Fantastic creatures take over Gateway Gallery

Friday 1 June 2012

A record number of children from around Fife have taken part in the 2012 MUSA Young Artist Award, an annual art contest run by the University of St Andrews.

Drawing of an octopus
Nathan Kermode – S4 Madras College

Paintings and drawings of crocodiles, octopuses, and a spiny anteater were amongst the 30 winning entries, which will go on display in the Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews from 2 June to 25 August 2012.

Now in its sixth year, the creative collaboration between the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) and local schools, asked children to explore the theme of ‘Fantastic Creatures’. The University’s Edwardian natural history collection, housed in the Bell Pettigrew Museum, provided a source of inspiration.

A total of 682 entries were submitted (up from 421 last year) and 865 pupils (up from 588 last year) from schools across Fife took part in educational workshops with museum staff. This makes the 2012 Award the most popular year, with the number of participants having nearly doubled, and a 62 per cent increase in artworks created.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges including Annette Carruthers (Senior Lecturer in Art History and Museum & Gallery Studies), Dr Martin Milner (Senior Lecturer in Biology and Curator of the Bell Pettigrew Museum) and local artist Kevin Blackwell.

Awards were made in six categories:

  • Nurseries
  • Primary 1 to Primary 3
  • Primary 4 to Primary 5
  • Primary 6 to Primary 7
  • S1 to S3
  • Special Education Schools/Units

Entries were judged on originality and creativity, confident handling of materials, boldness and impact, and an obvious link to the University collections.

The judges were impressed by the standard of all of the artworks and awarded Special Merits to 12 additional pupils.

Dr Milner, Curator of the Bell Pettigrew Museum, said: “We were very pleased to see such a substantial number of very high quality entries, which made the job of assessing them both enjoyable and challenging.”

The Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History, with a collection of 8200 specimens, is currently celebrating its centenary as part of the University’s continuing 600th Anniversary celebrations.

Brightly coloured drawing of a spotted blue and green beetle
Rebecca Phin – S3 Madras College

Drawing of a green dragon with red flames coming out of its mouth
Eliot McEwan Short – age 5, Lawhead Primary School

The MUSA Young Artist Award is organised by the University of St Andrews Museum Collections Unit. It aims to recognise and support creativity in schools.

The prizes for winners in the P4 to S3 and Special Education Schools categories are:

  • 1st place: MUSA Young Artist Medal and £40 token for art materials
  • 2nd place: MUSA Young Artist Medal and £25 token for art materials
  • 3rd place: MUSA Young Artist Medal and £10 token for art materials

Full details of the competition and competition winners.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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