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Local school pupils set to create world’s largest chalk mural in Marischal College Quad for Nuart Aberdeen

The historic granite quad at Marischal College is being transformed into a vibrant, colourful tapestry as hundreds of local schoolkids create one of the largest chalk murals in the world as part of Nuart Aberdeen. 

Acclaimed street artist Molly Hankinson is leading 400 primary and secondary pupils in the large-scale Chalk Don’t Chalk event inspired by “living heritage” – the theme of this year’s hugely-popular street art festival. 

They will create their own masterpiece on the flagstone floor of the historic quad before local children and families are invited to add their own artistic flourish on the weekend of the world-acclaimed Nuart Aberdeen, which this year runs from Thursday, 6th June, to Sunday, 9th June. 

Aberdeen Inspired, which stages the festival in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, delivered by Reed Projects, said Chalk Don’t Chalk will be the “big, beating heart” of Nuart, as the largest public participation even of the festival. 

Molly, a visual artist from London now living in Glasgow, said she was looking forward to the enthusiasm, imagination and talent of the budding artists she will work with. 

“I can’t wait to get inspired by Aberdeen’s young people and local community at Nuart’s ‘Chalk Don’t Chalk’ interactive public art installation, we’re we’ll get the chance to collaborate to create one of the UK’s largest chalk murals. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing how much it changes over the festival! I’m so excited to be involved with Nuart Festival for the first time this year, and I think Chalk Don’t Chalk is the perfect place to start.”

Molly will work with the pupils in the quad in the run up to Nuart Aberdeen launching, then all children and families will be invited to grab some chalk and join the fun on the Saturday and Sunday.

Photography: @conorgaultphoto – www.conorgault.com

Her enthusiasm was echoed by Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, who said Chalk Don’t Chalk underlines the core message of the festival that art is for everyone, no matter where and no matter what age.

“We first held Chalk Don’t Chalk in the quad last year and it proved to be the big, beating heart of the festival, with hundreds of pupils given free reign to express themselves, then even more young people and families joining in,” he said.

“It really was a joyous occasion, and we are so pleased that Molly will be leading an army of young artists to discover that fun and excitement this year. Even better will be the hundreds of Nuart visitors who will flock to the Marischal College Quad to see this wonderful transformation for themselves.”

A spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council, said: “The project to create the large image in Marischal College quad is exciting and creative. It will be great to involve so many young people in this artistic activity. The work will require a real team effort by everyone who is taking part. It will be fun to see the imaginative picture gradually emerge on the ground. We can’t wait to see it.”

Chalk Don’t Chalk is only possible thanks to the support of Hobbycraft who have donated the chalk for the event. 

Katherine Paterson, the Customer Director at Hobbycraft comments: “We are delighted to be donating our pavement chalk to this fantastic event. 

“Arts and crafts is an amazing skill for children to learn, and colouring in particular has an important place in development and provides an opportunity to practice and develop many skills such as concentration, fine motor, and coordination. 

“We have a wide range of colouring kits and chalk packs which allow hours of fun. We hope all the children in Aberdeen enjoyed getting crafty!”

Nuart Aberdeen 2024 will bring 11 world-class street artists to the Granite City to transform walls and public spaces with astonishing works, ranging from epic-scale murals to intimate pieces.

It is now widely seen as the best street art festival of its kind in the world, and has become a major tourist attracting, bringing tens of thousands of visitors and locals into the city centre.

For more information on Nuart Aberdeen 2024 visit www.aberdeeninspired.com/festival/nuart-aberdeen/nuart-artists-2024