A new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery (26 April – 20 July) showcases artworks by children and teachers from East Manchester schools alongside work by practising artists.
The exhibition features the creative results of a number of trial artists' residencies in primary schools. These residencies had been arranged by Manchester Art Gallery in a pilot project that sees practising artists spend time in schools. The sessions have given teachers and pupils the rare opportunity to work closely with professional artists for one, three and four day periods, and even in shorter school assembly sessions.
Artists such as Susie MacMurray and Jim Medway have participated as resident artists, and have seen pupils and teachers produce outstanding artworks in a variety of media including illustration, drawing, sculpture and painting. Manchester Art Gallery is now celebrating the creative achievements of the pupils, teachers and artists who have taken part by displaying examples of their work in this special exhibition.
The pilot Artists in Schools project has initially been running in a number of East Manchester primary schools such as Varna Street Primary and St Clements C of E Primary. And the good news is that following the project's successful conclusion earlier this year, it is now set to be offered to schools across the city for the next academic year.
Speaking about the project, Jane Parker, a participating teacher from St Clements CE Primary School commented: "The pupils got through so much work and said ' I didn't realise I'd done this much, I've enjoyed it so much'. The residency made all pupils feel they could succeed."
Rebecca Rattray, a teacher from St Barnabas CE Primary School said: "Pupils have all enjoyed the residency, especially the last morning where they created their own sculptures. This was shown through the pupils' excitement at the opportunity to create other sculptures using similar materials in lessons after the residency was completed."
Assistant Executive Member for Arts and Leisure, Councillor Mike Amesbury commented: "This pilot Artists in Schools project has been very successfully initiated and run by Manchester Art Gallery as part of their learning programme for school groups and it's great to think that this pilot will now go on to be offered to all schools across Manchester. It's just the latest addition to their existing programme of gallery-based workshops, staff-directed tours and self-led gallery visits for school groups of all ages. There's a huge amount of creativity and inspiration to be shared by artists and staff at the gallery with school groups, and I hope that many more young Manchester residents will benefit from the gallery's schools programme in the year to come."
The Artists in Schools exhibition is at Manchester Art Gallery from 26 April - 20 July. Entry is free.
For further information please contact Jenny Beard, Communications Manager on 0161 235 8864