloucestershire, running arts workshops with a broad spectrum of the community. This introduced me to teaching, which I the pursued more forcefully. I worked with Youth Club Scotland on performance workshops based in the Western Isles. I worked in Schools in Gloucestershire, and then finally I persuaded Stroud College (as was) that they needed my skill set. I have been in teaching (alongside Furniture making, amongst other things) ever since.
I believe wholeheartedly in the power of education to transform people’s lives. More particularly I champion the necessity of Creative Education. The thing I am most proud of in my career is the work we have done at Stroud School of Art in defending real Art School education from an increasingly standardised and ultimately less creative experience. Experience has told us that creativity is key to economic success for a country. Many countries around the world are following the 19th Century English Art School model of creative education to develop their own economies. We are not by nature more creative than other countries. What has allowed us to thrive in the creative sector is the brilliant Art Education system. I see my job as carrying this precious baton.
Having taught in various institutions I now find myself Head of the Faculty of Art, Culture & Media at the merged Filton and Stroud Colleges (now South Gloucestershire & Stroud College). There are approximately 1000 full time students and up to 3500 part time in the faculty. I am extremely proud of the work we do.