Happy Holidays - Christmas closing times


Project Ability is now closed until Tuesday, January 5th. We wish all of our artists and supporters a very Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

We look forward to seeing you all again in 2016!

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meet the volunteers - Nick Gordon

I graduated from Grays School of Art with a specialism in printmaking in 2012. I have continued to make and exhibit work as well as take part in artist’s residencies.
Volunteering with project ability has been a great experience and something I’d look forward to each week. Assisting the artists in making their work, I have been able to use and share my particular skills and knowledge of materials and processes. It never ceased to amaze me the immediacy and application of the materials being used. Paint, pen, pencil to paper, the most basic of materials, the rewards created within such a small amount of time, to me, proved the ingenuity of the individual and their creativity.

Whether the artists are making to enjoy a process, communicate, record a memory, analyze an object, or just make something, Project Ability facilitates and nurtures that. This is why I was attracted to the role and why being a part of the team was such a pleasure.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Fruit’ by Simon McAuley

'Fruit', a photographic print by Simon McAuley, 24 x 21cm, £35

This photographic print by Simon McAuley has a dream like quality; ambiguous and intriguing. Simon has been both an artist and volunteer at Project Ability. His contributions include artist talks, exhibitions, residencies, curating and many other generous and inspiring events at Project Ability, and elsewhere. His body of work extends through to painting, some of which can be seen here on our Project Ability site. The photograph featured is part of our 'Food To Go' exhibition, and can be seen in the gallery until December 22nd. It is a quiet yet strong piece, luring the viewer in with its play on size, shape and content. Follow this link to a short video of an artist talk in Project Ability that Simon gave about his photographic practice. Simon McAuley has been very generous to Project Ability with his time and art practice, and we are thankful to have him on board with us!

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Christmas Party tonight!

Tonight's the night! If you haven't got a ticket they will be available on the door, from 7pm.

The more the merrier!!

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The Walking Group is coming back!

We have fantastic news! Our Walking Group will be back in 2016, thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund's Award for All!

We have plenty of great walks planned for the year, so keep an eye on the website and our social media platforms to see the amazing photos our walkers always bring back from their outings.

If you are a Project Ability artist and would like to take part in the walks, please get in touch at walking@project-ability.co.uk or 0141 552 2822.

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Meet the Volunteers - Luke Shaw

For our penultimate 'Meet the Volunteers' this year, let us introduce you to the fantastic Luke Shaw, who started volunteering with us after accompanying some of our Aspire artists to their visual arts workshops.

"I graduated from the University of East London in 2009 with a BA in Creative and Professional writing. Since then I have continued working under the pseudonym Anthony Autumn, and have focused on developing my practice as a poet and performer. I also co-manage and edit an artist-led publication of creative, text-based work named HOAX. I moved to Glasgow almost four years ago, soon after which I became a personal care assistant and through this I discovered Project Ability. I was instantly impressed and have always had such a fun and educational time accompanying various people to the workshops and seeing that the participants of all of Project Ability's activities across the board are achieving so much!

I was keen to get involved, but wasn't sure whether that would be possible as my background isn't in fine art. I soon began talking to staff who have been very kind in letting me organise and run Creative Writing and Reading groups with the lovely folk at ReConnect on a Friday morning. I am in my second block of workshops, and I am learning so much! The structure of the sessions is very informal, people are welcome to come and go as they please, but the main aim at the moment is to get participants chatting about a range of poetic voices and styles, and hopefully encourage their own to sing out!"

Many thanks Luke!

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Martin Sloss’s Jaconelli’s painting goes to… Jaconelli’s!

We recently received a great message from Project Ability artist Martin Sloss's support worker John McInally. Martin recently produced a painting of his favourite local cafe, the famous Jaconelli's, which he showed to the owner, James Evans.

"When Martin showed  his piece of art to the present owner of Jaconelli's, he immediately told Martin that he loved it and that he wanted it for either his own home or to display inside the Café . The café owner offered to make a donation to any local charity as payment for the art work. After some  negotiation he agreed to pay a donation of £60  towards the cost  of football strips for Martin`s football team, Key Community Supports. Martin helps run this Team and the team takes part in local League football arranged by Enable Scotland ,Thomas Fortune Works and  Key Community Supports  in Glasgow. This is a local League for people who have Physical and Learning Difficulties. Mr Evans has also indicated that he may further sponsor this Team if Martin can get  him a  quote for getting Jaconelli's name on the football teams tops. Mr Evans was named as one of Key Housing Association`s Good Neighbour of the year in 2013."

What a great story! 

