Petroc art student Joanna Collins has been awarded the Pearson BTEC Art and Design Student of the Year 2017 at a ceremony in Westminster yesterday (July 6).
22 successful candidates were singled out for excellence in their area of study or work, after almost 1,000 applications were made to this year’s judging panel. The winners of the awards were unveiled at the ceremony by the BBC television presenter and journalist, Steph McGovern.
Joanna studied the Extended Diploma in Art & Design at the Mid Devon campus from 2014 to 2016, finishing the course with a triple Distinction star. Her achievement is made even more incredible by the fact that she hadn’t always loved art, and only discovered her natural flair when she was at Petroc.
“Art was always on my radar but I wasn’t sure how I could ‘do it’,” she explained. “I threw myself into the deep end, applied for a college – Petroc – that was 45 minutes away and where I didn’t know anyone.
“The first day, I fell in love with the department and I developed an eternal loving for art. I developed my own style, techniques and progressive bodies of works. My experience at Petroc was golden and I have no doubt it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was rising above and beyond what I ever thought I could do with my life.
“I am astounded to be awarded Student of the Year and more than honoured to represent Petroc and the BTEC qualification.”
Joanna’s award success comes after the college launched the Petroc School of Arts and Innovation, promoting employability in the sector.
BTEC Student of the Year awards are given to an exceptional student in each sector who has been committed to their studies, a role model for others and an ambassador for their subject.
The former Exmouth Community College student volunteered to teach art to local students and created work for publication in magazines before leaving Petroc to study a degree in Fine Art at Bath Spa University.
Joanna’s tutor, Sharon Hawkins, nominated Joanna for the award and accompanied her to the ceremony at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster.
She said: “We are delighted that Joanna has won. She has been a wonderful student and ambassador for Petroc. It shows that, with hard work, determination and sheer grit, you can achieve your goals. I feel very privileged to have taught Joanna and look forward to following her career.”
Joanna added: “The future is unknown but the BTEC has given me the tool kit for the next chapter.”
Places are still available on Art and Design courses at the Mid Devon campus for September 2017. Visit www.petroc.ac.uk for more information.
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