An Ayrshire Arts Archive ~ Arts Groups and Venues

Maclaurin Art Gallery 1976 - 1997

1. Preview

2. Competition

3. Workshop 3

Work with Young People

1.   Young people, of whatever age, were always welcomed to exhibition previews at the gallery.   They were allowed to wander freely among the exhibits. 

Date: ca.1994
Photograph ©MBailey.

2.    Annual Maclaurin Art Competition for Young People; Award Ceremony 1994.   Chairman of the Maclaurin Trust, John Laughland,with William Kilpatrick, Clerk to the Trust, Ann Bontke, exhibition organiser, and Major Henderson, Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire upstaged by a young exhibitor.

Date: 1994
Photograph ©MBailey. 

3.    Earliest stages in the Art to Enchant Workshop with Holmston School.  Installation in the Gallery Courtyard created by the pupils of Holmston Primary School using found material from the park and surrounding woodland..  The Henry Moore bronze is still displayed in the gallery courtyard at this time and the sculpture my Marc Chaimowicz, created for the 1989 Glasgow Garden Festival can be seen in the background.

Date: 1995
Photograph ©Rita Smith

Although there was no specific remit in Mrs Maclaurin's Will for the gallery to work with young people, it was recognised early in the development of the facility that both the work of young people in the schools and the wider community should be embraced through the provision of exhibition opportunities and through the presentation of exhibitions that might support art education. It is fair to say that the gallery enjoyed considerable success in the former area but, lacking specialist educational staff, had only limited success in supporting art education for young people and adults.

The first engagement with young people was the Maclaurin Art Exhibition and Competition, open to schools throughout Ayrshire. Devised by William Lockhart, Principal Teacher of Art at Ayr Academy (and a Maclaurin Trust Curator), the first competition was organised by pupils and staff at Ayr Academy. Prizes were offered in a range of age groups and the competition winner received a £50 purchase prize. In 1978, the winner was a pupil at Ayr Academy who submitted a piece of jewellery.

In subsequent years, the event was organised by the gallery staff and it became a key feature of the annual programme. Normally, it was the only exhibition in the programme where the entire space was allocated to a single subject. Every entrant with work selected for the exhibition received an exhibition certificate to mark their success.

For the tenth anniversary of the gallery, 1986, there was an additional award for a senior pupil. This allowed a visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with an opportunity to visit the conservation studio and enjoy lunch in the gallery restaurant in company with some of the gallery staff.

By 2000, the Maclaurin Art Exhibition was limited to schools in South Ayrshire.  It was discontinued in 2010

Islands Project (Primary School Workshop) ~ Mother and Child Workshop (Henry Moore) ~ Art to Enchant (College Exhibition)
College Exhibitions  ~  Art School Graduates

This page is based on recollections by Mike Bailey, Gallery Director 1976 - 1997, and other published sources.   Mrs Mary E Maclaurin's Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity.

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Creative Ayrshire acknowledges the assistance of Mike Bailey and Rita Smith for the provision of material for this section of the website.

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