East Dunbartonshire pupils look Down Under for inspiration

The art competition winners
The art competition winners

Hundreds of pupils from East Dunbartonshire schools put paintbrush, pencil and pen to paper to create original artwork with an Australian theme that will be on display at The Thomas Muir Coffee Shop during Local History Week - from Saturday, March 4 to Saturday, March 11.

This is a second chance to view the hugely-successful 2016 East Dunbartonshire Schools Art Competition and Exhibition.

There will also be an opportunity on Tuesday, March 7 from 7.30pm to 8.30pm for a 30-minute tour lead by Jimmy Watson, the event organiser, followed by an open discussion.

In attendance will be some of East Dunbartonshire’s young artists to explain the key themes and inspiration behind their original works of art.

The number of entries was well over 600, with event organiser Jimmy Watson saying “the standard is exceptionally high this year”.

A total of 23 pictures from 13 East Dunbartonshire schools were selected for the finalist exhibition, with all the pictures professional framed with assistance from East Dunbartonshire Arts Council.

The competition judges this year were Roddy Buchanan (international artist), Peter McCormack (‎Museums Development Officer), Melanie Sims (artist/ EDAC) and Esmee Thompson (Trails and Tales – EDLC).

The East Dunbartonshire Schools Art Competition continues to grow from strength to strength. The 2015 winning picture by Gabrielle Joy Henderson was displayed at the Scottish Parliament for a period during 2016.

Pupils were asked to research and then create their artwork - taking inspiration from what kind of animals and artwork that Thomas Muir and the early settlers would possibly have encountered on arrival at Botany Bay and Sydney Cove.

Category winners were

· Sarah Kate Wilson - P1-3 - St Joseph’s Primary

· Adam Kyle - P4-7 - Craigdhu Primary

· Ben Lavy - S1-2 - Lenzie Academy

· Rachel Hulmes - S3-S7 - Turnbull High School.

The picture by Sarah Kate Wilson - aged seven - was selected as the overall winning entry.

Certificates were presented to finalists at a special ceremony recently by guest of honour – Councillor Maureen Henry, Convener of Education in East Dunbartonshire.

The event was organised by Friends of Thomas Muir and also attended by Councillor Eric Gotts, who is a member of the local charity.

Councillor Henry said: “Well done to all the winners - everyone who entered the schools art competition should be proud of their efforts. I am continually impressed by the inspiration, talent and hard work of our young learners locally.

“I would encourage everyone to pop in for a cuppa and see the wonderful art created by our talented pupils.

“The young people are a real credit to their schools and communities, and should be justly proud of their skills - as we are.”

Jimmy Watson, Chair of the Friends of Thomas Muir, said: “The standard of entries was incredibly high and the judges deliberated at length to choose the winners.

“Everyone who was shortlisted is a winner - they are all part of an amazing exhibition which we’re very proud to be able to host.

“Dr Beverly Sherry from the University of Sydney was keen to assist in bringing these pictures and paintings to Australia for a period, but the logistics and timing proved to be too much of a challenge to realise at this time.

“Not only is it celebrating a Scottish hero, it is bringing art into the local community - helping to inspire the next generation of artists.”