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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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How to inspire children and young people through art

This opinion piece is almost 8 years old
 

It's Our World is a mass participation arts project. It aims to create the UK’s largest online collection of artwork celebrating the environment

Youth work plays a key role in a young person’s development on a range of levels. In its’ many forms it can change the lives of those young people involved by building self-esteem, learning new skills, encouraging positive relationships and it also helps develop a ‘world view’ which widens horizons and promotes good citizenship.

The arts project, It’s Our World, is a fantastic example of using arts and creativity through schools and youth work to develop skills and confidence, as it inspires individual achievement but with a sense of community.

It’s Our World is a mass participation arts project. It aims to create the UK’s largest online collection of artwork celebrating the environment.

It will inspire children and young people, aged 4-19, to create artworks to bring their local neighbourhoods, landscapes, and coastlines to life. And it will encourage them to take positive environmental action and take the lead in living more sustainably.

It’s Our World involvement can help deliver youth work and curriculum outcomes. It can be a focus for a community project. And it can be part of a residential experience, doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or participating in the John Muir Award.

Bluebells: Amy, aged 19, Ayrshire , John Muir Trust
Bluebells: Amy, aged 19, Ayrshire , John Muir Trust

Subject matter can be approached in lots of ways. It can include observation, looking at local landmarks and neighbourhoods, critical thinking about environmental impacts and ways which to lead more sustainable lives. Artworks can include close up studies of natural forms, sweeping landscapes or studies of urban environments. They can be in any medium including painting, drawing, textiles, printmaking, graphics and photography. Use of recycled and natural materials in creating collages, mosaics and 3D artworks is especially encouraged.

It offers a fantastic way for young people to be creative, share the places that inspire them, and be part of a huge collaborative project.

Scottish Landscape watercolour: Bess, aged 10, Perthshire
Scottish Landscape watercolour: Bess, aged 10, Perthshire

All 32,000 UK state primary, secondary, special needs and independent schools have their own unique pin code (see below). Involvement can help directly meet experiences and outcomes of many curriculum areas, including expressive arts, design and technologies, religious and moral education and also provide opportunities for interdisciplinary learning for all abilities. It can link to outdoor learning, citizenship, learning for sustainability. And it can be part of many extra-curricular schemes and youth work projects too.

Online Resources are available from itisourworld.org.uk and include: ‘How to get started’, environmental and artistic inspirations (including great short films from Jupiter Artland), photography tips, and techniques and materials guidance. Sustainability ideas include suggestions for healthy lifestyles, saving energy and resources, and a range of links for further information and inspiration.

Stone Flower: Clydebank High School, Glasgow, students creating artwork in Loch Lomond National Park
Stone Flower: Clydebank High School, Glasgow, students creating artwork in Loch Lomond National Park

You can be part of it by registering online and get a pin code to provide you with secure access to upload artworks and to moderate the Gallery for nationwide digital display in June 2015. Upload your artworks and share your submissions through Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook using the #ItsOurWorld.

Closing date for submissions will be 31 May 2015. Uploaded artwork will be showcased on digital screens across the UK from UN World Environment Day 5 June 2015.

It's Our World has been developed in support of The Campaign for Drawing with the active involvement of over 20 environmental, educational and arts partners including The UN World Environment Day, The Eden Project, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Keep Britain Tidy (Eco-Schools), The John Muir Trust, Jupiter Artland, The National Society for Education in Art & Design and The Royal Photographic Society. We are proud and delighted that the John Muir Trust is a supporter and educational advisor.

YouthLink Scotland is the national agency for youth work in Scotland. This blog originally appeared on its website.

 

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