Tracey Emin earlier this year celebrating Tate's 10th Birthday at Tate Modern. © Culture24
Artist, Tracey Emin, and Children's Laureate, Anthony Browne, are amongst the celebrities backing Children's Art Day 2010 which launches today and runs until the end of the week (July 12 - 18, 2010).
Organised by engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, Children's Art Day involves thousands of young people taking part in hundreds of events up and down the country. Galleries, museums and libraries run events too alongside schools, youth and community groups to host a variety of activities - from drawing to painting, but also sculpture, photography and crafts.
Artist Tracey Emin said: "The art gallery can be a place for a really good day out. People can experience art in all different kinds of ways and all different kinds of levels. The earlier children go to an art gallery the more they accept art into their lives."
Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate praised the campaign saying: "Children's Art Day gives us the chance to celebrate the extraordinary work being carried out by young people in schools directly inspired by works in our museums and galleries. We are delighted to support this exciting initiative which plays an important part in helping to develop young people's creativity."
Look Out London Competition: enter now!
If you're at a school in London, there's still the chance to enter the Look Out London drawing and other visual art media competition for schools.
Look Out London has been initiated by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and run in partnership with the Campaign for Drawing. Winning entries will be showcased on the engage and Campaign for Drawing websites later this year and schools will be presented with art materials donated by Cass Art and Daler-Rowney.
Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London who is backing Children's Art Day commented: "Drawing is a wonderful thing, because it uses a different part of the brain to that which deals with bus lanes. I think children should learn to draw because, not only is it a superb way to express yourself, it helps you to better appreciate great works of art. I hope Children's Art Day can inspire young people everywhere to give it a go."
The Children's Laureate, illustrator Anthony Browne, added: "All children, until they reach a certain age, can draw brilliantly. We all could, but something happens as we grow older and most of us lose this visual creativity. Any project that encourages children to continue drawing and to value drawing gets my support - and this competition sounds wonderful!"
Children's Art Day aims to increase opportunities to experience the visual arts as children, young people and in family groups. A recent report suggested that taking part in cultural activities, "helps to make families strong and stable". However, one in five parents said their children had not taken part in any cultural activities in the past year with their family. Research has also suggested that access to the arts can help increase confidence, improve communication skills and the development creative skills, as well as improving literacy and numeracy.