Croydon School of Art was officially relaunched in October 2013 with a visit from alumnus John Rocha CBE. Croydon has had a formal Art School since 1868 and the re-establishment of the Art School is an attempt to encapsulate all that has been good about cultural change and freedom of expression in south London.
Our rich heritage is a constant reminder of how Croydon as a town has always been at the forefront of cultural change in the UK. The six-day occupation at Croydon School of Art in June 1968 was organised by Malcolm McLaren and Jamie Reid, two of the Art School’s most famous alumni and two men who would go on to visually define contemporary culture in the later part of the 20th century. Malcolm McLaren went on to manage the Sex Pistols and used Jamie Reid’s work to graphically define them during the mid-seventies. Jamie Reid’s famous Sex Pistols God Save the Queen record cover was later voted number 1 in a list of 100 greatest record covers of all time by Q Magazine (2001).
Croydon School of Art’s alumni come from a range of creative disciplines and include the sculptor Juan Muñoz; Helen Chadwick and Sean Scully who have both been Turner Prize nominees; award winning Scenic designer Ian MacNeil, the internationally renowned Fashion designer John Rocha; and Noel Fielding co-writer and TV star of The Mighty Boosh.
Over the years, Croydon School of Art has had a variety of names but it continues to have links with its past by retaining much of the traditional screen printing, etching, relief printing and letterpress equipment. The opportunity for students to work with the latest computers and digital facilities within the open-plan studios also encourages collaboration between disciplines, allowing students to explore the current boundaries of visual language.
Why Choose Croydon School of Art?
History: Croydon College can trace its history back to 1868 when Croydon School of Art was first established. Twenty years later, in 1888, the Pitlake Technical Institute (which later changed its name to Croydon Polytechnic) was founded. These two institutions continued to educate separately in and around Croydon until the Polytechnic was destroyed by fire during the Second World War, prompting plans to combine them on a new site in Fairfield, right at the heart of Croydon. The new Croydon Technical College (later known as Croydon College of Design and Technology) opened its doors for the first time in 1955 and was finally completed and formally opened by the Queen in 1960.
Alumni: John Rocha - Fashion Designer. After graduating from the Croydon School of Art, John Rocha first established a name for himself with his Chinatown label in Dublin in the 1980s. He runs his own fashion labels alongside his diffusion clothing, homeware and accessories label for the department store Debenhams. In 2002 he was awarded a CBE for his contribution to the British fashion industry and in 2013 he helped to re-launch the Croydon School of Art.
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