Season’s Greetings From All at Project Ability

It’s that time of year again, when the paintbrushes are put back in the cupboard, and the canvases are rested, awaiting a new life in the new year.

It’s been a fantastic year on what was Project Ability’s 30th birthday, and we would like to thank everyone involved in supporting our organisation. We had set a huge objective for ourselves this year – we aimed to reach a fundraising target of £10000. Due to the support of our staff, tutors, participants, volunteers, and everyone else who contributed to our goal, we have reached this milestone and give our greatest, heartfelt thanks.

2015 awaits, and it’s shaping up to be another exciting year. We are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming everyone back into our studios.

Season’s greetings to all, and we’ll see you next year!

Share This

Meet the Volunteers - Jen Bradley

The year is at close for all who attend Project Ability, and the last Meet the Volunteers blog of 2014 is upon us. Jen Bradley has been volunteering with our Aspire programme for the past months, and she has been an excellent addition to the team.

"Graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Painting from Grays School of Art, I was delighted to have been supported by the Smart Gallery, Aberdeen, in being awarded the New Art Look to the North Award.

As part of the Graduate Residency (2013) at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, I was able to utilise valuable research time to work towards my first solo show at the Smart Gallery.  Hospitalfield House was a remarkable environment to be an artist in residence, and a great chance to engage with artists who were also recent graduates from Scottish art schools.

In February 2014 I was awarded the Aberdeen City Council Visual Artist Award, which enabled me to partake in the Emerging Artist Residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden.  The residency was workshop based and an incredible opportunity to share technical processes.  The casting techniques I learnt at SSW were invaluable and pivotal to the realisation of my most recent body of work.

In my studio practice I borrow the methods of the archivist and archaeologist when attempting to decipher, categorize and evaluate found material; remnants of a fleeting existence or of a life once lived.

I recently lead an Introduction to Casting and Mould-Making workshop at Cardonald College whereby I was able to share the skills I had learnt on residency at SSW with students in the process of building portfolios for entry to art school.  Through residencies, volunteering and mentoring I find it important, and extremely beneficial to my practice, to share with others the processes I have learned.

For the past year I have worked as an Art Rooms Cover Artist for the Grampian Hospitals Art Trust, Aberdeen, who I coincidently exhibited with at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in September of this year.  Art Rooms is an inspirational project whereby artists create a studio-type environment within the hospital to encourage patients discover or build upon their creativity.  As artistic facilitators, we provide patients with the tools, materials and encouragement to enable them to create.  Through participating in the Art Room, patients can feel immensely exhilarated and it is a thoroughly positive experience, thus aiding the recovery process.

Recently returning to Glasgow, now based at Crownpoint Studios, I was delighted to be able to pursue work within the area of art and healthcare by volunteering at Project Ability.  I’m so grateful to have been welcomed in to this warm and inspiring community of creative individuals. It has been an absolute honour and a very insightful experience to work with the artists who have attended the art sessions for 16 weeks.

I find that volunteering at Project Ability is a positive and very cyclical experience in that I return from each session feeling so immensely inspired and in awe of the work produced, I’m constantly encouraged to make more work.  I find it quite a liberating and rewarding experience to watch people create marks in such a free manner.  Working with everyone at Project Ability keeps my enthusiasm for fine art alive and I am so grateful to be part of this lovely community."

Thank you Jen!

Click here if you would like to know more about volunteering at Project Ability. We are currently accepting applications until Friday 9th January 2015.

Share This

Meet the Volunteers - Lauren McGhee

As the year is coming to a close, so is this round of volunteers. Lauren McGhee is the second last volunteer from this block we'd like you to meet, and she has been a wonderful addition to our Create workshops

"I graduated from Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art in 2011.  Since then I have completed a Masters degree in 20th Century Art History, and was lucky enough to work at the Venice Biennale.  My current  practice broadly examines the connections and diversions between different and idiosyncratic means of recording and understanding the everyday, and I work between the mediums of drawing, painting, and writing. I seek to produce quietly playful reworkings of human experience and understanding. 

