Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is on the hunt for a creative ‘Family in Residence’

By Jamie Hill - 30 June 2020

Arts and Culture

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is searching for a local family to help put its learning and activity resources to the test.

  • Councillor Dale Heenan at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

    Councillor Dale Heenan at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Gallery’s Education Team have been busy developing a huge range of resources inspired by Swindon’s Modern Art Collection, and are now looking for a curious and creative family to try them out at home.

The opportunity is open to families who have children aged between four and 12. In return for trying out a weekly learning resource at home and providing feedback, the chosen family will receive a free pack of children’s art materials to kick-start their creativity.

The Family in Residence programme will run throughout July and August, providing an excellent way to entertain children during the summer holidays. Families don’t need any special experience, equipment or knowledge, just lots of creative enthusiasm.

The Family in Residence programme is part of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour project. Supported by Swindon Borough Council, Art on Tour aims to bring Swindon’s impressive art collection to a wider audience throughout 2020, conferring cultural and educational benefits on people right across the town.

The Art on Tour programme was established to provide inspiring art engagement and outreach to Swindon schools and communities. The gallery hopes to be able to offer the outreach programme again later in the year, but for now, the project has turned its attention to supporting communities, schools, pupils and parent educators online.

This support includes a huge online learning library, providing a wide range of free teaching and learning resources, using art to bring learning to life across the curriculum. Featuring over 100 works from the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art, the downloadable toolkits and learning resources provide practical and fun suggestions for developing children’s visual literacy and creative skills.

Perfect for engaging children with creativity, the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art is a significant learning resource. It comprises over 600 artworks, including three Turner Prize winners, and is acknowledged to be one of the most nationally significant collections outside London. The collection covers 140 years of Modern Art and includes household names like L.S Lowry, Lucian Freud, Grayson Perry, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Michael Craig-Martin, Howard Hodgkin, Frank Auerbach, and Richard Long. It features work from most major movements and schools in Modern British Art, as well as an extensive collection of work by local artists like Desmond Morris.

Mags Parker, Learning Officer for Art on Tour, said: “Galleries often commission artists in residence to produce artwork that explores collections, but we’d like to broaden that definition of what it means to be an artist, and to encourage more families to explore this amazing collection.

“As a public art collection, the Swindon Modern Art Collection belongs to everyone in Swindon, and we hope that this unique Family in Residence programme will help us make it far more widely accessible and relevant. Art is such a powerful educational tool and we’re really looking forward to working with a local family to bring this collection to life!”

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, Culture and Heritage, said: “Mags and the team are doing a terrific job bringing Swindon’s modern art collection to life and this latest project to engage local families will only help to broaden people’s appreciation of what is one of the town’s best kept secrets.

“I hope the Families in Residence programme inspires more parents and their children to make their own creations. Who knows, in years to come we may be displaying Swindon’s very own answer to L.S Lowry in our gallery.”

For more information about becoming a Family-in-Residence, have a look at the Family-in-Residence page on the Art on Tour blog (https://artontour489147035.wordpress.com/family-in-residence/) or email Mags Parker, Learning Officer, on maparker@swindon.gov.uk

To access ‘Art on Tour At Home’ learning and activity resources: Follow the blog (www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/artontour) Follow @ArtonTour2020 on Facebook. Follow @swindongalleryartontour on Instagram.

To access Learning Library resources for schools and parent educators: https://artontour489147035.wordpress.com/education-resources/

For more information on future schools outreach: 
Mags Parker, Learning Officer – maparker@swindon.gov.uk   

For more information on the ‘Art on Tour’ project: http://www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/info/5/learning-community/5/learning-community-1/5

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