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New visual arts workshop for Glasgow pre-schools

From January 2016, Project Ability will be working in partnership with pre-school care providers across Glasgow to develop and deliver a programme of inclusive early years visual arts workshops.  Creative play is essential to the social, emotional and educational development of all children and we are delighted that support from  The Big Lottery’s Communities and Families Fund will allow Project Ability’s professional art tutors to reach young children and their care providers in their local communities.

If you are a pre-school care provider and would like more information on the project and how you can get involved please email Lisa Clark Woods, Create Programme Manager, create@project-ability.co.uk

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Artist Research Residency Opportunity

Project Ability offers a programme of five calendar month Research Residencies; February – June 2016. This opportunity is open to contemporary visual artists working in all media.

Successful artists will have access to our accessible studio and fantastic workshop facilities Monday to Friday, 9 – 5pm for a calendar month; ceramic studio, glass studio, print studio, wood shop and digital studio and the opportunity to work alongside artists who attend Project Ability’s studio programme for people with learning disabilities, people with lived experience of mental ill health and children and young people with disabilities while gaining knowledge of workshop delivery from our team of highly experienced tutors. This is a voluntary position and a reasonable amount of material can be used from our stock (upon agreement).

The residency is an opportunity to cultivate new ideas through research and production and to access and explore an inclusive arts environment.

On conclusion of the residency each artist will be invited to present their work in a public lecture and there is potential at a later date of working with our exhibitions coordinator to exhibit work and work in progress in our gallery in Trongate 103. On completion of the residency you are invited to submit a workshop proposal to be delivered over 10 hours at a fee of £250 and subject to approval by the Artistic Director. Mentoring support may be given to help develop your workshop plan.

Letter of application max 350 words outlining your interest in this Research Residency Opportunity and indicating your preferred month February – June 2016. 
Up to 5 images no larger than 3MB

Please send your application to submissions@project-ability.co.uk by the 11th January 2016. 

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Meet the Volunteers-  Katie McInnes

After five years based in London I returned to live in my home city of Glasgow last year and I wanted to find a way to reconnect with my community. It was this that drew me to Project Ability and a creative environment that would allow me to help others explore themselves through the act of making, and through friendship.

I began volunteering with the Art Matters group on a Saturday afternoon and was soon finding my way thanks to the other volunteers and students, despite an early tussle with a large overhead projector! Each week we would build on the achievements of the last, trying to give guidance and encouragement as we went. I am a textile designer who works mainly with hand embroidery and weave, so I am only too aware of the enthralling pleasure of creativity and I have enjoyed sharing this experience with others, and every week I have left this wonderful place of sanctuary hidden high above the city feeling inspired and nourished!

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Project Ability Christmas Party!

A jolly wee reminder..... our last fundraiser of the year is our Christmas party, on Thursday 17 December, 7pm-9.30pm!

Join us for an evening of holiday fun, with music by DJ Tom Bevan (who used to work at Project Ability), party games and of course a raffle! There are once again plenty of great prizes to be won, including meal vouchers, Cass' Art vouchers, and the signed Rangers shirt worth £150 which was put back in the pot after the Project Ability Spooky Night.

Put your party shoes and your best Christmas jumper on, bring your family and friends, and get ready to party! Only £5 in, including a free raffle ticket. Tickets are available from our Project Ability reception upstairs or at the door on the night.

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Art Work of the Week- ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ by Ralph Douglas

Art work of the week celebrates this beautiful painting by Ralph Douglas, 'Strawberry Shortcake'. 40 x 60cm, £65

Ralph Douglas has been working with us at Project Ability for several years, and during this time he has nurtured and developed a sophisticated style of his own. Soft, expressive gestures of form and line are delicately brought to life through a carefully chosen colour palette. The lightness of touch gives his paintings an almost ephemeral quality, the paint sits softly on the surface, as though it has just been applied. Working within our Aspire programme, Ralph has been an inspiration to other artists here and has developed a strong and distinct style which uniquely expresses his love for painting and paint!

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Meet the Volunteers - Simon McAulay

This week, we would like to introduce you to the amazing Simon McAulay, who volunteers with our ReConnect programme. If his name is familiar already, it's because Simon has been a Project Ability artist for five years now, and has exhibited several times in our gallery and internationally. He has become an integral part of the ReConnect team, and uses his experience as a participant to tailor his workshops to the other artists' needs and interests.

"Volunteering at Project Ability has been an amazing experience for me. I began volunteering almost as soon as I started attending the workshops. This took the form of giving talks using Keynote presentations. While I was informing and talking about my artwork on a personal level, and this was rewarding, I also felt I would like to give back to the programme by working more directly with participants. 

