Shop Item of the Week by Tommy Mason


This week we bring you another wondrous work by Aspire artist Tommy Mason as our Shop Item of the Week. Tommy's work has been featured on our blog numerous times recently - we just can't get enough of his superb artwork!  This little print is priced at just £15, so come on down and grab a bargain. 

Remember, a selection of Tommy's work is currently on show in our gallery alongside Glasgow artist Charlie Hammond's work as part of the exhibition 'Fast is fine but accuracy is final'.  Available to view until the 29th of August, the exhibition is well worth a visit. 

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Artwork of the Week - Untitled by Peter Stewart

This week, we bring you this untitled piece by ReConnect artist Peter Stewart as our Artwork of the Week. 

Peter's landscapes often have a painterly quality to them, capturing the viewer's imagination. The thickly applied, visible brushstrokes of the rugged foreground contrasts well with the delicately painted sky, producing a very sticking image indeed.  We love it!

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Walking Group - Week 15: Lenzie Moss

One of the many great things about living in Glasgow is that there are so many fantastic places to go for walks, both in the city and within a short travelling distance. One of these places is Lenzie Moss.

Our walking group took the bus from Buchanan Street bus station and in a short time reached Lenzie and one of several entrances to the Moss where they were met by one of the 'Friends of Lenzie Moss'. This was really useful as although the path is clear and easy to follow, having someone who can provide historical knowledge and indicate points of interest is always a great enhancement to a walk, so many thanks to Paul for giving his time and such interesting information.

The Moss is a raised bog and Local Nature Reserve with three main areas: the bog area, the grassland and the woodlands. The circular walk follows good paths through all these areas and gives a great variety of things to see along the way.

For information about the Moss visit There is an entrance to the Moss just next to Lenzie train station and there is also a regular bus service from Buchanan Street bus station.

More photos on our Facebook Page.

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Youth and Philantropy Initiative Group

A huge thank you to our Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Group from Lenzie Academy who won Project Ability an incredible £3000 to put towards our Create Programme for Children and Young People.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative supports secondary pupils to find out more about local charities operating in their area and to deliver a short presentation on their chosen charity in school, in a bid to secure them a £3000 donation. 

We are very grateful for all of the effort the pupils have put in to finding out about our organisation, visiting our studios and gallery and representing us at their schools Youth and Philanthropy finals.  The donation they have secured through their hard work and commitment will help us to continue to deliver high quality visual arts activities for children and young people through our Create Programme.

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Outside In surgery day

Do you want to create a digital platform for your artwork?

Please come along to Project Ability to get help to create an online gallery for your art work. We can help you to photograph your work, write an artist statement and create an online gallery on the Outside In website. If you already have a gallery, we can update it with new images. You can also choose to put a piece of work on to the online shop for sale if you wish.

You need to book a 1 hour one-to-one slot to get the help. The surgery day will take place on Wednesday 12th August, in our Trongate 103 studios.

Please contact us on 0141 552 2822 or to book a slot.

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Project Ability Workshops at Gartnavel

Artist and tutor Meredith Crone has been working at Gartnavel Hospital, providing workshops. Here's how it's going so far in his own words:

'Each of the three Adult Admission wards in Gartnavel Hospital’s Psychiatric wing are in turn hosting blocks of twelve art workshops in conjunction with Project Ability which will run on a weekly basis.

Whilst being based in one particular ward the sessions are also accessible to patients from the other two. The first in these series of workshops has taken place in McNair ward .

Initially, attending artists were given a brief to create silhouettes and stencils that could be used to make images employing sprays and diffusers. The group has since moved towards working on a variety of drawing processes.

As well as utilising such traditional tools as pencil, pen and chalk the participants have also most recently been exploring mark making techniques, working onto inked up plates with cotton buds and creating mono prints. This has allowed playful approaches to develop alongside more measured and focused responses'.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Untitled’ by Tommy Mason

This week, we've chosen another piece by Aspire Artist Tommy Mason as our Artwork of the Week. This work includes one of Tommy's trademark figures, which are a staple of his imaginative, thought provoking art. 

Tommy will be exhibiting alongside Glasgow based artist Charlie Hammond in the exhibition 'Fast is fine but accuracy is final', which opens tomorrow evening, the 24th of July, at 6pm.  So come along and browse the fine works on display, while enjoyingthe refreshments which will be available.  The exhibition will run until the 29th of August. 

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Shop Item of the Week - Oliver Hardy Plate

It's Shop Item of the Week time again, and today we have chosen this rather charming plate depicting Oliver Hardy of Laurel & Hardy fame. Yours for a snip at only £8, this is ready to be purchased from our gallery shop. Better be quick!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Untitled’ by Tommy Mason

This week, we have Aspire artist Tommy Mason's untitled work as our Artwork of the Week. Tommy's work is incredibly popular in our studios, and he is prolific in producing work which grabs the attention and ignites the imagination. In this work, his unique interpretation of the subject brings a pleasing ethereal quality to the landscape, creating a delicate tranquillity for the viewer. 

