Shop Item of the Week - Scott Smith’s Bird Key Chain

Our Shop Item of the Week comes straight out of our Pop Up Shop! These key chains are made of plywood which has been laser cut into the design of one of Project Ability's Aspire artists, Scott Smith's drawings. The little bird in the middle pops out to be made into another key chain or a magnet or anything you like really! Below is a picture of the Scott Smith's original bird....  At £4.50 these little guys won't be around for too long! Find them in our online shop or pop by our Pop Up Shop this Saturday 10-5 in the gallery to have a look in person. We also have several other items designed with Scott Smith's many different birds.



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Artwork of the Week -  ‘The Old Man of Storr’ by Margaret Booth

Artwork of the Week time again, and this week we bring you a classic Scottish treasure – the Skye landmark ‘The Old Man of Storr’ by the talented Margaret Booth. Margaret’s work is always of an exceptional quality; being able to capture the subject with stunning detail, while incorporating her own vibrant, painterly style.  The work is currently on show as part of our exhibition ‘Scotland, The Land Beneath Our Feet’ which is available to view all the way up until the 22nd of December in our gallery.  Not to be missed!

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Ceramic bowls by SooJa Massey

Some of our most popular shop items are these wonderful bowls decorated by artists from our Aspire programme. But did you know that it's ReConnect artist and brilliant ceramicist SooJa Massey who has made the models used to create the moulds we now use?

Last April, tutor Tracy Gorman showed SooJa how to use the pottery wheel, and since then, the artist has been producing a multitude of beautiful pots of all sizes. She donated three different sizes of bowls to be slip cast. We produced plaster forms from which we cast the earthenware bowls that the Aspire artists are now painting, glazing and decorating. "It's great to see the many different decorational artwork by other Project Ability artists."

You can find some of SooJa's original bowls as well as the cast ones decorated by Aspire artists in our shop and pop up shop! 

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Meet the volunteers: Samantha Harley

This week, please meet the lovely Samantha Harley, who has been a joyful addition to our Aspire workshops!

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
Undergraduate, Painting & Printmaking, Year 2. My practice mainly involves looking at everyday objects and rendering them in fun and new exciting ways. I mainly do a lot of screen printing, drawings and paintings.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Aspire, on a Thursday afternoon.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
My little brother has Down's Syndrome and autism, so I have always been involved with helping people with disabilities. Art therapy is something I’d be interested in doing when I have graduated.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Yes, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Project Ability, and I hope everyone else has enjoyed having me too! It’s been great getting to know everyone and starting to understand everyone’s situation and how they work.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt lots from volunteering here but especially about how to interact with everyone. I’ve found interesting to see all the different ways we have communicated with each other. I have also found volunteering here has influenced my own work.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I have been working closely with one of the Aspire artists called Peter. Peter has been working with clay and creates objects he likes, such as watering cans, to even cans of soft drinks! I find this really interesting as by just looking at what the objects are and how they are created, you can get a sense of who Peter is.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes! In fact one of my friends and classmate has been asking me when my volunteering ends so she can apply!

Any other comments?
I just want to thank everyone who is involved with Project Ability, because I think it’s a great organisation and I’ve had the best time volunteering here!

Thank you Samantha! If you are interested in volunteering with Project Ability, we are currently recruiting for January-March. Click here for more information. 

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Free art workshops for young people with Down’s syndrome

The World Down Syndrome Congress is coming to Glasgow in July 2018! To mark the occasion, Project Ability is offering groups for children and young people with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to get involved in visual art workshops leading to an exhibition in Trongate 103 in Glasgow.

Our professional art tutors will visit your group and tailor a workshop to your requirements. Whether you can accommodate 1 session or 4, talk to us and we can make it happen! Workshops can take place in our accessible studio in Trongate 103, or we can come to you.

Workshops must take place between January and May 2018. Art materials will be provided. There is no charge as the project has been generously supported by the Trefoil Foundation. Artwork will be professionally framed and exhibited in Trongate 103 and available as a digital download.

If you are interested to take part, please get in touch with Michael Richardson: // Tel: 0141 552 2822 (Thursdays & Fridays)

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Walking group - Week 24: The Briggait

On the 29th November the walking group headed to The Briggait. Now an arts venue, the Briggait was originally built in 1873 as Glasgow's fish market. Transformed with offices around the edges, the main space in the center of the building makes an excellent area to display art installations.

We went to meet with the artist who currently has work displayed there, Fiona Macintosh. Her exhibition,‘My home is your home, mi casa es su casa’, is a series of prints that accompany an amazing biography, ‘ROSA of the Wild Grass, The Story of a Nicaraguan Family’, about Rosa and her journey of over 30 years through adversity to keep her family and community strong.

The work covers a range of emotions as each picture is from a different time in the ladie's life, some depict extremely happy times with parties and loving family moments, others are often heartbreaking and poignant like a picture of a pregnant Rosa holding a gun to protect her unborn child.

Many of us were very moved when talking with Fiona and hearing her personal experiences of being lifelong friends with Rosa and her family. The exhibition is on until the 26th of January and artists from both the walking group and the ReConnect program will be producing work to be displayed in the later half of the exhibition so expect more news on this soon.
-Morag McGilchrist

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New Year, New Opportunities to Volunteer at Project Ability starting January 2018

We are welcoming applications from artists across all disciplines to offer volunteer support to:

- ‘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 (with the possibility of an 8 week extension).  Workshops take place 10am – 12noon and 1pm– 3pm, Monday to Thursday and 10 – 3pm on Friday.

- ‘Create’, Saturday workshops for children with disabilities.  There are opportunities from 10am 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 a further opportunity to volunteer with Art Matters, a designated studio time for young adults, from 4pm – 6pm. Successful applicants should be able to commit to 8 sessions, with the opportunity to extend their experience for another 8 sessions.  

- 'ReConnect' a programme which supports artists with lived experience of mental ill health.  ReConnect offers a safe and supported studio environment for people to develop their individual art practices. We would like to recruit visual artists who enjoy engaging with others; talking about art and contributing to the development of artistic practices. Our ReConnect programme runs 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.

‘It’s a wonderful way to get to know some very interesting, creative  people, and to play a part in what I would say is a vital space and  service for so many.’   
-Aspire Volunteer Mij Rothera   

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  Please note, only applications using our attached application form will be considered. Download the application form here

The deadline for all applications is Friday 5th January 2018.  The programme commences mid January.  Good Luck.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘A Musical Guide To Scotland’ by Michael Earll

Michael Earll's 'A Musical Guide to Scotland' is our Shop Item of the Week! The original drawing by Earll is in our current exhibition, Scotland: The Land Beneath Our Feet . The drawing measures 40x28cm and can be purchased for £65. If you would like a poster print of the artwork you can find one in our online shop! Priced at £10, the A4 sized laserjet print on card is a must have for any Scottish music lover. The artist has meticulously inscribed a countless number of Scottish bands into this small map, and the result is beautiful. We can provide different sizes of this print, but if you'd like an A4 print, you can visit our online shop nowPerfect Christmas present!


Below is a detail of the drawing:

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