~ 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.
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.
TOMA is looking for 12 artists to join the programme for 2019/2020.
~ We are not interested in your CV, just the work you make + how you want to interact in the world.
~ TOMA wants to eradicate the pupil teacher hierarchy, choosing instead to put emphasis on learning together, failing together + succeeding as a group.
~ Fluid + open in its evolution, TOMA creates an independent space where there is freedom to choose, learn + grow alongside a community of peer-artists.
~ TOMA STRUCTURE ~
TOMA is coordinated by a small team who are responsive to the artist group. TOMA wants to encourage independent thought alongside close knit community spirit. It is a non-accredited programme which aims to foster experimentation, responsiveness + collaboration. TOMA artists experience this through self-directed + collaborative study meeting at least three times a month to take part in a variety of activities. These meetings mainly take place at the weekend or in the evening making the programme accessible for those who have weekday work or family commitments.
TOMA provides educational opportunities + support in the form of…
- Group crits
- Day-long visiting artist / practitioner sessions
- Critical theory sessions
- Practical workshops
- Peer feedback
- Support in the production of projects
- Off-site trips to art spaces
- Collaborative project opportunities
- A residency
- Exhibition + public programme opportunities
TOMA artists also have access to bookable spaces for…
* Photography, filming, performance + making work (TOMA Project Space)
* RISO, printmaking press + dark room space (The Old Waterworks)
* Digital studio with editing facilities + Adobe software (Metal Southend)
~ While TOMA takes on parts of the traditional structure of an art MA, it is also responsive to its artists.