Winners Of Scottish Visual Art Education Awards Announced

By David Prudames | 28 June 2004
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Shows a photograph of a window that has been decorated with a series of brightly coloured images, including flowers and trees.

Photo: artwork from North Edinburgh Arts Centre's Big Art Wee Hands project - one of nine winners at the Scottish Visual Art Education Awards. Courtesy North Edinburgh Arts Centre.

From artists getting passengers to draw on a train, to a travelling gallery seen by 8,000 people, nine organisations have been given Scottish Visual Arts Education Awards.

Now in their third year, the awards are aimed at celebrating projects organised by groups all over Scotland in which artists and members of the public work together.

From nursery school pupils and skateboarders to mums club members and sheltered housing residents, this year’s winners helped a vast range of people exercise their creative side.

Presenting each winner with a cheque for £1,000 at a ceremony on the Isle of Bute, Scottish Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Frank McAveety explained what the awards are all about.

Shows a photograph of an artists hand at work painting on a small canvas on a desk. There are various canvasses, notebooks and paints scattered on the desk in the background.

Photo: The Changing Room in Stirling invited members of the public to collaborate with artists in a gallery environment. © The Changing Room.

"The Visual Arts Education Awards recognise those projects which have demonstrated exceptional collaboration between artists, galleries and communities," he said.

"Art can reach people from every community, it can educate, it can enrich lives and it can revitalise both the individual and the community in which they live. The winners today have been picked as the very best examples of this collaborative work – but everyone participating in cultural activity can rightly call themselves a winner."

From galleries and art centres to schools and trains, the nine winning organisations used art to help people explore their imaginations and surroundings, as well as try something new.

Highland Council got artist John McNaught to help children from Munlochy Primary School design and produce a 55 metre (180 feet) school sign using linocut, digital photography, painting and screen-printing.

Shows a line drawing of a railway station. The track curves away into trees and bushes and is line by lamps and a telegraph wire.

Photo: Forres Railway Station by Gillian Drinkwater. Courtesy Moray Council.

While joining forces with ScotRail, Moray Council installed artists Shaun MacDonald and Theresa Gault in a train on the Inverness-Aberdeen line to give passengers and schoolchildren the chance to have a go at drawing.

Up until now, the awards have been managed by the Scottish Arts Council, but this year engage, the national organisation for gallery education, took over.

"These awards highlight the great work being done by artists, educators and galleries in Scotland to bring enjoyment of the arts to the widest audience," said Chris Naylor, engage director.

Brooching the Subject, a travelling gallery created by artist Jack Cunningham, reached 8,000 people as it made its way from Shetland to Stranraer over the course of four months.

Shows a photograph of an artwork in which strips of coloured, trasparent material have been lied up on a wooden frame. Sunlight, passing through the strips, is creating a brightly-coloured striped effect on the floor.

Photo: artwork from North Edinburgh Arts Centre's Big Art Wee Hands project. Courtesy North Edinburgh Arts Centre.

Another of the winners gave over 70 children under the age of five from north Edinburgh the opportunity to experiment with clay, collage, construction, painting and digital photography.

The Big Art Wee Hands project began at North Edinburgh Arts Centre in January this year and an exhibition of the results is on show at the venue until July 16.

From nursery groups, to parents taking their children along, Big Art Wee Hands was designed to let kids be artists in their own right. It was so successful that a mums group has been created as a result.

"The Big Art Wee Hands project," said a participating nursery teacher, "has given some of our children the opportunity to feel valued, to express themselves through a variety of media, to share resources with adults and children, to verbalise their designs and to experiment and have great enjoyment."

The award winners in full:

  • Work in Progress, Changing Room Gallery, Stirling Council
  • Drawing on-line, Moray Council, Forres to Keith on Scotrail
  • Big Fence-Big Sign, Munlochy Primary School, Highland Council
  • Big Art, Wee Hands, North Edinburgh Arts Centre
  • Broad Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen
  • Roots of Language and the Family Tree Preston St Primary School, Edinburgh
  • The Stairwill Gallery St Mary's Primary, Dundee
  • The Gizzenbriggs animation project Tain Academy, Highland Council
  • Brooching the Subject: The Travelling Gallery toured from Shetland to Stranraer, based at the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh.
  • More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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