Education in its broadest sense is at the core of the activities of the Pier Arts Centre. The Centre provides free access to its collection and exhibitions supported by a programme of interpretation and gallery publications. The gallery provides opportunities for children, young people, students, artists and the casual visitor to engage with its collection and temporary exhibitions in a stimulating and supportive environment.
Our aim is to extend the opportunities for all sections of the community and to offer a range of activities that stimulate the imagination, inspire confidence and develop creativity at all levels of experience.
Educational activity engages with a wide range of local and national organisations including the RSPB, Historic Scotland, RCAHMS and Orkney Islands Council, while our involvement with the formal education sector extends from pre-school through to post-graduate study.
Satellite exhibitions touring to the outer isles, work placements in the gallery, artists' talks, practical art workshops and research/partnerships with Scotland's art colleges all form part of the educational programme of the Pier Arts Centre.
Since re-opening in July 2007, the gallery has presented events, activities and projects all designed to enhance the enjoyment and educational potential of every visit to the Centre.
Pier Group is an on-going programme for 16 to 18 year olds who have a particular interest in the visual arts. The programme involves a range of experiences including practical workshops, visits to exhibitions, artists’ studios, and artists’ talks.
Leading Lights workshops take place at regular intervals throughout the year and are designed for younger children (5-11 years old). The workshops focus on aspects of the Collection and temporary exhibition programme.
Children’s & Families Programme
Activity packs are available for young visitors to explore and enjoy the Collection and current exhibitions. Workshops for 5-11 year olds take place during the Easter and October holiday breaks.
Gallery Events & Activities
The Pier Arts Centre presents regular gallery talks and events relating to the Collection and the exhibition programme. Practical workshops for adults are held throughout the year.
Events & Activities outwith the Gallery
The Pier Arts Centre is very committed to working with other organisations both within the local community and beyond. A highlight of the year is Stromness Shopping Week. During this gala week, the gallery participates with art and craft activity workshops and the popular annual pavement artist competition.
The Pier Arts Centre has an effective partnership with Orkney’s schools and the Islands Council Education Department that continues to develop use of the Pier Arts Centre and its services as a key learning resource. School visits to the gallery and workshops carried out in the classroom highlight the impact that a broader engagement with the visual arts can have on young people both in the wider school curriculum and beyond.
The Pier Arts Centre has developed a close relationship with Orkney College, a partner in the UHIMI and has a continuing dialogue with Scotland’s Art schools and Colleges especially Edinburgh College of Art.
The Pier Arts Centre is committed to supporting artists and makers and holds training events and surgeries offering support and advice.