Volunteering with Project Ability has been an invigorating experience, and I have greatly enjoyed working with the participants and witnessing the growth of their individual projects. It has completely revitalised my belief in the positive and transformative potentials of an art practice, and I have even found a renewed enthusiasm and well being in my own work.  I would recommend volunteering with Project Ability to anyone, not least because of the fantastic conversation and company every week!"

Thank you Lauren!

Click here if you would like to know more about volunteering at Project Ability. We are currently accepting applications until Friday 9th January 2015. 

Share This

Thank you for making our fundraising auction such a success!

What a night! Our fundraising auction took place on Saturday 13th December, and it was a great success! The gallery was mobbed, with people arriving even before opening time. We provided a list of artists who donated their work for the auction, but didn't say who did what, which led to some -at times- wild guesses from members of the public! People bid on pieces they loved, and many bargains were had. 

The place was buzzing a few minutes before the last bids, especially as the clock in the gallery stopped working five minutes before 8pm! What were the odds?! That allowed for an extra five minutes of intense bidding, until all bids were closed. We then had the raffle while some of the staff were sorting out the winning bids, with a tiny assistant helping to pick out the tickets. 

All together, we raised an incredible £5383, which will go to our ReConnect programme. We are extremely grateful to all the artists who donated a piece to the auction, to everybody who came to the event and everyone who bid on an artwork. We couldn't have done it without you, so thank you all!

Share This

Janetka Platun’s Visit to Project Ability

Last February, we invited artist Janetka Platun to evaluate our volunteer programme and to creatively respond to it. She visited us again in June, with a creative workshop for a group of staff, participants and volunteers and now Jan is back with us again this week!

This visit is giving her the opportunity to meet this round of fantastic volunteers and also to catch up with some familiar faces. Jan’s ongoing evaluation of our volunteering programme and ReSearch project has been a fascinating experience for both us and Jan alike.


Jan’s final visit to us, with this project, is expected to be in March 2015, to coincide with our International summit for artists with learning disabilities and their supporting studios.

Share This

Sculpture workshop with Jason Pyper Davis

Artist Jason Pyper Davis tutored a clay portraiture workshop over several weeks, and we have some images of the work in progress.

Participating artists learnt how to create a three-dimensional head from pictures of themselves or their loved ones. Here are a few quotes from the participants:

"Had a great time sculpting, painting, learning new skills. Wonderful and relaxing"

"Found the clay head seminar interesting. The workshops were trying and a real good challenge."

"Very interesting and challenging but very relaxed and fun. Jason has been great!"

"Really great class. Feel really relaxed amd at peace doing these activities, especially as the art teachers are easy to listen to. This place and these programmes are an amazing activity and I have really enjoyed meeting new people, socialising and learning more."

"Creating a bust of your own head is quite challenging but very enjoyable, though I much preferred the painting class initially, I am now enjoying working in clay. Project Ability is a great environment, loads of light, very well-equipped. Jason is an excellent tutor, demonstrates techniques and guides one-to-one with great patience and humour."

Share This

Our auction catalogue is now online

Project Ability's big fundraising auction will take place on Saturday 13 December 6pm-9pm (last bids at 8pm). The works are currently on show in our gallery, and are now available to browse online via our catalogue

Have a look at all the amazing work donated to halp raise funds towards or ReConnect programme, and don't forget that you can bid online on Thursday 11 December, 9am-12am (midnight). Just send us an email at with your maximum bid, and we will bid for you on the night by increments of £10. Click here for more information. 

Share This

Friends and Family Outing - Scotland Street School Museum

Be inspired by your visit to Scotland Street School and their current exhibition “ The Games We Play” before returning to Project Ability for a fun filled workshop where you can design and create your own board game to keep you and your family amused over the Christmas break.

