Simon Betts is currently Dean of College, Wimbledon College of Arts. In 2009 he co-authored, with Kelly Chorpening and Prof Stephen Farthing in designing and writing the UALAB Drawing Certificate/Award Course. This course centered on the purpose and Trans-Disciplinarity of drawing as a common language, and generated discussion as to how drawing could be taught in Schools, Sixth Form Centers and Foundation Courses.
Following on from the validation and start of these courses in Schools and Colleges around the UK, Betts convened and chaired two conferences that sought to explore new approaches to teaching cross-disciplinary drawing. These were “Camera Lucida: New perspectives in teaching drawing” 2010, and “Camera Lucida 2: New approaches to learning through drawing” 2011. These conference presented the new UALAB Drawing Course within the context the wider landscape of drawing, and included speakers from the arts and sciences.
Betts also worked closely with Michael Pavelka in designing and writing the Wimbledon College of Arts MA Drawing course, now led by Tania Kovats, and as part of this development co-selected the exhibition at Wimbledon Space, “Footprints Across Fresh Snow”.
Much of his drawing research has been focused on the use and value of drawing within the sciences, and in particular Bio-Medical Science education and in 2012 he was an International Visiting Fellow at RMIT Melbourne where he devised an on-line drawing tutorial for a year 1 anatomy module. He has spoken at many international conferences on drawing most notably “Drawing Out 2012” at RMIT Melbourne and “Draw2014: why draw now?” at Carnegie Mellon University. Most recently he was invited to speak at the Creating the Future Conference at the Australian Academy of Science Canberra.
Betts was part of the Wimbledon team that collaborated with staff from the University of Hyderabad as part of a joint British Council/UKIERI Research Project. This project looked at digital technologies and drawing in British and Indian Scenography and Betts led a drawing course with the Hyderabad MFA Fine Art students that explored the relationship of drawing to performance.