Civic reception shines spotlight on Kingston University's contribution to the local community and showcases array of art and design talent

Posted Wednesday 22 June 2016

Leading businesspeople, borough councillors and influential members of the local community have had a chance to explore the work of future stars in the worlds of art, design and architecture at Kingston University's annual civic reception. Held at the University's Knights Park campus, the event offered an opportunity for guests to soak up the atmosphere and admire exhibits from the Faculty's undergraduate degree show, while finding out more about the inspiration behind the work from the student designers themselves.

Deputy Mayor of Kingston Councillor Rowena Bass was full of praise for the ideas and ingenuity she had observed during what was her first visit to the University's Knights Park campus. "I was mesmerised by the range and high quality of work on display and was impressed that the campus is clearly a real hub of creativity," she said. "The civic reception was an inspiring event and a wonderful way to bring together people from right across the borough so they could see what a dynamic role the University plays."

Associate Dean of Research Professor Louis Nixon said having the opportunity to unveil their work to so many influential borough figures was particularly exciting for the Faculty's graduating students. "The undergraduate degree show is the culmination of hours spent thinking, making and manifesting thoughts and ideas into actual things – products, furniture, paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, films, clothing, books and buildings to name but a few of the creations given life at this campus," he added.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg thanked the assembled guests for their ongoing support for the University and stressed the positive impact it had, both in Kingston upon Thames and the country as a whole. "Analysis has shown the University contributes more than £200 million a year to the local economy and about £1 billion to the wider economy," he said. "Between 3,500 and 4,000 jobs in the area also exist as a direct result of having a university here."

The University was enormously proud of being home to one of the foremost art schools in the country and its expertise in other subjects, ranging from aeronautical engineering and business management to fashion and healthcare, Professor Weinberg added. "We hope that Kingston is proud of having a university. We are certainly proud of being located at the heart of Kingston upon Thames," he said.

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