~ ABOUT TOMA ~
The Other MA (TOMA) is a 12-month artist-run education model based in Southend-on-Sea. TOMA is currently the only postgraduate level art programme in Essex after all others were stopped by their host Universities. It was set up in 2016 to offer responsive, affordable, accessible art education to artists. TOMA is unaccredited in the traditional sense, but provides a programme of learning that will benefit artists in the same way.
Designed to fit the everyday lives of 21st century artists TOMA was created in response to the hierarchies surrounding accessing higher education. Obstacles which uphold these hierarchies include a lack of mental + physical space to self-invest due to other life commitments, which is often required when taking on further education. Hidden hierarchies such as not having the art specific language needed to access the contemporary art world or a certain art school training which can make a traditional MA feel inaccessible. Other obstacles can take the form of time, cost, age, geography, disability, gender + ethnicity as well as needing to care for family or work commitments.
TOMA works with those who do not have a formal art education or have been out of art learning for a while + want a route into entering contemporary critical thought; as well as those fresh out of an undergraduate degree or those who have come to art later in life. We are also particularly interested in women who have been concentrating on supporting a family, or single parents who are just now finding time + support to commit further to their art practice. TOMA especially welcomes those from communities under-represented in the contemporary art world, particularly artists living with a disability, artists of colour + LGBTQIA artists looking to further their creative education. TOMA is open to all + welcomes everyone. We want our programme + the dialogues within it to represent the diverse world we live in.
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* TOMA was set up in partnership with Metal in Southend-on-Sea in 2016, working with them for an incubation period before becoming an independent not for profit. TOMA has received funding from Arts Council England as well as private patrons + Paul Robinson Solicitors. TOMA is artist-run+ we believe in lifelong learning + aim to make the possibility of postgraduate style art education accessible to all.
TOMA : A RETROSPECTIVE IN PICTURES…
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