Where did all of our arts schools go? Spanning two galleries, the starting point for Harmony, Contrast and Discord is the fact that there were more than 150 art schools in the UK in the mid-60s, many of them in industrial towns and cities where arts education provision has (arguably) been eroded for good. 

Artists John Beck and Matthew Cornford have spent almost 10 years photographing the sites of these former art schools as they are today, including the car park in Rochdale that was the site of the never replaced Rochdale College of Art. Featuring Beck and Cornford’s photography, artwork and objects from Rochdale’s collections, the art and stories of alumni and tutors and a ‘live’ art school, this exhibition explores the value placed on education in the arts, the legacy of the art schools and what relation art should have to broader society now and in the future.

Main image: Salford School of Arts


Harmony, Contrast & Discord is at Touchstones Rochdale until July 3, 2021. Click here for more information.