RENOWNED artist and illustrator Andrew Foster reminded Hereford College of Arts’ class of 2014 that “art is at the centre of everything” at their graduation last month.

Now a respected lecturer with commissions from the BBC, London Fashion Week and the Guardian to his name, the former HCA teacher was awarded a fellowship by the college.

Addressing the students gathered at Hereford Cathedral amongst proud friends and family, Mr Foster praised the inspirational and intelligent place art holds in our everyday lives.

He said: “Everything involved in our lives probably started out as a drawing or painting, from the clothes on your back, to the design of your house.

“Art is an ‘intelligent’ and academic subject that is at the centre of everything and inspires our lives, even if we are unaware of it.”

The ceremony marked the graduation of students from HCA’s eight BA (Hons) degree courses and two foundation degree courses, with some having come from as far as Japan to study at the specialist college.

Amelia Strong, who collected a First Class Honours degree in Contemporary Applied Arts, was among those students for whom the ceremony marked the culmination of a long relationship with the college.

Ms Strong came to HCA after she left school, completing diploma and extended diplomas before moving on to the degree course.

A talented jewellery maker, she has since picked up the Elmley Foundation Award for higher education jewellery design, The Mike Gell Award for jewellery, and a year-long placement with the Alloy Jewellers Group in Herefordshire.

Starting in September, degree students will be joined at HCA’s College Road campus by post-graduate student, with the launch of new Masters courses in Fine Art and Contemporary Crafts.

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