I had been impressed and inspired by my fellow participants in the Reconnect studio. The level of interest and motivation to make visual work was really high. This was the first time I had encountered a mental health and wellbeing programme which really focused on art practice. I found the studio programme such a nourishing experience that as time passed, my confidence grew, and I started to run workshops.

The artist and participants in the studio have such a genuine interest in visual art. Both as a means of expression and as valid activity. I have been lucky enough to witness the participants journeys and felt I could contribute to these in the form of workshops. Working as a practicing artist in the studio has given me the opportunity to design workshops which are based on, and have a feel for the rich tapestry of practice found in the studio.

The three workshops which are now rotated throughout the Reconnect 10 week block are the: Film group, Critique group, and Colour mixing workshop.

I was nervous at first in all three. Then I realised just how passionate the participants were. There were really interesting conversations and observations which reflected the commitment of participants. The depth of knowledge and critical ability is inspiring and has informed my own practice.

So although I was nervous, I soon began to feel more comfortable. As the sessions progressed I felt there was so much support. For each other and for myself. This for me was amazing. This was giving a voice to the quiet warm feeling in the studio on a regular workshop day. Articulating in quite complex ways, a sense of mutual support and encouragement.

I have been inspired by other volunteers, participating artists and staff, to run workshops as a way of contributing to the Reconnect programme, and have found this to be an enriching process. For my journey as a person with lived experience of mental ill health, for my visual art practice, and my journey as an artist, the volunteer opportunities have been amazing. And I hope I have given back as much as I have gained."

Thank you Simon!

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New volunteering opportunities at Project Ability starting January 2016

Project Ability is offering visual artists in Glasgow, new opportunities for volunteering across our creative programmes, starting in January 2016.

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.  Our 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 10am – 12noon and 1pm– 3pm, Monday to Thursday and 10 – 3pm on Friday.

We also have a new opportunity to volunteer in our ‘Monday Night Social’ group, the return of a successful evening workshop, giving opportunity for adults with learning difficulties to socialise and make art.

In addition we would also like to recruit artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday workshop programme.  With opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years.  We also have further opportunities to volunteer with Art Matters; a designated studio time for young adults 21 – 28 years, from 4pm – 6pm.   Successful applicants should, as much as possible, be able to commit to 8 sessions, with further opportunity to extend their experience, possible.  

This New Year, we also have further opportunity to volunteer within our ReConnect programme, which supports artists with lived experience of mental ill health.  ReConnect supports artists to develop their individual art practices in a supported studio environment.  We would like to recruit visual artists who enjoy engaging with others and talking about art, who would like to support and contribute to our open studio. Opportunities are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 10am – 1pm.

Volunteering with Project Ability will challenge you, no matter what stage you are at in your career.  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. 

If you have any questions about any of our opportunities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tracy Gorman, our Volunteers Co-ordinator at volunteers@project-ability.co.uk. You can download an application form here

The deadline for all applications is Monday 11th January 2016.  Good Luck.

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Shop Item of the Week - Tea towels designed by Ruth Mutch

This week we bring you these terrific tea towels as our Shop Item of the Week. Designed by the very talented ReConnect artist Ruth Mutch, these joyous penguin filled kitchen essentials would brighten up any arduous dish washing session! Sure to sell out quickly, one can be yours for only £8 from our gallery shop. 

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Artwork of the week-  Untitled (Plump Hot Dogs) by Scott Smith

 ‘Untitled (Plump Hot Dogs)’ by Scott Smith is our artwork of the week! This light hearted rendition of a vendor's advertising for hot dogs is reminiscent of American Baseball games from the 1950's. (perhaps the last time you could get a hot dog for five cents!) This drawing adds a lot of fun to our Food To Go, shop style exhibition, and can be seen on display here at our Project Ability gallery at Trongate 103. Tonight we have an evening reception from 6 - 8pm as part of the last First Thursday celebrations of 2015. Come have a look at this brilliant piece of work!

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Consultation Day in Aberdeen

Today, Thursday 3rd December, is International Day of People with Disability, which is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

Our latest social history project ties in perfectly with the values promoted by this day: on Friday 20th November we were back in Aberdeen meeting some fantastic folks who shared their memories of living in Ladysbridge Hospital and other institutions for people with learning disabilities in Scotland in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.  Stories of loneliness and distress but also funny and uplifting stories; survivor’s tales!

Fiona Musk, NHS Grampian archivist talked to the group about the history of the hospital and showed a collection of photographs from the 1950’s and later photographs after the hospital was remodelled in the 1970’s.  These were a great prompt for more stories and more laughter.

