Art student wins Royal Opera House design competition

Art student wins Royal Opera House design competition

An Access (Art & Design) student at South Essex College has won a Royal Opera House design challenge.

Klaudia Zolkos-Urbanek, 36, from Southend, designed a poster for the company’s ballet production of Romeo and Juliet and won first prize in the marketing category.

The nationwide contest saw 42 schools and colleges take part with 85 entries making the final, which were all judged by the Royal Opera House’s design, production and marketing teams.

Klaudia created a simple yet effective design using a collage, featuring a male and female ballet dancer from Sir Kenneth Macmillian’s interpretation of the ballet of Romeo and Juliet.

The brief for the design challenge was to showcase the fragmented storyline of the tragic love story, pitching to a target market audience of 14-19 year olds.

Royal Opera House judges commented: ‘Klaudia has really focussed on the target audience, and showed the detailed process she went through to develop this design.’

This is the second time an Access student at the College has won the competition.

The first win for the Royal Opera House Design Challenge 16/17 saw South Essex College become a flagship college for the Royal Opera House. This latest win has now elevated the College to National Status.

Klaudia said she was delighted to have won.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out. It’s unbelievable that something I have created has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation and I’m proud that it will be seen by so many people.

“The course at the College is great because it gives you the confidence and knowledge to really push yourself. It covers so many different aspects of art so our skills can be widely used and explore many avenues. The tutors are incredibly helpful and supportive, too.”

Klaudia studies on the College’s Access to HE (Art & Design) course which is designed to equip her with the skills needed to study at degree level. Klaudia will begin the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree at the College in September.

Access courses are designed for adults over the age of 19 who want to study a degree in order to further or change their career, but do not have the necessary formal qualifications. What’s more, if you study an Access course and then progress onto and complete a degree programme, fees for the Access course are written off.

If you decide not to study at degree level after the Access course, you will still earn a Level 3 Diploma, which is the equivalent to three A-Levels.

Access tutor Vicky Burch said; “Klaudia is an excellent student who works extremely hard on the course, she is a credit to Access and to the College. Klaudia has a family, runs a business and still manages to pursue her dream of doing an art degree. We are also fortunate that she is choosing South Essex College to study at degree level.”

To find out more about Access courses at the College visit