Young artists prove creativity is where the heart is

Thursday 18 June 2015

MUSA Young Artists Award 2015

A fabric heart, a skeleton made of cotton buds and lungs made of sponge are just some of the inventive entries to a children’s art competition at the University of St Andrews.

The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) received the largest number of entries yet to their Young Artist Award with more than 900 submissions from Fife youngsters. This year the competition had the theme of the human body.

A total of 37 prizes will be awarded by MUSA today (Wednesday 17 June) with entries also including watercolour paintings of skulls and a leg created from recycled materials.

Among the winners are three-year old Elyse Syme of St Monans Nursery with her painting of the human form; Tara McGhie in primary three at Wormit Primary School with a watercolour painting of an anatomical model; and Paris Fabian of S1 at Inverkeithing High School with her 3D model of the human heart in fabric.

Other category winners were John Brewen and Andrew Peoples, both of Greyfriars RC Primary School, and Arianna Giles of Glenwood High School.

Professor Verity Brown, Vice-Principal for Enterprise and Engagement at the University, will present the winners and their schools with medals, certificates and art materials at a special ceremony in Parliament Hall. During the ceremony she will congratulate schools for creating entries of extraordinary quality and invite the public to visit an exhibition of the winning creations, alongside items from the University’s anatomy and pathology collections, which inspired the winners.

Nearly 1300 pupils prepared for the competition by attending workshops at MUSA on the competition’s theme of Brilliant Bodies. Visits encouraged pupils to explore skeletons, hearts, surgical equipment and rare Victorian wax models of body parts to discover the important role of artists in allowing doctors to understand how our bodies work. They also saw drawings by Andreas Vesalius, one of the first doctors to carry out dissections in the 1500s, and investigated the importance of observation to artists of the body.

The MUSA Young Artist Award, 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 takes a different theme each year and is open to all nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools in Fife.

Matt Sheard, Learning and Access Curator at the University and the organiser of this year’s competition, said: “The University has a great deal of intriguing objects related to medicine and the study of the human body and it’s been a real joy to witness so many young artists getting excited, fascinated and sometimes even surprised by the objects that they’ve seen at the museum.

“This year’s entries have been amazing to see and among the winning works we’ve got a fabric heart, a leg created from recycled materials, skeletons made of cotton buds, watercolour skulls, sponge-lungs and more besides. The variety and quality of work that we’ve seen from Fife’s schools has been astounding and I heartily congratulate all the teachers and pupils who took part.”

The exhibition of winning artworks, The MUSA Young Artist Award 2015: Brilliant Bodies, 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 22 August.  A list of winners can also be seen on the MUSA Young Artist Award website.


Notes to news editors

For further details contact Matt Sheard, Learning & Access Curator, Museum Collections Unit, University of St Andrews.  Tel. 01334 461699  Email [email protected].

Images of winning entries are available from Museum Collections, contact Matt Sheard on 01334 461699 or the Press Office on [email protected].

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 462530 or [email protected].

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