About Oxford Summer School
The first Oxford Summer School ran in 1991 at the Cricket Road Centre in Oxford. It was set up by Richard Speed whose vision was to put anyone interested in arts & crafts in touch with teachers and specialists, chosen for their creative flair and ability to communicate their enthusiasm and skills – with good humour!
Over the years, several venues have been used, with many tutors returning year after year by popular demand. It has become an event that students looked forward to all year not just to express themselves creatively, but to meet up with old friends.
In 2008 Richard handed over the reins to Liz Bryant who had been working alongside him for some time. With the help of her husband Roger and so very many other people working behind the scenes, Liz was able to maintain the ethos of Summer School, whilst moving forward. What Dick had begun, as a school with 43 students, where the painting & drawing courses had to be merged to make them viable, has grown to a point where in total 400 students have come for the week, either taking part in one, two or longer five day long classes.
In like manner Liz stepped aside after 2019 and handed over to Gemma Wheeler who had worked closely with Liz, amid much laughter, and had run the Spring and Autumn weekend schools for a number of years. Gemma brought her youth and her enthusiasm to everything involving Summer School but now in 2022 the moment the moment has come for this wonderful event, treasured by so many people, to move into the next phase.
From 2022, the Summer School will be run by Anne Griffiths and Lesley Houghton. Anne has been teaching at the school for a number of years and first met Lesley there in 2016, they have been friends ever since. They both hope to continue Dick Speed’s vision of promoting Arts and Crafts and providing people with the opportunity to be creative.