This year we’re celebrating 170 years of creative education in Hereford!

This is a fantastic chance for us to reflect on the impact of the arts on a national scale and on the journey that has led HCA to where it is today. It also allows us to look to the future and discuss how best to nurture the next generation of artists, makers and visionaries. We are immensely grateful to the Elmley Foundation as our main sponsor for the 170 events programme.

To kick off the celebrations we commissioned Matthew Cornford and John Beck to create a public art installation – five storeys high at our student accommodation block, five minutes from the centre of Hereford.

Find out more about our fantastic line up of events as well, as our student experience stories from throughout the years below.





We are hosting an amazing series of free public lectures over the next few months to mark the occasion, delivered by iconic leaders in their fields  – Martin Parr, Seetal Solanki and Bob and Robterta Smith.

© Martin Parr Collection / Magnum Photos LON28804 - Odessa, Ukraine, 2000

Martin Parr

7th March

6PM – 7.30PM

The first of our free lecture series celebrating 170 years of creative education in Hereford – Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of photography and explore Parr’s unique perspective on capturing everyday life. Book here



Seetal Solanki

25th April

6PM – 7.30PM

Why do materials matter? There are few people better-placed to offer an original answer to that question than Seetal Solanki.

An innovative materials designer, researcher and author, Seetal is the Founder and Director of materials research design studio Ma-tt-er and an honorary Fellow of Hereford College of Arts. For the latest installment of HCA’s 170th anniversary public talk series, Seetal heads a panel discussion on the power of materiality.

How can you show empathy for the materials you work with, or consume? What are the innovations in making and materials that will save the planet, or bring a little joy into your day?

Join us for a fascinating discussion on design led by one of the UK’s most exciting voices on the subject. Book here

Bob & Roberta Smith

9th May

6PM – 7.30PM

‘All schools should be art schools’ – It’s a powerful sentiment, and maybe the one best-associated with the fantastic, essential and undeniably persuasive painter, writer, musician and Royal Academician Bob and Roberta Smith.

We invite one of the UK’s most eloquent and entertaining advocates for the arts to share his thoughts on where we are now, where we could go in the future and why it all matters.

Chaired by Dr Daniel Pryde Jarman – course leader for Hereford College of Arts’ Fine Art BA, MA and Curating MA programmes – the event will be open to the public and open to your ideas, as we invite questions and discussion on the subject. Book here

The best way to find out about ticket releases for events and other exciting opportunities at HCA is to sign up to our HCA newsletter.


We spoke to past students to hear more about their time at HCA and the impact of creative education on their professional lives.


Judy Giles - Entrepreneur, Art Director & Painter


Anthony 'Murf' Murphy - Entrepreneur 'Beefy Boys'


Shona Warnes - Illustrator and Art Teacher


Mark Houghton - Tutor and Artist

We were proud to work with the team at Catcher Media to research, source and film interviews for the following videos. From Derek Evans’ iconic photography to aural histories from the Hop Yards, Catcher Media are the leading video agency documenting heritage and culture in Herefordshire.

Share your story

We would love to hear from you!

  • Memories of HCA throughout the decades
  • How creativity and the arts have shaped your life

You can email us at where we can then collate them and share them as part of an installation celebrating 170 years of creative education in Hereford in the coming year.