Tuesday 27th April 2021

I am a retired firefighter and I had the opportunity to pursue my passion for art
So I went back to college and started at GCSE level and slowly progressed.

In 1989 I had completed a graphic design course at Saltley College of Art Birmingham and I was also doing a teacher training course.

Then out of the blue I was awarded an art scholarship.

The scholarship had been created in the name of Robert P Beckinsale who taught at the Saltley College between the years 1935-1940. I was awarded a six week scholarship and included accommodation and flight and a bursary for the six weeks to study Renaissance Art History and drawing at SACI Studio Arts International in Florence.

The award came from a group called Old Salts former students and teachers but the main people involved were Mary Beckinsale who was at that time Dean at SACI, an American not-for-profit overseas university art programme and her sister Monica Foot who still resided in the UK.
I had great pleasure in meeting Monica at my graduation and Mary when I arrived in Florence.

SACI have been going through a hard time in this pandemic and they asked the Alumni to help maybe creating a logo for the Saving SACI website and maybe badges and merchandise to use to make funds for the school and its workers.

I had a go and sent a design I was very surprised when they chose it for their campaign.
There have been hundreds of thousands of art students go through this college from all over the world and I did it just to try and help.

I never ever expected them to choose it.

I based my design on the City of Florence flag which consists of a white field charged with a stylized red iris, commonly referred to as the giglio.
The school logo is also a stylised giglio.

By simply inverting the giglio and adding the sad mouth and tear all from the same components I felt it made a sad yet eye catching logo. Adding Save SACI now gave it a bit of a punch.

I donated it to them to use and am happy to see it up and running I hope it will improve their chances of staying afloat.

My six weeks there was a wonderful time for me and by them using my idea It feels I am giving a little back to try and help this wonderful art college remain open for future students.

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