2nd September 2004




Chef and father-of-three Russell Urmston swapped pans for paintbrushes when he decided to take a degree in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln.


Russell and his family had to overcome the problems caused when Russell’s partner Lisa was injured in a motorcycle accident in May.


But Lisa is now recovering and Russell has been rewarded with a 2:1 degree and the Hull School of Art and Design prize for endeavour in the field of art, which he shares with fellow student Adalet Garmiany.


Russell (35) has always been a keen painter but on leaving school at the age of 16 he embarked on a career in catering.


He was working at the University of Hull when he decided to pursue his interest in art by signing up for an A-level in the subject at Bishop Burton College.


Halfway through the course his tutor encouraged him to switch to the Hull School of Art & Design to study at degree level – and Russell says it was one of the best decisions he has ever made.


“I always had the desire to study art even if I wasn’t looking for a change of career,” he said. “I’ve managed to sell quite a few pieces and I’ve won a commission from Reckitt Benckiser to produce some paintings for their New Technologies Division.


“But it’s not about the money or the career, it’s about the experience. I would encourage anybody who has ever harboured these ambitions not to think twice about it but just to go for it.


“I meet so many people who say ‘I wish I could have done that’. I just ask, ‘What’s stopping you?’ Studying at university is a wonderful, mind-opening experience which can only enrich your life.”


Russell, who lives off Newland Avenue, will be at Hull City Hall at 11.30am on Wednesday 8th September to collect his degree certificate and his prize.


Not for publication: to contact Russell call 01482 341191.


For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk