New Fruitmarket Gallery Project Gets School Kids To Opt In For Art

By Graham Spicer | 17 March 2005
Shows a photo of two primary school girls with red jumpers sitting cross legged among lots of model buildings

In a similar initiative undertaken last year pupils from Fort Primary School used work by Scottish artist Nathan Coley as inspiration for a Faith&Place art project at The Fruitmarket Gallery. Photo: Peter Sandground.

A new two-year initiative was launched on March 17 2005 to encourage children and young people in Scotland to ‘Opt in For Art’.

The £76,000 programme, based in Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, aims to promote creativity and understanding of visual art among seven to eighteen year olds.

Opt in For Art was launched by internationally acclaimed artist Simon Patterson and Scotland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Patricia Ferguson.

Shows a photo of the art installation General Assembly by Simon Patterson which resembles giant typewriter keys attached to a wall. The keys are all blue apart from one which is red

Simon Patterson, General Assembly, 1994 (detail). Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo: Sue Ormerod.

“The programme is the gallery’s first long-term educational initiative that establishes additional resources and increased activity for children and young people,” explained Tracy Morgan, the Fruitmarket’s Education Manager.

Aiming to provide a welcoming introduction to visiting art galleries, the project gives priority to groups of disadvantaged children and young people from Edinburgh’s Social Inclusion Partnership areas.

A major feature is supported gallery visits for school and youth groups, including free transport, planned exhibition tours and discussion sessions, and take-away resource materials for all participants.

The Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded the scheme.

Shows a photo of four children in a room with lots of differently designed model buildings

In 2004 pupils from Bonnington and Fort Primary Schools set up a showcase of their artwork inspired by the work of Nathan Coley. Photo: Peter Sandground.

Simon Patterson’s collection High Noon is currently exhibited at the Fruitmarket and he conducted a workshop with children from Fort Primary School, Edinburgh, on the project’s opening day.

Simon’s work has been exhibited in many major galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and London’s Tate Gallery. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996.

“Being an artist is about getting people to look at the world in a different way or to look again – and question,” commented Simon.

“Questioning your own work and not always being 100 per cent satisfied is healthy – it drives you forward.”

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