Youngsters in the frame for community art prize

Midlothian Art Challege winners

Pictured along side Professor Bill Scott, President of the Royal Scottish Academy and Madie Cahill, are a number of pupils from Lasswade High School, Dalkeith High School, Tynewater Primary School and Cornbank Primary School.


School pupils and college students from across Midlothian took their place along side the great and good of contemporary Scottish art at The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh in recognition of their work as part of a community art competition, organised in partnership by SQA and Midlothian Council.

The Midlothian Art Challenge encouraged primary and secondary school pupils and college students to take ownership of one of the twenty five meeting rooms named after famous Scots at our new offices at Shawfair Business Park and create a piece of art inspired by that individual.

The art works include caricatures, portraits, landscapes, abstracts and collages which represent Scottish icons including Robert Burns, designers Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald, patriot Sir William Wallace, physician Sir James Young Simpson who discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and Sir Henry Raeburn who painted ”The Skating Minister”.

Among the winners were Melissa Hall from Lasswade High School, whose work inspired by Robert Burns will take pride of place in the Burns meeting room.  Speaking about the competition, Melissa said: “I’m really pleased to have won the competition.  I can’t wait to see my picture on display in SQA’s new offices.”

Presenting the winners with their prizes was Professor Bill Scott, President of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA chief executive, said: “We’ve seen a fantastic response from the young people of Midlothian who have taken to this challenge with great enthusiasm.  I’m sure each of these pieces will form an inspiring backdrop for the meeting rooms at our new offices and create a real talking point among visitors.”

Speaking about the winners’ work, Professor Scott, said: “As a Midlothian resident, I was only too happy to support the Art Challenge.  The imagination and creativity our young people display continually amazes me.  The winning entries are stunning and a real testament to their hard work and the support of their teachers.”

Councillor Peter Boyes, cabinet member for education at Midlothian Council, said: "I want to congratulate all our Midlothian school pupils who took part in the SQA's Midlothian Art Challenge. The ingenuity and resourcefulness of our local young artists is truly inspiring and I encourage people to go along to Penicuik Library in July to see a selection of the winning entries on display."

Our new offices at Shawfair Business Park will open later this year.