It's not every day that children get to view their artful creations in a major public setting, but this week primary school pupils from across Belfast will have their youthful masterpieces exhibited in one of the city’s most prominent galleries for all to see.
The exhibition Art in Progress launched on Tuesday, March 29, at south Belfast’s Ormeau Baths Gallery, and displays work created by over 200 school children who have been involved in children’s projects at the gallery this past year.
The event was marked as “a real celebration”, this being the very first time The Great Art Quest has had a project in Northern Ireland — it already having been established in major national art galleries that include the Tate Liverpool and the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Ciara Hickey, Education officer at Ormeau Baths, said: “I am delighted to present this special exhibition showcasing such a wide range of ideas and types of art.
“I am always so excited and impressed by what can happen when a child’s imagination is let run wild and is stimulated by what they see in a gallery space. We were happy to work with The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts as one of four major art centres in the UK taking part in this year’s Great Art Quest.
“As a gallery we are committed hugely to working with young people, and we’re really excited that so many local children will have the opportunity to see their work displayed.
“We hope that the programmes have not only encouraged creativity, experimentation and fun, but helped trigger a lifelong love for the arts among local children.”
The project gave pupils from these schools the opportunity to explore an exhibition at the Ormeau Baths Gallery with the help of a local storyteller and visual artist.
Jeremy Newton, chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & The Arts said: “It was only a few months ago that we launched the first Great Art Quest project in Northern Ireland and I can’t wait to see the creative results of the youngsters go on display. I hope that the Quest has helped bring the visual arts to life for these children, made them aware of the wonderful local gallery available to them, and encouraged their talents and confidence in producing their very own pieces of art.”
At the exhibition there will also be a chance for teachers to pick up an application form for the 2011/12 Residency OBG Artist in Residency, a scheme set up to introduce contemporary art into the classroom — especially for schools with little access to artists or art facilities.
The children’s exhibition will run until this Saturday, April 2.