- Frequent bus services and train station nearby
The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Rochester is located in a hilltop position off New Road at Fort Pitt, which enjoys glorious views over a bend in the river Medway below.
The Zandra Rhodes gallery is named after the world-renowned fashion designer who recently became the first Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts and also graduated from the Rochester campus. It is a purpose-built space for temporary exhibitions relating to UCA Rochester's specialist subjects, which include fashion, photography and three dimensional design.
The UCA programme contributes by helping to raise the aspirations, and develop the abilities of school students from under-represented groups, encouraging them to get a taste and insight into fashion and the wide ranging courses and careers within the industry, by getting them involved in a variety of creative workshops. Participating students get constructive help and support from UCA staff, graduates and undergraduates to make their own creations and organise a photo shoot.
The students creations are then professionally styled and photographed for exhibition at the Zandra Rhodes gallery, before being showcased at a private view, an occasion to which participating students can invite family and friends.
Graduates of UCA diploma (FE) courses hold graduation shows and exhibitions annually at Chatham Historic Dockyard in May. Private views of undergraduate and postgraduate (HE) exhibitions and student shows are held annually at the Zandra Rhodes Gallery and the Fort Pitt campus each year during June. There's also an annual Summer School held at UCA Rochester campus for aspiring and mature students.
In 2008 the gallery was the venue for the launch of MadeinMedway.com, a creative hub for artists and designers in Medway, and an online gallery, directory, archive and resource centre for art and design, fashion, photography, sculpture and mixed media, showcasing the new and exciting work coming out of the creative industries in Medway, many of whom are graduates of UCA Rochester campus. .
The University additionally organises exhibitions of work produced by current and former students and staff, and outreach in collaboration with external venues such as schools, local hospitals and health centres, businesses and other educational institutions.
As part of this work, the gallery recently played host to a private view showcasing the work of students from schools across Kent and Medway participating in a UCA outreach project called Creative Careers in Fashion, in association with Aimhigher Kent and Medway. The objective of this programme, a partnership of schools, further education (FE) colleges and higher education (HE) institutions, is to motivate and inspire young people to consider and progress to Higher Education courses, including courses offered at UCA.