"The Games We Play is a chance to explore games and play from across different cultures and time periods. From the Papua New Guinea story of Pikinini Wantaim Bubu, which shows how children learn to be adults from their grandparents, through strategy games like chess and mahjong to the physical fun of street games such as kite flying and cricket, this exhibition looks at the importance of games in all our lives."

Saturday 13th December– Scotland Street School visit and Project Ability Workshop
Cost: £5 per group
All children must be accompanied by an adult
Meet at Scotland Street School at 11am (anticipated end time of 2:30pm)
We will provide a taxi from Scotland Street School to Project Ability but please bring your own packed lunch

If you would like to book a spot please give us a call on 0141 552 2822

Share This

Many prizes to win in the Project Ability raffle!

On Saturday 13 December, 74 works of art will be auctionned off in order to fundraise for our ReConnect programme. It's a great way to grab yourself a bargain and to donate to a good cause at the same time!

But that's not all: we will also have a raffle on the night! Only £1 per ticket or £4 for 5, and you might win one of the following prizes:
Bottles of champagne
Multiple meal vouchers for Princes Square eateries New York Bistro, Cranachan and Azur Bistro
Boxes of chocolate
Cinema tickets for Cineworld
A Project Ability goody bag
Project Ability artwork 'Sozzled Julie Harris'

Tickets are already on sale in our gallery and studios, and will also be available on the night. The raffle will take place at 8pm, just after the auction closes. 

Share This

Volunteer Opportunities

As the New Year approaches, Project Ability would like to offer visual artists in Glasgow new opportunities for volunteering across our creative programmes, starting in January 2015.

We are welcoming applications from both graduate and undergraduate artists, with experience in ceramics or printmaking to support our ‘Aspire’ participants in the making of their artwork. The Aspire programme is for adults with learning disabilities. Volunteers should be able to commit to at least 2 hours a week, each week, for 8 weeks.  Workshops take place from 10 – 12 and 1 – 3, Monday to Friday.

We would also like to recruit a further six artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday workshop programme.  With two opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and two opportunities from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years.  We also have a further two opportunities to volunteer with Art Matters; a group for 21 – 28 year old artists, from 4pm – 6pm.

These volunteer positions will run from Saturday 31st January until Saturday 28th March, with the possibility of an extension of a further block of workshops.
Volunteering with Project Ability will challenge you.  It can open up your practice and introduce you to new ways of making art, we hope you will be energised and inspired by your experience with us. 


After the successful launch of ‘ReSearch’ in January 2014 and a year full of successful partnerships, we are now inviting practicing artists to take part in our ReSearch project.  This exciting opportunity will give you a unique chance to be involved with our artists and develop your own arts practice. 
ReSearch provides space where people with disabilities and mental health conditions and contemporary visual artists have the opportunity to work together to develop skills, learn about and from each other’s life experiences and challenge attitudes and understanding of the arts sector. Collaborations to date have been hugely successful with final works being exhibited in our ReSearch public exhibition space.

We are looking for artists who would like to take part in this project and are inviting ideas of how you would use your time, or what you would gain by exploring this collaborative approach to an arts practice. 

All of the above opportunities are based at our workshops on the 3rd floor of Trongate 103. 
If you are interested in any of our volunteering opportunities or in taking part in ReSearch, please complete our application form and return it to Tracy Gorman at  Artists with an interest in taking part in ReSearch should submit their thoughts and ideas to the same email address. 
Closing date for all applications/ReSearch proposals is Friday 9th January 2015.  
If you have any queries regarding any of these opportunities, please feel free to contact our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman on the above email address.

Share This

Walking Group - Week 22

One of the regular walking group walkers has been suggesting for a while now that the group make a visit to the Mitchell Library so that is exactly what they did last week.

Some of the group started their outing at Project Ability and walked to the library doing their best to avoid most of the crowded shopping areas along the way and the rest of the group met us at the library. They were joined by one of the librarians, Kirstin, who was to be their guide for the day.

