It’s all about the Monet

During October I got to work on an amazing project where I learnt more about art, galleries, and schools for that matter! The Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools project loaned original oil paintings to schools across the UK and they got the opportunity to see an original Monet, Lowry, Turner and more, outside their gallery shackles.

Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools is an exciting project from BBC Learning and the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), led by contemporary British artists Bob and Roberta Smith and John Byrne.

If you’ve not come across it yet, Your Paintings is an initiative to increase access to the UK’s national art collection by photographing and cataloguing original oil paintings.  We were delighted to be involved in something that makes our art more accessible to everyone.

Masterpieces in Schools saw £14 million worth of original works, from the likes of L.S. Lowry, Monet and Gainsborough, placed into 27 schools from Aberdeen to Plymouth, Cardiff to Newcastle, in a three-week period in October.

National and regional, broadcast, print and online press came along to the schools to see each painting and how the pupils responded to it.

An art class like no other, the pupils were fully immersed in the project, creating giant collages, taking part in Victorian themed art classes and creating their own mini- exhibitions in school for parents and teachers to visit. Turner would be proud!

It got everyone talking including The Scotsman, The Western Mail, The Edinburgh Evening Times and The Nottingham Post, with numerous cover stories and double page spreads. It was also featured on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4’s Front Row and dozens of regional BBC radio and TV stations across the country.

The project caught the attention of The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, and even a New York Times correspondent who came along to see a Monet in a Shropshire School. Josie Gurney Read from The Telegraph was impressed by the project too, and she spoke to head teachers, the BBC, the PCF and all those involved to write a round-up feature on the project’s impact on education.

The project was a great success, giving children and the local press the opportunity to experience and interact with art close-up, and creating some brand new artists in the process!

Katy x

 

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