The Project Ability Xmas cards have arrived! We have three wonderful designs for you to chose from: 'Birds' by Skye McLachlan, 'Snowman' by Cameron Morgan and 'Penguins' by Ruth Much.
Each pack contains 10 cards and enveloppes, and are available to buy in our shop for only £5.
They will go fast, so make sure to buy yours soon!
This week, meet two of our brilliant volunteers: Steven Reilly and Tommy Mason. Both artists have been attending our Aspire programme for many years, and are founding members of Art Trek. They are very involved with Project Ability, taking part in many projects, and have recently started volunteering with us as gallery invigilators.
When Steven hasn’t been busy painting for the SECC commission, he looks after the gallery on Thursdays afternoon, where he likes to spend his time sitting at the desk browsing the internet. ‘You can look at different things and you can learn a lot and you can have a good good chat!’
Our other Thursday gallery invigilator is Tommy Mason. Tommy enjoys the gallery time because it gives him time to draw in his sketchbook, he spends all his time drawing and colouring; he is very focused. ‘I just like to draw.’
Thanks to both of them, as well as all our other volunteers, for their time and dedication!
Images from top: Tommy Mason, Steven reilly, Tommy Mason's sketchbook.
25th October is the launch of Project Ability’s Xmas Pounds Appeal 2011.
We want your cash for Christmas! After last year’s success, our target this year is to raise a massive £2500!
Please don’t spend money giving us Christmas cards or gifts - sweets, biscuits or alcohol will be used as raffle prizes. We just want your money!
There are several ways you can give money towards our Xmas Pound Appeal:
• You can hand cash into the office.
• Or, send a cheque to Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
• You can donate money safely on line, via WorkWithUs or via JustGiving.
• Or you can text us your donation via JustTextGiving! Simply text PABL11 £amount of your choice to 70070 (i.e. PABL11 £10)*
All the money we receive will go towards providing more opportunities to our participants: workshops, exhibitions, training and events.
We offer a fun, lively, internationally renowned arts programme for people with disabilities and mental health issues. From our youngest participant who is 5 years old to our eldest who is 90!!,
Help us give the best experience possible to our participants!
Many thanks from all of us at Project Ability.
* Project Ability receives 100% of funds donated through JustTextGiving.
Simon's work will be exhibited in our gallery in January 2012, alongside the other artists who participated in the programme: Karly Burns, Abi Pirani, Duncan Wilson, Patrick Butterworth, Lea Cummings and Ross Byers.
Stirling Books is an independent retailer of second hand books located in the centre of the historic town of Stirling. It carries an eclectic range of books including academic texts, classic fiction, history, children’s books and comics and current best sellers.
For one night only Stirling Books is packing up and relocating to Project Ability’s gallery in Trongate 103 bringing with them a carefully selected choice of affordable books on subjects related to art, architecture, Scottish history and collectables. So whether you are shopping for yourself or looking for an original gift for that special person come along to Project Ability’s gallery on Thursday 3rd November from 6 – 8pm and drop-in to our one-off, pop-up book shop.
One third of sales proceeds will go to Project Ability.
A couple of weeks ago, our Exhibitions Co-ordinator Lauren Currie attended the 2x2 FORUM For Outsider Art 2011 in Munster. Here is what she had to say about it.
The Kunsthaus Kannen hosted a four day long art fair and symposium with twenty two organisations from thirteen European countries invited to exhibit and take part in various discussions. Dominating the discussions was the topic of outsider art; its place in contemporary art and its shifting set of values.
At the fair, each organisation was given an exhibition space of 2x2m. Some opted for a traditional art fair layout but others used the space to present impressive installations with the P28 Art Project, Portugal presenting a large drawing installation of exquisite detail extending onto the floor. The beautiful woodcuts of the Atelier de la Tour, Austria, also stood out as intriguing works with deeply carved dense fretted patterns. On the whole, it was a great exhibition filled with mysterious and peculiar things – objects reminiscent of folklore or magic to more traditional painting and gestural ceramic objects placing 2x2 outside the conventional canons of an art fair. The concept of the fair itself, 2x2, suggests a doubling, a multiplication that is representative of the two fold nature of outsider art and how it is made; that it often requires the help of another, whether that be through promotion, the physical making of the work or the support required to develop artistic practice. Art promotes diverse forms of communication and the event was an opportunity to explore the developments in outsider art that have taken place around Europe with lots of different opinions. The history of perception of art by people with disabilities remains very complex; it seems to be a constant struggle for the correct terminology, for the work to be seen by wider audiences and to be understood. The Kunstaus Kannen, with its links to the Alexanier hospital takes form of a part refuge/part studio for the patients who work there.
