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Event National Museum of Scotland

Museum Art Challenge 2021

29 Nov 2021 - 2 Jan 2022


Looking for something creative to do this December? The Museum Art Challenge invites you to make art inspired by our incredible collections. With five weekly themes to get you thinking, you can take part from near or far simply by emailing us a picture of your finished artwork. 

What's involved?

The Museum Art Challenge begins on Monday 29 November and is open to any age group and artistic ability. It’s enthusiasm, not experience, that counts!

Each week a new video will appear here to announce the theme for the week and introduce an object from the collections which connects to the theme. Your artwork can be inspired by any object or any of our museums. The challenge is to relate it to the theme of the week but if you have a different idea then that’s ok too – we'd still love to see it.

You can use any artistic medium you like – drawing, painting, sculpture, collage or even building blocks. 

The Museum Art Challenge is also open to Schools and Home Education Groups. You can also find hints and tips, inspiration and see other people's artwork by following our Twitter account @NMSEngage.

Staff favourites

After each week we will ask members of staff to select their favourite pieces and share them on keep checking back regularly.

It’s a challenge not a competition and you can take part every week if you like.

Hear and Here

This year, to encourage a broad interpretation of our museum sites and collections, we thought it would be fun to make our weekly themes homophones! Homophones are two or more words that share the same pronunciation but have different spellings and definitions.  

Our first week's theme is Hear & Here. For example, creating artwork based on sounds and hearing, or capturing a location, or indicating a moment in time.  

Our next theme will be announced on Monday 6 December 2021. 

How to take part

Weekly themes

Themes will be announced on the following Mondays: 29 November and 6, 13, 20 and 27 December 

You have until midnight on the Sunday of that week to create and send us the photo of your artwork on that theme. 

Past inspiration

While it may be possible to sketch at some of our museums we encourage you to complete your artwork at home. Take a look at some past entries from the Museum Art Challenge 2020.

Submitting artwork

To submit a photo of your artwork please email it to 

Please tell us your name, what your museum inspiration was and your age (optional). If you are submitting for a group please make sure each artwork is labelled with the name of the artist.

By submitting your artwork, you confirm you are happy for us to share online on our website and social media channels. See copyright information below for more details. 

Copyright information

You must be the sole author and owner of the copyright for all artwork entered.  You will retain copyright of your submission at all times and be credited alongside your picture.

By entering a photograph of your artwork to the Museum Art Challenge, you grant free permission to National Museums Scotland for a non-exclusive license to reproduce, enlarge, publish or exhibit, on any media, the images for the following purposes

Inclusion of the staff picks on the National Museums Scotland website and social media accounts including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Flickr.  You will be credited alongside your work.

Usage will be limited to 2 years after the end of the Museum Art Challenge

The information you provide will be collected and stored by National Museums Scotland and processed in accordance with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR).  We will only use your information for the purposes of administration of the Museum Art Challenge and any other purposes to which you have consented. We will not pass your details on to any third party.

Accessibility information

If you are planning to visit one of our sites for inspiration please follow local government guidelines as well as checking opening times, access and safety guidelines and ticketing information for your chosen site here

From home you can get inspiration for your art from our collections search here.

You can browse our gallery of photos which fit the weekly themes on our Twitter page @NMSEngage or even use your own photos or memories from previous visits as inspiration!

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