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Open School East decamps from London to seaside resort Margate

Free art school’s move follows growing number of artists relocating to more affordable Kent coast <br> <br>

Open School East (OSE), an art school based in east London which provides free tuition and workspaces for artists, is relocating to the coastal town of Margate in Kent next year. “This is an exciting move for OSE in building its future and working more closely with our mentors and tutors, many of whom are based in the region,” a project statement says.

The school has been based in the Rose Lipman Building in Hackney since 2013. It accepts applications from emerging practitioners with or without formal qualifications.

As part of the project, curators, critics and artists lead workshops and seminars, while on-site workspaces are provided in return for participation in community activities. More than 40 artists, or “associates”, have so far participated in the free study programme.

The school will move to Resort Studios, a members-based arts organisation based in Margate. The study programme, which runs from February to December, is structured around three terms; the artist Matthew Darbyshire will devise the curriculum for the first term. Other mentors due to participate include the critic Tom Morton and the artist Lucy Beech.

“In terms two and three, the associates devise and administer their own curriculum with support from the OSE team. They self-direct their learning around their practice and shared interests, programme public events and develop projects, realising and presenting their work as part of a final collective event,” a project statement says.

In 2018, OSE staff aim to launch a new studio complex and community resource in North Woolwich, in the London borough of Newham, in partnership with the non-profit organisation Create London; this new venue will run in parallel with the Margate space. OSE is in the process of fundraising for future projects.