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Up close and personal with the past

Children looking through a telescope

Children from Anstruther Primary School using the talking telescope at MUSA.

Scotland’s oldest university is encouraging local school pupils to get up close and personal with its historic collections.

In a creative collaboration between the University of St Andrews’ new museum (MUSA) and local schools, children are being asked to take inspiration from microscopes and telescopes.

Now in its fourth year, the MUSA Young Artist Award is an increasingly popular event which promotes and celebrates the artistic endeavours of school pupils from Fife. Last year’s competition centred upon the new Museum of the University of St Andrews, which opened its doors in October 2008 and has already welcomed 33,000 visitors. Over 340 pupils from 15 different schools took part in last year’s Young Artist workshops at the museum.

The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Close Up – Far Away’; a nod to the University’s rare collection of scientific instruments. Pupils are being asked to find out how microscopes and telescopes have helped us explore the world – from the depths of the ocean to distant stars – and to choose an unusual perspective for their own work of art.  Entries can be submitted in any 2D or 3D medium and must show an obvious link to the University’s collections.

The competition is open to all nurseries, P1-7, S1-3 and SEN groups in Fife. To help pupils prepare their entries, teachers can bring classes into MUSA for object handling and sketching sessions or download resources from the competition website.

In an effort to make the competition as accessible as possible, MUSA staff will, for the first time, be offering outreach visits to secondary schools, and on 11 March, the opportunity to follow a virtual art masterclass on GLOW, the national intranet for schools. The competition closing date is Tuesday 1 April.

The MUSA Young Artist Award is sponsored by the Vettriano Trust, which is keen to promote art in Fife. This year, additional funding has been raised from Museums Galleries Scotland in order to increase the transport subsidy for group visits to MUSA and to professionally mount and frame the winning artworks, which will be shown at the Gateway Galleries from May to June 2010.

Full details of the competition, including guidelines and curriculum links, can be found online from January 2010 at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/museum/art-competition.

For further information, please contact the Learning & Access Team on 01334 461683 / 461663. Alternatively, email Alison Hadfield (Learning & Access Curator) at alh10@st-andrews.ac.uk or Nicki Bray (Learning & Access Curatorial Trainee) at nb69@st-andrews.ac.uk.

About MUSA

Located at 7A the Scores, MUSA showcases the treasures of St Andrews University and tells the story of the people who have studied and worked here, since teaching began, 600 years ago. MUSA provides four exhibition galleries, an education centre, viewing terrace and sculpture garden.
Displays include a wide range of objects and artworks. There’s plenty to explore for all ages and interests: pupils can experiment with kaleidoscopes, reconstruct an ancient pot, peer into a rockpool or enjoy dramatic views of St Andrews Bay with the help of a ‘talking telescope’. With a spacious and well-equipped Learning Loft for school groups, it is a wonderful place for pupils to investigate the past and let loose their imaginations.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT ALISON HADFIELD, LEARNING & ACCESS CURATOR, TEL: 01334
461683/461663  EMAIL: ALH10@ST-ANDREWS.AC.UK

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:
IMAGES RELATING TO THE AWARD ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.

Issued by Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref:  MUSA Artist 280110
View the latest University press releases at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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