The tour was fascinating and included many of the 'behind the scenes' areas of the building as well as the remarkable puppet room. It was a little tricky to keep the whole group together at times as there were so many interesting things to stop and look at. Kirstin was a very generous guide and gave us lots of information about the building, its history and its contents.

The tour ended in the Special Collections room with some fascinating albums of old photographs of old Glasgow.

There is a vast amount of interesting information and pictures on the library website

More photos on our Facebook Page.

Photos by Celine, Malcolm, Martin, Michael and Stuart. 

Share This

ReSearch Room - Consuelo Servan and Jonathan McKinstry

Our current ReSearch Room project is a collaboration between artist and tutor Consuelo Servan, and Aspire artist Jonathan McKinstry.

"As an artist, I pay special attention to changes in the surrounding environment, such as variations in the quality of light. Since I moved to Glasgow I have been taking photos at dark time. I found them really inspiring, giving me a sort of comforting feeling. So in my next project I decided to use them, as I did before with another project about light: Aluzinaciones (Light Hallucinations).

I knew about Jonathan McKinstry´s work when I came to Project Ability, two and a half years ago. Since then, I admire his ability to draw effortlessly, and also his capability to create and recreate imagined worlds. He is also very into comics, as am I, but unlike him, I don´t use it on my artistic work.
So for the Research Room I proposed a collaboration with Jonathan, with the idea that he could fill up the dark of my images with some of his characters, ghosts, and impossible worlds.

We will be using only two of my dark photos, but I have made a series of screen-prints with them so we have plenty of prints on paper and fabric to experiment with.
We will see how different the same picture can be, after being intervened.

I´m also planning on writing about the Research Room project on my blog, which is about creative experiences in outsider art centres."
-Consuelo Servan

Share This

3 Project Ability artists in the Mizunoki Museum, Japan

Rehan Yousef, Duncan Gray and Martin Sloss have been selected by the Mizunoki Museum in Japan, for a group show opening on Thursday 4th December.

The show will run until Sunday 7th December. 

Share This

Project Ability Silent Auction - The rules

Our big Christmas fundraiser this year will be a silent auction, taking place on Saturday 13th December. A silent auction is where bids are written on a sheet of paper with less time pressure than a regular auction: bidders can monitor whether they’ve been outbid, and then write a higher bid. The minimum bid increase is £10 and all bids are binding and final. The highest bid at 8pm wins!

Each donated artwork will have a bidding sheet next to it, and will be identified by a lot number, as the names of the artists won't be revealed until after 8pm. The auction items are currently exhibited in our gallery, Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm, until the event on the 13th, so feel free to pop by and have a browse.

Email bids will be accepted on Thursday 11 December 9am-12am (midnight). Please email with your maximum bid. If e-bids are received Project Ability will bid in multiples of £10 on behalf of the e-bidder up to their stated maximum bid. This also means that the highest bid on the sheet at 8pm might still have been outbid by an e-bid, as staff might not have time to update all bidding sheets at the last minute.

The highest bidder on each item at 8pm, when the auction closes, wins that work. A list of winning bidders will be compiled and announced on the night and the checkout table will open with the results at approximately 8:15pm. If you win an item, we ask that you pick up your items and pay for them prior to leaving the gallery. If you would like to collect your item at a later date, you can pick up before Friday 19 December. Payments must be made on Saturday 13 December, we accept cash and credit cards.

All sales are final and proceeds will go towards the ReConnect Programme.

Happy bidding!

Share This

Friends and Family Fun Workshop - Advent Calendars

Our last Friends and Family Fun Workshop took place on Saturday 29th November, and was all about the festive season: young artists and their families made their very own advent calendars.

Snow men, trees and gingerbread houses inspired the group, as they used the variety of materials on hand. 

Sadly, this was the last monthly workshop, but there will be a selection of Friends and Family one-off events next year, so keep an eye on the website!

Share This