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Student painting VC's portrait

Loughborough art students create portraits of the Vice-Chancellor

To commemorate the nine years Professor Robert Allison has been Vice-Chancellor, a selection of Fine Art students have been commissioned to create portraits of him.

It is tradition for a Vice-Chancellor to have their portrait done when they leave the University, but this is the first time students will be involved in the process.

Professor Allison, or as he is better known on campus, VC Bob, will sit for three sessions with twenty student artists.  At the end of the final session, the Vice-Chancellor will select a winner who will receive £1,000 and have their portrait displayed on campus.

The portraits span a variety of art styles from abstract and colourful to hyperrealism and photorealism.

Students painting VC portrait

Ellen Skerratt is in her final year at Loughborough. She said: “It’s great that Loughborough’s creative students are being commissioned for the portrait and I look forward to seeing all the different interpretations of the Vice-Chancellor.”

We also asked the students what they think his legacy will be when he leaves in the summer.

First-year student Charlotte Marler commented: “I think the Vice-Chancellor gives the University an inviting, friendly atmosphere. When I see him on campus he always smiles and waves.”

India Steggall, a third-year student added: “My all-time favourite memory of VC Bob was watching everyone’s Instagram stories of him biking up to households isolating because of Covid-19 and throwing them pizzas to cheer them up!”

Programme Lead for Fine Art and organiser of the event, Lorraine Young, is delighted that all three year groups have been able to come together for this event, emulating activities that regularly happen across Fine Art, but due to Covid restrictions have not been possible. She said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to show our first year students the studio culture and community that they can expect next year."

The winner of the portrait competition will be announced at the end of May.