A 96-year-old student has become the oldest graduate ever to earn a degree in the UK art.
Archie White learned painting, photography, clay modeling and even Photoshop as part of a BA course at East Sussex College hastings.
The one-time lawyer – who retired at only 92 – said: “The experience has been fascinating …
“A friend of mine studied here and enjoyed it, which gave me the idea of retiring to come here.
“The first year consisted of a series of more or less introductory courses for the fine arts, so we worked on photography and negative making, then we did clay modeling, which was a lot of fun.”
But he said he was “amazed” by turning his head around Photoshop.
His feat is not quite a world record. The oldest person to graduate was Japanese student Shigemi Hirata, who was 96 and 200 days old when he completed his art and design degree in 2016. Mr. White, by comparison, was 96 and 56 days old.
Still, she has vowed to make the most of her newfound skills now.
He said: “I will continue painting now that I have finished. If someone is foolish enough to pay me for my painting, I will have fun, but if they don’t, it doesn’t matter.” .
“I’ve had a long and enjoyable career, but the things I’m most concerned about are the essentials for most people to graduate, be it making a living as an artist, a potter, a photographer or a modeler. Failure to do so is inevitable.
“That’s why I plan to create a charity to support graduates. I await final approval from the Charity Commission to run the charity at East Sussex College Hastings so that those graduating don’t get lost.”
He said the scheme will ensure that other arts graduates can use the associate’s facilities post-degree to help them kick-start their careers.
Hannah Birkett, Leader of the Fine Arts Curriculum at East Sussex College, said: “Teaching Archie over the past three years has been an absolute pleasure. He brings an unparalleled contribution to the curriculum, and his personal growth has been exceptional.
“Archie has refined his painting practice into a supportive, diverse year group, and has been an active contributor to discussion and debate.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with him, and wish him the very best for the future.”