Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts

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History

The Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts was established on 18 February 2009 as a successor to the OPUS School of Textile Arts. OPUS was run successfully by Julia and Alex Caprara since the early 90s; both were renowned art teachers who were instrumental in the establishment of distance-learning methods for the arts.

When Julia died in 2008, two members of the OPUS staff, viz. Sandra Flower, BA Course Leader, and Winy Smit-Vuijk, Level 1 Tutor and Pastoral Tutor for the BA Course, felt that Julia’s legacy should be protected, was something to be treasured and that tuition of the same inspirational quality and consistency should be continued. This resulted in the establishment of the School, named after the person who was such an inspiration to many in the textile art world.

It should be noted that more than 90% of the current Tutors on the BA Course were also teaching on the original course at OPUS, thus ensuring the same standard of tutoring.

Introduction to the BA (Hons) Embroidered Textiles

The BA (Hons) Embroidered Textiles programme was initially inspired by the well-known embroiderer Constance Howard (www.gold.ac.uk/constance-howard). It was her understanding of the educational needs of the mature student who wished to study embroidered textiles at the highest level that encouraged Julia Caprara to initiate this unique programme in 1998.

Middlesex University provided the ideal academic environment for the course through their commitment to the philosophy of lifelong learning and appreciation of unusual modes of study for the mature student. As a collaborative programme of the University, the day to day management of the course is directed by Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts, but remains the overall responsibility of Middlesex University (www.mdx.ac.uk)

Taught as a full time or part time distance learning course, the degree programme offers a comprehensive curriculum focussed on a balance of practical and academic practice and learning. Our current degree students span the world, living in New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.

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