Art and enterprise

3rd August 2007 at 01:00
From major galleries to small studios, the fourth Edinburgh Art Festival showcases work from Picasso and Warhol to contemporary Scottish artists.

Joanne Brown, the festival director, says there is plenty to interest pupils and teachers from primary to tertiary levels and provide use-ful material for art teachers and pupils. From July 26 to September 2, the festival adds visual arts to August's international cultural mix.

Many of the galleries run events and education programmes of relevance to the 5-14 curriculum. The National Gallery will have workshops on Warhol-inspired art (see p31), while the Dean Gallery and National Museum of Scotland will lay on drawing and printmaking events related to Picasso.

"In contemporary art, there are some great Scottish artists exhibiting this year," says Mrs Brown. "There's Jock McFadyen, Nathan Coley, who has been shortlisted this year for the Turner Prize, David Batchelor and Alex Hartley.

"For anyone studying art and trying to make it relevant in a Scottish context, there's lots of material there. Students can use them as references for their own work, particularly when they get to Standard grade and Higher."

The festival has also looked at partnering schools with production facilities, as part of an effort to link art with enterprise. Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and WASPS artists' studios are putting on exhibitions and hosting workshops.

"The production facilities are great for seeing how artists make their work," says Mrs Brown. "If pupils are thinking of going to art college but are not sure what they might go on to do after graduating, this makes it more tangible."

Volunteers at the festival's information station at Stills photographic and digital arts centre in Cockburn Street all have a background in art.

"If teachers or pupils have any particular interests, they can get our festival guide, then make contact with staff at our information station, who will be able to bring to their attention any-thing relevant to their studies," says Mrs Brown.

"Although the festival ends at the beginning of September, many exhibitions and their events programmes run for longer. In the future, one of the things we would like to develop is an education programme working alongside the galleries' existing education programmes."

* www.edinburghartfestival.com

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