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Record-breaking year for Games-themed art competition

An art competition on the theme of Glasgow 2014 has broken records before the Games have even begun, after over 1200 Fife pupils took part in workshops run by the University of St Andrews.

The workshops were organised by the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) to prepare pupils for the MUSA Young Artist Award, an art competition for schools in Fife that is now in its eighth year.  The number marks an increase of nearly 500 participants in the competition compared to last year.

Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Principal of the University of St Andrews, will present the competition’s 31 winners with medals, certificates and art materials at a special ceremony in Parliament Hall today (5pm Friday June 20, 2014).

During the ceremony he will congratulate schools for creating entries of extraordinary quality and invite the public to visit an exhibition of the winning entries, which include prints of athletes, clay medals, painted gymnasts and a sculpted ‘Commonwealth Cow’.  The exhibition will also show items from the University’s historic collections that inspired their creators.

Art workshops on the theme of On Your Marks encouraged pupils to think about how the emotional highs and lows of sport and the different nations that take part in the Commonwealth Games can be represented in art.  Participants examined objects from a variety of Commonwealth countries, including an ancient pot from Cyprus and a traditional Maori war club from New Zealand, and considered the work of some well-known artists, among them renowned Fife-based sculptor and printmaker Will Maclean. Pupils also enjoyed using some novel methods to create their own artworks, including ping-pong balls and bicycle tyres dipped in paint.

Matt Sheard, Learning & Access Curator at the University and the organiser of this year’s competition, said:

“Welcoming so many young people to the museum and going out to visit so many schools has felt a bit like running a marathon; tiring by incredibly rewarding. It’s been fantastic to see so many enthusiastic pupils respond so creatively to the University’s collections.”

The competition, which was launched in 2006, aims to use the historic and artistic collections in the care of the University of St Andrews to inspire creativity among pupils.  It is open to all nurseries, primary and secondary schools in Fife.

The exhibition of winning artworks, On Your Marks: The MUSA Young Artist Award 2014, will be open at the Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews, between 9am and 3:45pm Monday – Friday and from noon until 4pm on Saturdays until 9 August.

A full list of winners can also be found on the MUSA Young Artist Award website.


Note to editors

Media are invited to attend the award ceremony at 5pm on Friday.

For further details contact Emma Shea, Senior Communications Manager, on 01334 462 167 or email Emma.Shea@st-andrews.ac.uk

About the MUSA Young Artist Award:

The MUSA Young Artist Award is now in its eighth year.  The aim of the competition is to recognise and support creativity in schools by using the historic collections in the care of the University to promote learning, inspiration and excellence in art and design.  Pupils attend workshops on the competition’s theme with their school and are encouraged to submit artworks in the medium of their choice.

About MUSA:

MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews) is located at 7a The Scores and tells the story of Scotland’s first University from its foundation in around 1411 until the present day. Using some remarkable objects and artworks, the museum examines St Andrews’ foundation and early development, student life and leisure through the ages and the scientific, literary, philosophical and theological developments that have sprung from this seat of learning. Visitors can also encounter some notable figures from the University’s history, discover exactly what a museum is and experience stunning vistas over West Sands and out towards Arbroath from the viewing terrace. The museum is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and noon – 4pm on Sundays.

About the Gateway Galleries:

The Gateway Galleries are located on the North Haugh and are open from 9am -3.45pm  Monday to Friday and noon – 4pm on Saturdays. The galleries feature highlights from the University’s varied collections and an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions and events. More details can be found at the Gateway Galleries website.

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