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Portrait of J. Anyan.

Jennifer Anyan joins AUB as Director of new school


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Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) announced the appointment of Jennifer Anyan as the inaugural Director of the University's new School of Arts, Media, and Creative Industries Management.

Jennifer joins from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, where she was Programme Leader for Fashion Marketing with Management and Chair of the WSA Education Group.

She began her tertiary academic career in 2007 at Solent University, where she set up the first-ever BA (Hons) course in Fashion Styling. Jennifer later developed several undergraduate and postgraduate courses alongside her art research practice and became Head of Postgraduate Provision across Art and Design and Associate Professor.

"I’m thrilled to join AUB, especially at such an important time for the University," comments Jennifer. "The launch of the new school is demonstrative of AUB’s commitment to maintaining innovative education, the new courses recognise that graduates need to be equipped with a wide range of transferable skills, enabling them to thrive in a competitive commercial environment whilst knowing how to carve out space to make their own creative statement."

Reflecting on the role of Director of School at AUB Jennifer says, ‘What appealed to me about the new school, and this position, is that the courses are designed to help students shape their future worlds. It was only once I’d left university that I learned the business of being an artist. It was in the real world that I learned how to collaborate, work across cultural and geographical boundaries and have conversations about how much I should be paid, with confidence. I’m passionate about creating an inclusive and dynamic environment where we build confidence and help creatives from all backgrounds thrive.’

With a focus on developing her students’ communication skills, Jennifer developed a pilot at Winchester School of Art that used Action Learning Sets to develop students’ confidence and skills in giving peer feedback and support. She's enthusiastic about continuing to develop and apply the learning from this pilot at AUB, noting that self-confidence and communication skills are areas that the COVID-19 generation needs support in nurturing to flourish in the creative industries.

"AUB is a dedicated art school, and now it’s delivering that next step for our budding creatives. The new courses will give students authentic collaborative and entrepreneurship skills leading them to sustainable and agile careers."

Lisa Mann, Executive Director of Academic Innovation at AUB, says, ‘We look forward to welcoming Jennifer to AUB, and we are delighted to have appointed somebody with such an impressive reputation in academia, teaching, innovation, and as an artist. Jennifer’s wealth of experience will be invaluable to us and the students here at AUB in preparing them as best as possible for life as an artist after university."

With a BA (Hons) from Winchester School of Art and an MA from Central St Martins in Fine Art, Jennifer is also a successful artist who's worked on a broad range of projects and published her research internationally.

"I work in an interdisciplinary way. I draw, collage, photograph, and film. I work with voices, I work with garments, mostly on bodies. My work explores how we fashion the body, how we understand ourselves, our sense of self, and how we navigate the world around us."

Her recent project, Fashioning the Voice, in collaboration with Dr Yvon Bonenfant of University College Cork, and funded by the Arts Council England, developed an art experience using a tech-enabled trenchcoat that sings in response to the wearer’s movement.

"Fashioning the Voice creates the opportunity for deep engagement with the subject of self-identity," Jennifer explains, "How we construct it and how others perceive it. This is extremely pertinent in today’s social media-driven world."

Research insights from the project will be published by Routledge next year.

AUB’s new School of Arts, Media and Creative Industries Management launches with the following courses this September: BA (Hons) Communication Design and Strategy, BA (Hons) Creative Direction, and BA (Hons) Curation, Exhibition and Experience Design, and BA (Hons) Events Management.

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