Creative Dundee

Call Out for Artists to Pitch Their Perfect Penguin

For ten weeks next Summer, the streets, parks and public spaces of Dundee and its surrounding landscape will be invaded by a colony of colourful giant penguins as part of a Wild in Art event by cancer charity Maggie’s Dundee.

After successfully launching ‘Maggie’s Penguin Parade’ last week, Maggie’s Centre in Dundee is now calling on professional and budding creatives from across the UK and beyond to pitch their ideas to design a penguin.

Maggie’s call to artists is open to anyone interested in participating, with a brief that welcomes designs in any art form – traditional to new media, fine art to illustrations, graffiti to mosaic.

The key requirement is that each unique design adds drama, fun and a creative flourish to Maggie’s Penguin Parade. The successful artists’ work will adorn the parade of penguin sculptures and go on show at various locations across the city next Summer as part of the first ever Maggie’s Penguin Parade art trail.

Maggie’s Centres will award commissioned artists with a fee of £850 to be paid on the successful completion of the finished artwork. The closing date for designs to be submitted online is Monday 11th December 2017, with the successful designs commissioned by the end of February 2018 before hitting the streets in June.

The judging panel will be made up of representatives from Maggie’s Dundee and Wild in Art, penguin sculpture designer Janice Aitken and Maggie’s Penguin Artist Coordinators Suzanne Scott and Joanne MacFadyen alongside V&A Museum of Design Dundee Director, Philip Long.

Maggie’s Penguin Parade is both a fundraising initiative and a celebration of Maggie’s charity’s work that supports people with cancer and their loved ones. Following the 10-week long art trail event in June next year, each Penguin sculpture will be auctioned off in September 2018 to raise money for Maggie’s Dundee.

Suzanne Scott, Artist Co-ordinator for Maggie’s Penguin Parade, said: “I can’t wait to get all the artists involved. Professional or amateur, big names or not… it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you have a stomper of an idea that you want to see come to life. It couldn’t be easier to submit your ideas. There is a link on the website where you can download all the information you need to apply. I am so excited to to see everyone’s suggestions and the design ideas start to come in before 11th December.

Janice Aitken for DJCAD, who designed the fibreglass penguin sculptures that the artists will decorate and is part of the judging panel who will select the final designs said:I’m very excited to see how people will interpret the penguin. It was specifically designed to be a blank canvas, to give the artists a large area to decorate with just enough character to allow for a range of expressions, costumes and surface decoration. 

I personally would like to see some designs that reflect Dundee’s place in the creative world, perhaps themed around textiles, design and weaving. I love colour, so I suspect my favourite designs will incorporate lots of colour too. 

There’s also a lot of scope for designs to look at the environment, given that penguin habitats are under threat from climate change. Designs that celebrate Dundee’s innovation and the fantastic scientific discoveries that have been made here would be wonderful.

Details on how to submit your penguin pitch are available to download from



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