Art Fund: Soak up some culture and get free entry to hundreds of museums and art galleries
I feel so inspired
The only thing that makes exam season slightly more bearable is knowing that you’re going to get three months off for summer at the end of it. So, since the countdown to the end of exams has officially begun, it’s only right that you begin planning your well-deserved break.
What will it be – travelling the world? BBQs in the park? Festivals? Or, maybe a bit of culture? With a Student Art Pass, for only £5 a year you can get into hundreds of museums and galleries for free AND get 50 per cent off exhibition tickets. It’s the perfect reason to get out of the library and explore the area around your uni a bit more.
Art Fund also offers its Student Art Pass members access to their Artful Opportunities scheme which offers monthly paid (yes, PAID) work opportunities for UK university students. Every year Art Fund also hosts an Art Fund Museum of the Year award to celebrate the best the UK has to offer. This year the shortlist are V&A Dundee, Nottingham Contemporary, Pitt Rivers Museum, HMS Caroline and St Fagans National Museum of History.
So, whether you’re a newbie to the art world or just need some help choosing where to go first, here’s a bit more information about the shortlist of the award:
V&A Dundee is Scotland’s only design museum and the V&A’s only museum outside of London. Its regular exhibits range from fashion, to engineering and healthcare, to videogame design. Highlights include the Valkyrie Tiara made of 2,500 diamonds, and a geometric Lego-like elephant made of linoleum by Eduardo Paolozzi on top of a programme of major exhibitions.
Whether you’re into contemporary art or just want to be where the buzz is, Nottingham Contemporary is the gallery for you as they’re always hosting events – last bank holiday they even acted as a music venue for the techno festival, Wigflex. Recent popular exhibitions have focused on #MeToo inspired art, the Arab world, experimental light installations and performance art.
Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
In 1884, General Pitt Rivers donated his personal collection to Oxford University – now, Pitt Rivers Museum has one of the most important archaeology and anthropology collections in the UK. With exhibitions posing radical questions around the collection’s colonial past, collaborations with indigenous people on contextualising their history, cases full of shrunken heads and pickled body parts, the variety at Pitt Rivers aims to keep its visitors on their toes.
HMS Caroline, Belfast
HMS Caroline is the Royal Navy’s only remaining survivor from the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval clash of the First World War, and has witnessed over 100 years of Belfast’s history. This light cruiser was restored in 2011, and now allows visitors to come aboard and explore the Captain’s Quarters, try to crack codes and pilot the ship in a virtual simulator.
St Fagans National Museum of History, near Cardiff
At St Fagans National Museum of History, you can experience what it was like to live in Wales throughout history. Covering a hundred acres of parkland, you can visit a Tudor merchant’s house, a Victorian country school, watch blacksmiths, bakers and clog-makers demonstrate traditional skills and, most importantly, visit a working farm full of adorable animals.
If you’re still struggling to decide where to visit, why not copy the Ambassadors doing the Art Fund Museum of the Year Student Road Trip and see all of them? On the 10th June, five Student Art Pass Ambassadors will go on an all-expenses-paid trip to visit the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 finalists. As they document their journey across social channels, you’ll get an in-depth insight into each museum, learning more about their collections and helping you decide where to visit first. You can read more about their adventures here.
So why not pre-register for a Student Art Pass now and pick yours up for only £5 in September? Think of all the culture you can experience.