During the forum, a lot was discussed about bringing outsider art into the mainstream by developing collaborations in a quest to better understand outsider art's ability to engage with contemporary art movements and audiences. The term outsider art is an English synonym for art brut, used to describe art created outside the boundaries of mainstream culture. Typically, those labelled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or its established institutions. Unlike any other way we define the various kinds of practices in art history, the term outsider art offers no more than a signpost; it doesn’t nod to a particular style or aesthetic but to a different place. The distinctions between outsider and contemporary art are that the artists who are seen as outsiders are not always viewed with the same critical rigour as contemporary artists working today. What the exhibition 2x2 shows, is that what they do have in common outweighs their differences. One topic raise was how to place the pictorial world of outsider art in the contemporary when often its makers take little account of its place in history? The Kunsthaus Kannen’s boasts a collection of 5000 works collected from patients for over 40 years; this is a taxonomy that could reveal something of this lineage.
With the art at centre stage, the forum explored some challenging and interesting issues that are not frequently voiced. Outsider art wields such a charm and fascination for so many and has a burgeoning following across the world. In the end, the symposium offered no firm answers, but plenty of pabulum on considering art and disability. I found the groups of outsider artists around Europe an extremely creative, productive and expanding population making work to satisfy an inherent creative impulse. The forum raised many interesting questions but whether or not we answered them remains blurred but the perception of the outsider artist as a unique visionary remains.
Artists Cameron Morgan and Edward Henry have embarked on a three week residency at Celf O Gwmpas in Llandrindod in mid-Wales. The artists who are both passionate about wildlife expect to be inspired by the wonderful scenery and rural location as well as the unique history and architecture of the town. Celf O Gwmpas are providing the artists with a flat, a studio and a small stipend as well as access to their workshop programme which includes life drawing classes and sketching trips to local places of interest. This is a wonderful opportunity for the two artists and for the first time a residency has been developed which takes account of the particular needs of an artist who has a learning disability.
Morgan and Henry have worked with Project Ability for over sixteen years and in that time their practice has developed from workshop participant to workshop leader to skilful, imaginative and ambitious artist. Both exhibit widely and their work is in demand internationally. In April this year, Morgan took over the Project Ability gallery to create a massive wall painting Let the Games Begin. This was the start of a planned body of work leading up to a series of public art works scheduled for installation in 2014.
The residency ends on the 2nd November with an opening of the artists' work at the Oriel Beaufort Gallery. The exhibition The Glesga Boys runs until the 22nd November.
Click here to see Cameron Morgan's photo diary of the residency.
Our new block of Saturday Visual Arts Classes for children and young people aged 5-25 yrs will start on Saturday 29 October. Booking forms have been sent. If you are not on the Create mailing list, just get in touch with us and we will send you a form.
We run four classes:
• 5 - 8 yrs: 10am - 11am
• 8 - 12 yrs: 11.30am - 12.30pm
• 12 -18 yrs: 1pm - 2pm
• 18 - 25 yrs: 2.45pm - 4pm
Here are a few quotes from some of our participants:
"This class is a pleasure to come to!"
"I love creating new canvases and getting inspiration from other artists."
“The workshop is a wonderful experience where the children can work together in a safe environment with materials they may not have worked with before”
Michelle Roberts graduated from Glasgow School of Art in Painting and Printmaking, earlier this year. Throughout her studies she has sought opportunities to gain experience teaching and has been involved in several programmes teaching school children of both primary and secondary school. Michelle also volunteered in India for 10 weeks, teaching in schools for children living in extreme slums and orphanages, an experience that she found to be very rewarding and one that she will treasure.
At present she has been helping to support our younger participants on the Saturday morning visual arts classes. Both she and our other Saturday volunteers have been a fantastic addition to our workshops, appreciated by both our staff and participants alike.
The SECC Project is about to come to an end, after many weeks of hard work from the selected artists.