Tommy will be exhibiting alongside Glasgow artist Charlie Hammond this month in the exhibition ‘Fast is fine but accuracy is final’, opening Friday the 24th of July in our gallery at 6pm.

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Walking Group - Week 14: Kelvin riverside

The forecast said showers and showers is what our walking group got for their walk last week.

Luckily there are a lot of bridges and trees to shelter under between Kelvingrove Park and the Botanic Gardens so the group stopped to take cover every now and again to avoid the worst of the rain.

Weather aside, it was a pleasant walk, mostly along the Kelvin riverside. There was ample wildlife to watch including squirrels, pigeons and a heron patiently waiting for a fish to catch.

It was good to have a relaxing sit down in the Kibble Palace and out of the rain.

More photos on our Facebook page. 

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Heart & Sold selected two project Ability artists for their international exhibition

Heart & Sold, an organisation which showcases works by artists with Down Syndrome, has invited two of our artists to take part in their two part exhibition and New York launch!

"We want to give artists with Down Syndrome, as well as their family and friends, an opportunity to use Heart & Sold as a platform – to create, educate, inspire, sell and most importantly promote the idea that art is from the heart and has nothing to do with the condition." says Suzie Moffat, the organisation's Director.

Aspire artists Tommy Kemp and Grace MacArthur each have an artwork in the exhibition, which is currently showing in the Senator Group London Showroom, until 4th September. The work will then go to New York's Fifth Avenue Senator Group Showroom for the official launch of Heart & Sold overseas.

For more information, download the promotional leaflet here.

Images: 'One Direction' by Grace MacArthur & Untitled by Tommy Kemp

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Create Summer Studio Days

Our summer studio days are off to a flying start with paintings, drawings, ceramics and textile work being produced by our super talented Create participants. 

The summer studio days are running each Thursday for 6 weeks over the summer break and give participants the opportunity to access a supported studio environment to work on self-directed projects and ideas.

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Artwork of the Week - Old Gorbals by Jim Feeney

This week, we have selected this excellent piece by ReConnect artist Jim Feeney for our Artwork of the Week. This work, titled 'Old Gorbals', seeks to capture urban life in the Glasgow of old by bringing a distinct, nostalgic tone to the location and its figures. 

This piece, along with two other works by Jim, has been selected for display at the volunteer's cafe in Stobhill Hospital from this Friday. Good work, Jim!

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Outside In surgery day

Outside In’s next National exhibition, in partnership with Craftspace, will showcase UK creativity by artists facing barriers to the art world for reasons including health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. The works selected through this open call-out will be displayed alongside pieces by historically renowned and invited contemporary outsider and self-taught artists.

This major exhibition will launch at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, the home of Outside In, from 12 March - 12 June 2016, and will be followed by a national tour.
Submissions for the open callout are invited from UK based artists whose work is three or two dimensional and centres around craft processes. The term ‘craft’ covers a huge variety of things including: ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, leather, mechanical objects, metalwork, mixed media, textiles and forms of making linked to folk traditions. Materials used can include fabric, metal, clay, wood, paper, mixed media, found and recycled materials. We would welcome submissions from anyone who considers their work to be a form of ‘craft’.
Deadline for submissions: 5pm, Friday 30 October 2015
For more information on submitting work, visit

Would you like to create an online gallery with Outside In, or know someone who would, but who does not have the skills or facilities to do it themselves?

Founded by Pallant House Gallery in 2006, Outside In provides a platform for ARTISTS who define themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.
Artists who fit the Outside In criteria can create an online gallery, showcasing their artwork. At the Surgery Day we can support you to photograph and upload your artwork, help you write your artist statement, sign you up for your online gallery and submit work for selection to the ‘Outsider Craft’ exhibition if your work is relevant.

Date: Wednesday 12 August 2015
Time: 10am – 4:30pm
Venue: Project Ability

To book your 1 hour one-to-one session please contact Hannah Whitlock
Call:  01243 770 845 or Email:

Places are limited. Please bring support with you if required.

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Project Ability: On the Road

For the past year Project Ability artists have been out and about making art with people with learning disabilities the length and breadth of the country. 

We have cut a swath across the country and been north, south, east and west. These one-off workshops are free and can be adapted to suit experienced artists and complete beginners. They are sociable and fun and each workshop is delivered by a professional artist and an artist with a learning disability who has perfected their craft in our workshop programme.

We want to connect people with learning disabilities through a shared interest in visual art.  No person or group is too far, or too remote and we can set up at your kitchen table or in your centre!

