16 Aug 2022

County Derry school exhibits art from Contemporary Collection

County Derry school exhibits art from Contemporary Collection

Jill Waterson, Head of Art & Design, Joanna Johnston, Arts Council of NI and Grace Anderson, Principal, Magherafelt High School, with students displaying works from the Contemporary Art Collection.

A County Derry secondary school is currently taking part in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Art Lending Scheme for Schools.

Magherafelt High School is participating in the scheme which offers schools the opportunity to exhibit works from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Contemporary Art Collection.

It also aims to promote the work of the local artists in the Collection and to increase opportunities for young people to be inspired by and engage with high-quality visual arts.

The Arts Council’s Art Lending Scheme for Schools is a free programme which enables participating schools to choose and exhibit works from the Arts Council Collection, which currently holds over 500 artworks, by established and emerging visual artists working in Northern Ireland.   The scheme was officially launched in 2019 and to date eight schools have taken part.

Joanna Johnston, Visual Arts Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “Many of the artists represented in the Arts Council’s contemporary art collection have major national and international reputations, such as two-times Turner Prize nominee, Willie Doherty; Cara Murphy, whose work is included in the Downing Street Sliver Collection; and Colin Davidson, who painted the Queen’s portrait in 2016, Brendan Jamison, Ian Cumberland, and Paul Seawright.

“By offering the Collection for public display in schools, we are helping to showcase the work of our artists and to introduce the public to Northern Ireland’s wealth of creative talent. Going forward into this year we’re hoping to roll the scheme out to more school across Northern Ireland and see as many of our works as possible going into schools to inspire and delight students.”

Gill Waterson, Head of Arts, Magherafelt High School, added: “I’ve no doubt taking part in the Art Lending scheme will raise the profile of art and design in the school.  It’ll encourage our pupils to realise that art is not just pencil drawings and that there are loads of different media that they can use very successfully when creating art.”

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