Today, two people from the SECC team came over to have a look at the work produced, and make a first selection. It was not an easy task! There were over 100 pieces, drawings or paintings, and all very striking, beautiful and interesting. We were all very impressed with the quality of the work, and would like to say a big WELL DONE to everybody involved!
Keep an eye on the website for more information on the exhibition at the SECC.
Many of the staff and tutors at Project Ability have an artistic practice outside of their work here, as do the steady stream of volunteers. While participating artists get to see and experience how the tutors and volunteers work on a daily basis, there are not many opportunities for them to find out more about how these artists work on their personal creative projects.
It was with this in mind that the idea for this book was conceived. We wanted to demonstrate the vast variety of choices and decisions that artists make to maintain the relationship between their working life and their practice. The visits were documented and comments and reflections gathered after the events.
The Studio Visits book is now available to buy in our shop, for only £7.50. (For mail order, add £2 p&p. Call us on 0141 552 2822 to order your copy).
Our thanks to everyone involved who helped make this project such a success.
Our Project Ability 2012 Calendar is available to buy for £5 from Project Ability’s Shop, 1st floor Trongate 103.
The artwork is by Project Ability artists, and is inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and reflects a wide range of styles, abilities and interests. If you want an original calendar for the new year, look no further: bold colours, striking images, and plenty of space to write on, for only £5! (For mail order, add £2 p&p. Call us on 0141 552 2822 to order your copy).
During the last Connect block, tutor John Fitzpatrick taught an oil painting workshop to a small number of artists.
Over the course of three weeks (one day per week), the artists learnt the different stages of oil painting, from 'toning out' (painting the board in a burnt umber background colour), to mixing and applying the colour. The artists, who work from photographs, were mostly interested in landscapes and portraits. Check out our Facebook page for more photographs.
Note: some of the work is still in progress.
Sheena Leach is currently volunteering with Saturday art classes for younger children within our Create project. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in Sculpture, in 2010 and has since sought opportunities to work within group environments where she can share her skills and experiences with people. Sheena runs local art workshops for children in North Berwick and also volunteers for Firsthand, where she befriends a young boy with learning difficulties, supporting him to do recreational activities of his choice.
Sheena has been with Project Ability for six weeks so far and her expertise and enthusiam is a fantastic addition to our Saturday morning team. Sheena is one of four volunteer artists giving their time to the Saturday classes. Thier support allows the young participants to have more one to one time with the artists, helping to bring their ideas and art work on even further than before.
If you want to read more about some of our other volunteers, please click here.
Next week, Cameron Morgan and Edward Henry, two Project Ability artists and founding members of Art Trek, will start a three-week long residency at the Beaufort Gallery, in Llandrindod Wells, Wales. Every year, they run a programme of projects for people with learning disabilities and people who are often excluded from society, including a residency programme.
From Wednesday 12 October, the two artists will share a flat and a studio next to the gallery, where they will produce new work. Both artists are known for their vibrant and colourful drawings and paintings,as well as for their productivity: the studio will quickly be filled with beautiful multicoloured artworks!
The residency will be followed by 'Glesga Boys', an exhibition of the work Cameron and Edward will produce during the three weeks, and running from 1st November to 22nd November. Keep an eye on the website and on Facebook for some photos!
For more information, please click here.
On the 17th and 18th September 2011, twenty eight arts and disability studio providers from across the United States and Canada, Arts Project Australia from Melbourne and Project Ability were invited by Amy Taub, Director of the renowned arts studio Creativity Explored to attend this two day conference. Over two intense and stimulating days the delegates, all Executive Directors or senior managers of their organisations shared their practice, discussed a huge range of topics including curriculum development, exhibiting work in contemporary spaces, income generation, selling and licensing art work and programme evaluation and realised there was enough common ground and shared experience to form ourselves into a professional network. This emerging organisation will seek to generate discussion and debate on issues related to disability art provision and the creative practice of people with learning and development disabilities.
It was a great privilege to attend this conference and to share the wealth of experience and collective knowledge that Project Ability – the board, staff, tutors, artists, friends and supporters - has gained in its twenty seven years of supporting artists with disabilities and mental health issues to develop their practice and delivery of our workshop and exhibition programme.
- Sculpting with Jason
- Artwork of the Week - ‘Sky Cloud’ by Sandra Ormiston
- Sally Hackett on her collaboration with George Stevenson
- Mental Health Awareness week 2013
- Casting with Aelfred
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
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