The Art Academy are working with Assemble to redevelop their building on Borough High Street in order to expand their space for art practice and teaching.
The Art Academy are a wholly independent art school with a particular focus in the development of skill and technique across traditional and emerging forms of practice. From their London Bridge home their range of full-time, short-term, or evening and weekend courses offer opportunities for artistic development and experimentation to an unusually diverse group of participants.
After two decades of renting spaces in the vicinity of their current premises, the Academy was able to acquire a four storey brick brick building set back from Borough High Street. The greater security afforded through ownership of the building is an unprecedented opportunity for the organisation to more actively shape their spatial future as ambitious plans for Open University accreditation and the expansion of their full time educational programmes develop.
Assemble began by hosting a pair of dinner discussions, aimed at exploring and reaffirming the position of the Art Academy in relation to other arts institutions and modes of contemporary practice within London and beyond. We used these to inform initial conversations with the Academy about the project, which are now formalising into an ambitious redevelopment plan.
Alongside our work on the building, we are currently engaged in leading a year long series of Professional Practice seminars at the Academy which aim to offer a critical and supportive context in which to develop an art practice. We are also working with the Academy to develop a public programme of talks and debates, linked to their short-term occupation of a building on the Walworth Road as part of extending the holistic collaboration we have begun with them.