Why Art History Matters: Karen Huxtable

I live, and have for the majority of my life, lived in a small Devon village and we did not visit galleries and there were very few galleries to see without travelling and it was OU that opened this opportunity to me.

I finished my BA open OU degree in 2016 and I took mainly multi-disciplinary humanities courses and that is where I discovered Art History. I really enjoyed those modules  and I particularly remember discovering the 60s artists particularly Pop Art and Rothko and visiting the Tate gallery to view these paintings.

I live, and have for the majority of my life, lived in a small Devon village and we did not visit galleries and there were very few galleries to see without travelling and it was OU that opened this opportunity to me. I have been so pleased that my eldest son who has now just finished his law degree in Liverpool has discovered the benefits and joy of art, which is great living in a city like Liverpool that is rich with culture. I really enjoyed the art history content of the course so much that I chose my last module to be the level 2 Exploring Art and Visual Culture (A226) which was fabulous. I gained my highest grades I had ever received, in my 15 years at the OU (I started and stopped a lot).

I want to share the benefits that I have experienced through art with the diverse audiences we have in a public library. My degree has also enabled me to develop my writing skills and to be able work under pressure to deadlines but also has helped me to develop a creative mind.

I am a Mum of 3 boys and I worked as well as studying throughout my degree and in the last year full time at the library. I also have an anxiety disorder and went through huge life changes whilst carrying out my course and I love how art can stop you overthinking and concentrate on the moment. I learnt so much and I love to go to galleries and I promote art in my job as a Senior Supervisor for Development in a busy public library, which includes programming the events in the library.

I love to be able to put art experiences on in the library and last year I was able to programme a piece called the Bellhouse which was an interactive Sound Installation:

I was really excited about the reach of this installation, which included scientists, academics, and children and young people.

I want to share the benefits that I have experienced through art with the diverse audiences we have in a public library. My degree has also enabled me to develop my writing skills and to be able work under pressure to deadlines but also has helped me to develop a creative mind.

-Karen Huxtable, OU alumna, Senior Supervisor- Development at Exeter Library

You can take a free short course, drawn from A226, Exploring Art & Visual Culturewhich focuses on Dutch Painting of the Golden Age over on Open Learn 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *