LJMU recently hosted ‘John Lennon Day’ celebrating both his 77th birthday and the diamond anniversary of the Beatles icon’s enrolment as a Fine Art student at the university.
A range of activities took place at the University’s School of Art & Design, on what would have been his 77th birthday, to commemorate his life and legacy as a Liverpool icon. It is also 60 years since he first set foot in the College of Art, part of the Liverpool John Moores University Estate, in 1957.
Director of LJMU’s School of Art & Design Caroline Wilkinson said: “Sixty years ago John Lennon was in the shoes of our current new intake of students, arriving to the school at the start of their creative careers with the world at their feet.
“I hope LJMU students are inspired to follow in his footsteps towards stellar success in the creative industries and like John Lennon, always remember their roots in the Liverpool School of Art & Design.
Yoko Ono sent the following message to the students at the Liverpool School of Art and Design:
"I salute the new and returning students of the Liverpool School of Art and Design; you are lucky to study in such a stimulating international city; I am always inspired by the many different languages I hear when I visit Liverpool and I am hugely supportive of students who are pursuing their dream.
“Creative expression and art is an innate part of the human experience and having the chance to study your subject in detail and find your path through academic endeavour is a truly unique opportunity.
“Sixty years ago, John was given this opportunity; he enrolled at the Liverpool College of Art and it provided the catalyst for so many important steps in his later life. He was born an artist and he never lost that creative spark – I hope that you, following in his footsteps all these years later, will be inspired by your environment and seize the opportunities that are available to you as students at this University. Happy John Lennon Day!”
It was at the College of Art that Lennon met Stuart Sutcliffe with whom he formed The Beatles and was introduced to Paul McCartney and George Harrison who attended the neighbouring Liverpool Institute for Boys.
McCartney and Harrison would hop over the wall at lunchtime into the college canteen to perform with Lennon and Sutcliffe. The band was initially known as The Quarrymen before becoming the official College Band with their first recording funded by the students’ union.
To mark the 60th anniversary of his enrolment newly recruited art students were encouraged to embrace John Lennon Day by posing with props in a Beatles themed photo booth, wearing special Lennon t-shirts and taking part in a musical Merseyside tour.
Friends of Lennon during his student days Helen Anderson, Bill Harry and Rod Murray also shared their memories as guest speakers.
LMJU is encouraging staff and students to share their Lennon photographs on social media using #johnlennonday