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TV Classics Part 1 - End of the first block

Cameron Morgan's TV Classics Part 1 project has hit the halfway mark! The artist has been working in our studios every week for the past few months, first researching and prepping, then painting on large canvases.

Five out of ten paintings are already nearly completed, with only the artist's signature bold outlines missing. "Cameron is a fast worker" says Jason, who has been guiding and assisting him. "the painting part is very easy for him, as he's already done all the research and drawn his ideas on paper. I have to slow him down sometimes!".

Morgan has been working in chronological order, only just now reaching the decade with the first colour TVs. "We were both really looking forward to this decade, a big splash of colour!". Indeed, the last painting, which is still a work in progress, shows a very colourful Hulk, roaring at the viewer!

The project is now on hold until January, when the artist will come back for another 6 weeks of intense painting. His work has been documented throughout by our Media Unit, and short films about each painting will be available to watch on a brand new website detailing the project. In the meantime, you can follow the work in progress on the artist's Instagram: @TV_Classics_Part1

TV Classics Part 1 is supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists.

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Meet the Volunteers - Stephanie Allan

Today, we would like to introduce you to the brilliant Stephanie Allan, who has been volunteering with our older young people on Saturdays.

"I graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2013 with a degree in Textile design, specialising in embroidery.  Since finishing art school, I have developed a multi-disciplinary practice; my work in this time has extended from textiles to three-dimensional objects, print and installations. 

I came across this volunteer opportunity by chance and I’m so glad I did, working with such inspiring young people in a shared environment has been a truly rewarding experience.  Having the opportunity to work on one to one projects with the artists as individuals has been invaluable in teaching me how to balance encouragement, instruction and when to leave others to their own intuition.  I am always amazed at many of the artists’ approach to their work - there is no fear, lack of motivation or willingness to try new techniques – which is really refreshing and uplifting.  During my time volunteering with Project Ability, I have been able to fully appreciate the importance of the creative process, developing confidence and wellbeing within the individuals.

Saturday afternoons are always the highlight of my week! The studio is such a welcoming environment; the creative energy is really inspiring and has definitely had a positive effect on my own art practice. I am so pleased to be able to work within the field of art and healthcare by volunteering at Project Ability, and this is definitely an area I’d like to continue to work in the future."

Thank you Stephanie!

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Walking Group - Week 21

Last Wednesday was the final outing for the Project Ability walking group for 2015 - and it was another good one!

The group had arranged to take part in a workshop in the new Studio Pavilion gallery in Bellahouston Park with artist Joanna Peace. The workshop involved writing and drawing around the artworks that make up the current exhibition.

After a short break for lunch the group went out to explore some of the park including the Victorian walled garden and some of the sculptures that are dotted around the grounds.

Finally a visit to the playground and the zip-slide where quite a few of the group had a go - some more successfully than others!

It was a great day out. Sadly it was the last for a while but the good news is that there will be more Wednesday walks and lots more photographs in 2016.

You can find information about the new gallery at http://www.houseforanartlover.co.uk/arts/facilities-workspaces/studio-pavilion

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The Turner Prize with Clare Hume

Members of our Aspire programme were invited to attend a Turner Prize exhibition workshop at Tramway. Commissioned by engage, and led by drama artist Clare Hume, we were taken around the show on a multi-sensory drama and storytelling experience.

We all enjoyed our personal tour of the Turner Prize exhibition and the inventive story Clare wrapped us up into on our way around. Her story centred around the exhibition and also the history of the Granby Four Streets, which is the focus of Assemble’s work in the show.

Clare was so much fun and her imaginative use of factual storytelling was both engaging and informative. Many thanks to Clare, engage and Tramway for inviting us along!

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Tuesday 1st December is #GivingTuesday. This new global day of giving back started in the USA as a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to encourage people to give back to charities and people in need. This year it is going global, and you can see #GivingTuesday all over social media.

Why not give back by making a donation towards our visual arts workshops? No amount is too small, and you would help make a difference to the 250 plus people who attend our different workshop programmes each week. In order to mark the day, Local Giving launched their #giveme5 campaign, where they will match every £5 donation! You can make a secure one-off or monthly donation via our Local Giving page, or donate your time by volunteering with us. You can also join us on Thursday 17 December for our Christmas fundraiser event, or pop by our gallery and buy some original art!

We would like to take this opportunity to send a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has given time and money to our organisation, all our funders, our volunteers, our artists, their friends and families. Project Ability wouldn't be what it is today without you!

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