Where to start with your Student Art Pass

Published 7 October 2020

Your Student Art Pass is your key to a world of inspiration. You don't need to be an expert – whatever you're interested in, from fashion and photography to cutting-edge contemporary art, there's a museum or gallery out there you’ll love.

To help get you started with your brand new Student Art Pass we’ve picked some of the most exciting exhibitions coming up in the next few months, as well as museums and galleries where you can delve deeper into the subjects that matter to you.

Whether you’re drawn to the contemporary rule-breakers, the trendsetting leaders or the photographers and makers, there are plenty of great shows to choose from.

All offer great benefits with your pass – from free or 50% off entry, to discounts in shops and cafés.

And remember, you can find full listings of all the great savings you can make with your pass in our What's On guide.

The best exhibitions for...

The trend-setters

Dive into the world of fashion and style with these exhibitions charting the iconic trendsetters of their time.

Explore the fashion, furnishings and prints that defined Mid-Century Modern, led by pioneering young revolutionaries like style icon Mary Quant, in Mid-Century Modern: Art & Design from Conran to Quant at Dovecot Studios.

Discover the enormous impact that playwright Noël Coward and his creative circle had on the fashion and culture of the late-19th and 20th centuries in Noël Coward: Art & Style at the Guildhall Art Gallery, which brings together never-before-seen pieces from the Coward Archive, marking his theatre debut at just 19.

And of course, the Design Museum is the perfect pit-stop for trend-setters past and present – celebrating designers as leaders of social, technological and environmental change.

A Quant model set against the backdrop of the Beatles. Buttericks Launch 1964

The visionaries

A visionary finds a unique way to tell stories through visual art, creating evocative works that depict the world through different and exciting perspectives.

In A Countervailing Theory at the Barbican, artist Toyin Ojih Odutola approaches her work with the hand of a novelist or poet, weaving intricate narratives that play out a story in images. The result is a collection of connected works laid out playfully in chapters, depicting an imagined myth where women are in power.

Famed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye raises important questions about identity and representation. See the work of this important contemporary painter in a major show at Tate Britain, Fly in League with the Night.

Celebrated by botanists around the globe, Abel Rodríguez's delicate depictions of the rainforest ecosystem in the Nonuya region of Columbia have gained the artist worldwide acclaim. An exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead features never-before-seen works, charting the artist’s commitment to preserving the image of the region where he grew up.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, To See and To Know; Future Lovers from A Countervailing Theory, 2019, © Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

The pioneers

‘Creativity takes courage’ – Henri Matisse.

Celebrating the rule-breakers, the experimenters and the innovators – check out these exhibitions featuring some of the great pioneers our time.

In The Loneliness of the Soul at the Royal Academy of Arts, Tracey Emin pens a love letter to her long-time inspiration, the prolific painter and printmaker Edvard Munch, drawing parallels between the expressionism and explorations of the human psyche present in both their work.

Reintroducing the explosive early works of Grayson Perry, The Pre-Therapy Years at the Holburne Museum charts this iconic artist’s colourful career from the 1980s to the mid-90s when he became an established name in the British art scene. Providing a snapshot of British culture at the time, the exhibition explores Perry’s artistic transformation, from potter and plate-maker to his fascination with Princess Diana – but always authentically himself.

And the work of eclectic artist Dóra Maurer comes under the microscope at Tate Modern, charting her diverse and experimental work across photography, film, painting and graphic art. A creator of conceptual art drawn from mathematical practise, Maurer pushed the boundaries of graphic art in the 1960s.

Tracey Emin, It - didnt stop - I didnt stop, 2019. Photo © HV-studio. Courtesy the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

The builders

These exhibitions explore the work of sculptors and makers, celebrating the beauty and innovation in this three-dimensional art form.

Huma Bhabha draws on a wide range of historical and cultural references in her intricate work, from Cubism and Classicism to sci-fi, comic books and horror films. See a selection of sculptures focusing on the human form at BALTIC.

Works by photographer Bill Brandt and sculptor Henry Moore are displayed in tandem in an exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield, examining the complicated relationship between objects and images. Exploring themes shared by both artists, including depictions of life during the Second World War and an enduring interest in rock formations and geological artefacts, this exhibition celebrates the relationship between sculpture and photography through the work of two artists leading their respective art forms.

And don’t miss the perfect place to see large-scale sculpture outdoors: the expansive Jupiter Artland, just outside of Edinburgh, is home to a range of contemporary works including pieces by Antony Gormley, Phyllida Barlow and many more – all across 100 acres of meadow and woodland.

Huma Bhabha, Bumps in the Road, 2008, © Huma Bhabha

The image-makers

Diving into life behind the lens, the following exhibitions feature moments, emotions and ideals captured through the cameras of some of the world’s best photographers.

Zanele Muholi's work seeks to spur systematic change, challenging patriarchal and hetero norms. Their powerful, emotive photographs place black, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex lives outside of victimhood.

A timely exploration of global culture across continents, Hassan Hajjaj: The Path at Bristol’s Arnolfini charts the Moroccan-British photographer’s personal journey from his birthplace of Larache, Morocco to London and beyond, exploring the theme of dual identity.

And for the best that photography has to offer, from brand new up-and-comers to established names, check out the Photographer’s Gallery in London.

Zanele Muholi, Dudu Parktown, 2016, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, acquired 2018 with Art Fund support, © Bristol Culture

How’s that for starters?

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