Being outside is not only for walking or admiring the beauty of nature but also for exploring our own creativity. Natural surroundings can be looked at as a constant source of learning. This is the approach of the event, “Young Art in the Park“, an idea originating in 2015 at Hampshire Collegiate School.

This year the event took place on Sunday 24th April and its size was double the size in 2015. But 15 schools participating is not enough for the hosting school. As Mr Bridgman, Marketing Director of the Hampshire Collegiate School says, the School hopes for the event to grow even bigger next year. “Young Art in the Park is designed to bring different schools, young people and teachers together for a celebration of outside space for learning and creativity. It also means we can let people see and experience the historic and beautiful woodland gardens, once home to Florence Nightingale, which as the grounds to Hampshire Collegiate School, are rarely open to the public,” explains Mr Bridgman about the philosophy and motivation behind this extraordinary project.

'Young Art in the Park' Celebrates Outside Space for Learning and CreativityPupils from the different schools contributed to the artwork installed in the grounds, as well as a photography competition and exhibition themed “Nature All Around Us”, which attracted over 200 entries.

Entering the competition and exhibitions enables pupils from primary schools, secondary schools and specialist academies to explore what is around them more closely and connect with nature through art work or photography.  They can also learn how different organisation and groups interested in nature work. This year’s event hosted a felt bee crafting workshop by Rum’s Eg Romsey, among other interesting presentations.

First prize in the competition went to pupils of the Awbridge Primary school for their colourful pottery fungi. Judges were impressed by high standard of all art pieces in the competition and many of them, including first, second and third prize winners’ pieces, are going to be on display at ‘Art in the Garden’ exhibition at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens over the summer.

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