Girvan students are winners in national art competition

Students from Girvan Academy will have their artwork on display in the Scottish national Gallery after coming tops in a national competition.

This year’s Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools has attracted a record 11,222 entries from accross Scotland – a huge increase of 81% on figures for 2012.

Girvan Academy were winners in the Group Entries category.

At a special awards ceremony in the Scottish National Gallery, young artists from across Scotland saw their artworks go on display today to the public for the first time. The exhibition including all 53 winners will be on show to the public until October 27. The competition was set up ten years ago by the Galleries to excite and inspire young people and to extend their knowledge of our national art collection. Tesco Bank has proudly supported the competition for two years.

One of the themes this year was ‘Dogs’. At the ceremony some lucky children got to meet Darcy, an Irish Wolfhound, who was invited along to bring some of the art on the walls to life. Some of this year’s winners were inspired by dogs in artworks from across the Galleries, including the ever-popular painting Callum by John Emms, pictured above (photo above).

Other themes included ‘Water’, inspired by Alex Katz’s 2000 painting Grey Marine; ‘Let’s Play’, inspired by Andy Warhol’s 1948 work Cano; and ‘Scary Monsters and Creepy Things’ inspired by Agnes Miller Parker’s 1934 wood engraving The Challenge. Adding extra excitement, designs from this category will be used by Scottish National Ballet to inspire set designs for their upcoming winter show, Hansel & Gretel.

Schools in all 32 Scottish local authorities took part in this year’s competition and all 53 winning works will be on display in the IT gallery at the Scottish National Gallery until October 2013. They will then tour around the country. The competition was first established in 2004 and has attracted over 47,000 entries since its launch. Exhibitions of winning entries have been shown across Scotland, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Fort William, Stirling, Banff and Berwick-upon-Tweed, attracting large audiences.

This year’s rise in entries coincides with an extended series of Tesco Bank workshops at more schools across Scotland, encouraging children to be creative. An exhibition of last year’s winners on show in Falkirk helped to boost this year’s entries from the town, and Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools roadshows in Glasgow, Dundee and South Ayrshire also contributed to this year’s record-breaking figures. Entries range across categories from Nursery up to S2.

John Leighton, Director General, National Galleries of Scotland, said: “The Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools is one of our flagship outreach activities, reaching school children the length and breadth of Scotland, and introducing them to the nation’s art collection. To see such an impressive rise in entries for 2013 is testament not only to the creativity of the young people taking part, but to the schools and teachers who have provided the tools for them to do so.”

Benny Higgins, Tesco Bank’s chief executive, added: “We are absolutely delighted to see such a significant increase in entries to over 11,000 this year. Tesco Bank aims to support projects in the communities in which we operate, by widening access to opportunities across the arts, sport and literacy. The growth of this competition shows how much it is admired by schools across the country and, in its tenth year, it’s never been in better shape to help the young people of Scotland enjoy and benefit from the magic of visual art.”

The National Galleries of Scotland set up the schools Art Competition in 2004, as an initiative of the National Galleries of Scotland Education and Outreach team, to raise awareness of the National Galleries collections nationwide. Thousands of children and young people have taken part in the competition over the last 10 years, raising awareness of the works in the national collection and ensuring that young people feel the collection is theirs to respond to and learn from.

Works including those of Scottish kings and queens of Scotland ranging through to masterpieces by Titian have all inspired creativity. The National Galleries of Scotland care for, research and develop the nation’s art collections and aim to share works of art with as wide a public as possible - every year welcoming over a million visitors from Scotland and the rest of the world to our various Galleries sited in Edinburgh. The Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools 2013 winners will be displayed at the Scottish National Gallery from June.