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Ron Sims: Education

Art School

  • 1961 - 1965, 2 year Foundation / 2 year Diploma, Colchester School of Art, Essex
  • 1965 - 1966, 1 year Postgraduate, Manchester College of Art, Manchester
  • 1967 - 1970, 3 year Postgraduate, Royal Academy Schools, London
  • 1970 - 1971, 1 year Fellowship, Gloucestershire College of Art, Cheltenham

Ron Sims went to art school for nine years, from 1961 to 1971 - (taking a gap-year during 1966/67 in order to complete his Manchester commissions). This vital and formative time brought Ron into contact with art, experiences, ideas, fellow students and tutors that influenced his work and outlook as an artist. Many of his tutors were some of the best known artists of the time.

These intense encounters came during a period when students were increasingly bringing the outside world into the studio: developing their ideas through popular cultural as well as the traditions of art school training - exploring abstraction and the hierarchies of academic painting alongside Pop Art, Conceptualism and Happenings.

"As a student I was also driven by a desire to teach and inform myself. I made frequent visits to London galleries; trying to make sense of what was happening in the art world. I would immediately research concepts and techniques; then explore and try out my own ideas. By relating to the works I had seen I increasingly came to grips with the developing art trends, while at the same time working on studio projects set by the art schools"

Art school teaching was dramatically changing and developing throughout this period; it was becoming more usual that students were from a myriad of backgrounds - and colleges across the UK were taking on more students and building new studios. In places like London, Colchester and Manchester although art students were becoming increasingly part of daily life; they were also often contradicting the norm and igniting new ideas.

Profile links: Introduction | Education (art school) | Education (reflections) | Education (tutors) | Inspiration | Memberships | Media

Pop Art

Name given to British and American versions of art that drew inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture. These sources included Hollywood movies, advertising, packaging, pop music and comic books. In Europe a similar movement was called Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism). Read more...


This term came into use in the late 1960s to describe a wide range of types of art that no longer took the form of a conventional art object. Read more...


Happenings were theatrical events created by artists, initially in America, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were the forerunners of Performance art and in turn emerged from the theatrical elements of Dada and Surrealism. Read more...