Art and culture on show as support grows for outreach programmes

Paintings and artefacts from the collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums travelled to the Prime Four Business Park for a special showcase event.

The Kingswells exhibition was staged for Nexen Petroluem U.K. Limited staff as part of the company’s continuing support for the gallery and museums’ learning programmes.

Nexen has supported two unique education outreach programmes – Alchemy and Maker Kits. Both projects are designed to encourage participation in making pieces of art and are aimed at children but also audiences who may not normally have the opportunity to engage with art such as those with sensory deprivation or people who live in more isolated communities.

Alchemy offers schools in Aberdeen City the unique opportunity to borrow and work with objects from the city’s significant collection while Aberdeen Art Gallery is closed for redevelopment.

The objects are part of the decorative drt collection and introduce pupils and teachers to new materials, concepts, skills and techniques.

Maker Kits is an initiative that will support communities by providing interactive opportunities to engage with how artists and makers work. The kits will be based on works of fine and decorative art from the collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery. They willoffer users new ways to understand and appreciate the city’s outstanding collection.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Projects such as Alchemy and Maker Kits have allowed the work of Aberdeen Art Gallery to continue right through its £30million redevelopment.

“The support and commitment of Nexen has allowed our collections to reach many new audiences in innovative ways during the Art Gallery’s closure period. It is difficult to estimate the true value of these outreach programmes - the arts can inspire the imagination and teach our young people how to create, and to believe in their own potential.

Ray Riddoch, Managing Director UK and Senior VP Europe, Nexen Petroluem U.K. Limited said: “Nexen is committed to helping to enrich lives through education and the arts. The Alchemy and Maker Kits initiatives combine both these elements brilliantly.

“These unique projects will inspire young people as well as bringing art to life for those with sensory deprivation or people who live in more isolated communities, who may not get the opportunity to take part in such projects.

“Nexen is also delighted to help Aberdeen Art Gallery keep its collection alive and available to the people of Aberdeen whilst it is closed for refurbishment.”

Curators from the city’s museums and galleries pulled items from their significant collection to display in the Atrium for Nexen staff and other interested parties for the showcase.

Activities on the day also included themed Treasure Boxes that tell the history of the city through objects from the collections and will allow audience members to handle real artefacts..

During the day, curators from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums were also on hand to talk about the amazing collections they care for on behalf of the city, offering Nexen staff the chance to explore the Treasure Boxes. These included Aberdeen Greats and At Your Service, which help bring the story of Aberdeen heroes and service professionals such as police and firefighters to life using real objects from the collections.