A workshop is free so please contact us if would like to get involved. We are taking bookings for August through November 2015: tel: 0141 552 2822

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Volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities at Project Ability

Project Ability would like to offer visual artists in Glasgow new opportunities for volunteering across our creative programmes, starting in August 2015.
We are welcoming applications from both graduate and undergraduate artists, with experience in ceramics or printmaking and across the visual arts, 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 Thursday.

We would also like to recruit a further six visual 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 designated studio time for young adults 21 – 28 years, from 4pm – 6pm. These volunteer positions will run from Saturday 22nd August for 8 sessions, with the possibility of an extension of a further block of 8 workshops.

We have one further opportunity to volunteer within our ReConnect programme, for artists with lived experience of mental ill health.  ReConnect supports people to develop their individual art practices in a supported studio environment.  We are looking to recruit a visual artist who enjoys engaging with other artists, talking about art and making processes and who would like to support and engage with our ReConnect artists.

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.  Please look at our ‘meet the volunteer’ feature on our website for a flavour of the past and varied experiences of our previous volunteers. 


After the successful launch of ReSearch in January 2014, and over a year of successful ‘partnerships’, we are now looking for further practicing artists to take part in our ReSearch project, an exciting strand to our volunteering programme that gives opportunity to be involved with our artists and to develop and challenge your own arts practice. 
ReSearch provides space, support and opportunity for artists, with different lived experience, to work together and learn from each other within a framework of creative partnership, skills and ideas exchange. 
The ReSearch Room is a 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 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 a collaborative practice with one of our artists. 

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, please complete our application form and return it to Tracy Gorman at Artists with an interest in taking part in the ReSearch should submit their thoughts and ideas to the same email address. 
Closing date for all applications/proposals is Monday 27th July 2015.
If you have any queries regarding any of these opportunities, contact our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman on the above email address.

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Shop Item of the Week – ‘The Loch Ness Monster in a Winter Storm’ by Steven Reilly

It's Shop Item of the Week time, and this week we bring ‘The Loch Ness Monster in a Winter Storm’ by aspire artist Steven Reilly.  Yours for just £80 from our gallery shop, this fine painting would look rather splendid on any wall! 

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Artwork of the Week by Simon McAuley

Part of Simon McAuley and Ida Arentoft's exhibition On the same latitude, this photograph by Simon makes up just a small part of this excellent collaboration, exploring shared moments and collaborative action between the artists. Current on show in our gallery, we will be open from 6-8pm this evening for First Thursday, so take the chance to come down and have a look for yourself. 

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ReSearch Room - Kevin Cantwell and John Cocozza

One of our current ReSearch projects is a collaboration between Kevin Cantwell and Aspire artist John Cocozza. The duo has been working on making a replica of Blake's 7 Liberator with scraps and recycled bottles. Here Kevin tells us more about his practice and his project with John.

"I graduated in 2014 from the University of West of Scotland, with a first class honours degree in Contemporary Art Practice. I have been a commercial artist since 2004, but took the decision to return to education in 2010 to get a better understanding of what could be the best way of using my creative imagination in a way that could be benefited by others in a creative environment. The passing on of creative skills is an essential part of my practice.  I do this using my eye for reinventing recycled materials which are found in the environment, which I reconstruct into a new purpose in the form of sculpture.    

When I was invited to take part in the Project Ability ReSearch programme, I felt fortunate in having a special opportunity to do something creatively within their studio space. My proposal was the idea of collecting and using waste materials, which would be found in the Project Ability studio. These found objects would then be reconstructed into some kind of sculptural form, one that I could not predict what it would be, until I had experience of what materials I would find. At the beginning of the project I was researching the early pioneers of aviation, who used their imagination to create flying machines, and they appeared to have little or no scientific knowledge of aeronautics, which included the science, art, theory, and practice of designing, building, and operating aircraft. There were some inventors at that time which had some success, however most failed in their quest to conquer man’s flite; this was research became the concept I started with in the construction of my sculptural objects from the found materials within the studio.

I planned to construct imaginative, three dimensional objects or sculptural flying machines, that where based in a future environment which have no fossil fuels  nor are reliant on the science of aeronautics. I am attempting this by imagining that I am creating flying machines with no knowledge of flite and doing this by using only reference material of images of early flying machines, aviation scrap yards and flying creatures from today environment.  

Now in my 4th week in the Studio, I have joined forces with John Cocozza, one of the Aspire artist here at Project Ability. With John’s keen interest in science fiction, his influence has taken my original concept of the flying machine to another dimension!   
I have recognized that it is an honour to have been asked to take part in the residency research project, which has given me chance create work and be part of the involvement with an exceptionally worthwhile organisation, such as the Project Ability community workshops."

Thank you Kevin! And John Cocozza is very much enjoying the project too: "I am learning a lot. I usually work with cardboard or clay, so I'm using different material and it helps me realising all these ideas in my head! I am enjoying it a lot."

Watch this space for more updates on the project!

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