The first two classes from Newtongrange Primary recently visited Jupiter Artland as part of a free hands-on education programme.
Newtongrange Primary School Parent Council received funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Participatory Budget, to enable all the pupils to visit the West Lothian sculpture park and gallery.
The pupils worked on a cardboard project inspired by Nathan Coley’s ‘The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh 2004’.
Having visited Jupiter Artland many times Julie Read, local art tutor at Portfolio Oomph decided that she, in collaboration with the school parent council, would take Jupiter Artland up on their mission to achieve “engagement with every child in Scotland”.
Julie said: “We had a fabulous first day and the quality of the workshop was outstanding. Art in primary schools is often focused on historical, established artists and art movements which in turn, results in an emphasis on technical ability. However, Scotland has a rich contemporary art scene and it is not necessarily being exposed to children through the curriculum.
“This has made these visits an ideal vehicle to explore work in an integrated way and to engage pupils in an alternative learning style, that might be more beneficial to some students than other styles.
“Engaging in art can assist children to know and understand the world and it’s multi-faceted aspects, to open up discussion around many issues that they may not encounter in their normal day to day life.”
Julie was delighted the pupils got the chance to interact with art, she added: “In this digital age, with access to so much art online many believe that by seeing a photo of an exhibit, they’ve seen it.
“However, really experiencing this artwork is such a different thing. And that is why it is important to get children out to visit such places as Jupiter Artland, to experience the art in context.
“Many may never visit a gallery, as they may feel that they are exclusive places where they’re not welcome. To break down these barriers and to see that everyone is welcome to engage in contemporary art is a good message to instil at a young age.”