Young artists inspired by secret garden

Friday 5 September 2008

A papier mâché squirrel, a hand felted bumble bee and a delicate ink drawing of a lily were amongst the winning entries in the 2008 MUSA Young Artist Award, an annual art contest run by the University of St Andrews.

Over 400 budding artists were inspired by the St Andrews Botanic Garden to enter the competition that was launched last year by the University of St Andrews.

This year, the Young Artist Award coincides with the opening of a new Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) in the autumn, which will increase public access to the University’s collections. Located at 7A The Scores, MUSA will provide four exhibition galleries, an education centre, viewing terrace and sculpture garden.

The theme for the 2008 competition was “The Garden of Secrets”.  The University teamed up with St Andrews Botanic Garden and challenged the children to create a 2D or 3D artwork inspired by any aspect of life in the garden.

A total of 427 entries were submitted and 650 pupils from schools across Fife took part in educational workshops – nearly double the number who participated last year.

The competition, which is sponsored by the Vettriano Trust, aims to recognise and support creativity in schools, and to promote learning, using the University’s historic collections as a starting point.

Prizes were awarded in each of the five competition categories ranging from Primary one to Secondary 3 pupils and special education school pupils in Fife.  This year, a new category was added for nurseries.

First, second and third prize winners received a MUSA Young Artist Medal and a selection of art materials or vouchers at a prize-giving ceremony at the University on Tuesday 2nd September, along with their families and teachers.

The panel of judges, which included Frieda Morrison of Radio BBC Scotland’s Beechgrove Potting Shed, were impressed with the quality and originality of the entries and awarded Special Merits to 11 additional pupils.

Winning entries will be displayed in the Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews from 2 September to 30 November 2008.

If you would like more information about the 2008 competition or if you are interested in entering next year please visit:


NOTE TO EDITORS: For further details contact Alison Hadfield, Learning & Access Curator, Museum Collections Unit, University of St Andrews, Tel. 01334 462396 / 462417

About the venues:

The St Andrews Botanic Garden is set within 18 acres of impressively landscaped grounds between Kinness Burn and Canongate. It is home to about 8000 species of ferns, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees and runs a dynamic education programme for schools and lifelong learners. Its links with the University go back to 1889 when a garden was first established behind St Mary’s College, South St, for University teaching and research. It moved to its current site in 1960, and in 1987 the garden was leased to Fife Council, which now carries full responsibility for its management.

The Gateway Galleries are located on the North Haugh and are open from 09.00-17.30 Monday to Friday and 10.00-17.00 at weekends.  The galleries feature highlights from the University’s varied collections and an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions and events.

From Autumn 2008 MUSA will provide a central museum facility, bringing together objects from all the University’s collections to tell the story of St Andrews as a place of learning.  The new museum will house four galleries, a Viewing Terrace and a dedicated education centre called the Learning Loft, designed for use by schools, FE and HE students, community groups and lifelong learners.



Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on Tel: 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: [email protected]
Ref:  MUSA 050908
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