Meet the Volunteers - Seamus Killick

For our first Meet The Volunteers feature this year, we are delighted to introduce you to the amazing Seamus Killick, who has been a brilliant addition to our Create team.

"Pretty much as soon as I walked into the ginormous studios at Project Ability, I felt at home. Amazing equipment, great light and most importantly all these fascinating works of art casually lying about the place. Spongebob and George Michael and bizarre swirling landscapes - all adding this ambience that made me excited to work alongside some very talented visionaries!

It's been too much fun hanging out with these kids and seeing their ideas come to life. It kind of reminds me why I got so into this art stuff back in school - it's a chance to share your private world with others. To become an explorer not only in your own imagination but to pick other peoples brains too. The to-and-fro of idle chit chat is wonderful brain food for me, especially the frankness of children which can be hilarious.

I like getting involved with an individual's idea and seeing how I can best help out with it depending on that person. Sometimes it might just be chatting about it or observing it and sometimes I might have to get stuck in with the clay. I like that at the beginning I felt like a kind of 'volunteer' person but then throughout the process I felt so relaxed that I just felt like another member of the class, with running jokes and nicknames and bouncing ideas of each other. Because I'm there for pretty much the same reason as they are. We all had many over lapping influences like Disney, Pokemon and Star Wars.

It's not been without its challenges! Creating stuff can be a frustrating thing when it doesn't go the way you intended it and sometimes we might just not feel like it. Just got to roll with the punches! I like embracing mistakes and I want to convince kids that accidents can be the best things in the making process.

Project Ability - its been fab. I leave with a head full of ideas and some fond memories of these wee guys!"

Thank you Seamus!

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We are looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator

Project Ability is looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator to manage an outstanding programme of visual art activities and exhibition for children and young people with disabilities. The programme takes place in Project Ability’s studio in Trongate 103 in the centre of Glasgow and various off-site locations.

This is a freelance contract to cover a period of maternity leave. The fee is £7,200, 80 days over a period of 12 months.

Send completed application and your C.V to the Operations Manager at operations@project-ability.co.uk or Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
Closing date: 15th May.  Interviews 23rd May.

Key duties and responsibility

  • To work closely with the Artistic Director, staff team and artist tutors to plan and deliver a programme of workshops, exhibitions and events to support children and young people with disabilities to engage with contemporary visual art.
  • To sustain existing and develop new partnerships with other key agencies – schools, community organisations and special interest groups to develop, coordinate and deliver an ambitious and high quality visual arts workshop and learning programme.
  • To work with young people with disabilities to develop a programme of activities which support their creative learning and ambition.
  • To supervise art tutors responsible for project delivery.
  • To liaise with key stakeholders and funders.
  • To effectively evaluate the programme against planned outcomes and to produce written reports as required.

Experience, knowledge and understanding

  • Excellent track record of arts project administration.
  • Ability to demonstrate a minimum of three years relevant work experience.
  • Educated to degree or higher qualification in an arts related subject.
  • Understanding the needs of children and young people.
  • Understanding the special conditions required to give children and young people with additional support needs inclusive access to visual art.
  • Experience of project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience of report writing.

Person specification

  • Well organised with the ability to plan and deliver activities on time and within budget.
  • Confident and articulate.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a small team.

Documents to download

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Meet the Volunteers - Roisin Cairney

Roisin Cairney has been a great addition to our Saturday Create workshop team working with children and young people. Here is what she had to say about her time volunteering with Project Ability.

“I was drawn to Project Ability through regularly attending the exhibitions. The work that the students were making was exciting with an energy to them and each artist has their own well-developed style. I wanted to be part of this and in doing so gain experience in helping people to develop their art.

When I first started, I was very nervous and didn’t know where to begin but the staff and the children were very helpful in showing me the ropes. I found that when I relaxed and just got stuck in I learned very quickly about each child and their process. Each child is completely different and it's exciting to see the different ways of working and helping to develop their individual methods.

The kids are very intuitive but they are also perfectionists and take great pride in making the best work possible which has taught me a lot in my own practice, by taking this step back: watching and teaching the children has given me more patience within my own process.

It has been a great experience working with the staff, the kids and other volunteers and I've learned lots from my time here. I hope to continue to work with others when I complete my studies.”

Thank you Roisin

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Meet the Volunteers - Short Film Series: Scott Lang

Today we share the last of our excellent short films offering an insight into volunteering with the organisation. This week we hear from Scott Lang.
Scott began his involvement with Project Ability through attending classes and cites this as his way back into creating artworks after a break. He then volunteered with us, before undertaking a ReSearch Residency.
The ReSearch Residency programme offers an artist a studio within our workshops for a month, where they can work alongside Project Ability artists to create new works.Scott talks about the inspiration behind his artwork and how the opportunity of having a studio space has allowed his work to develop.
If you are interested in joining our volunteer programme we are currently calling for applications for volunteers in 2017. Click here for all the details. Deadline Friday 6 January 2017.

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Meet the Volunteers - Short Film Series: Saula Zuk

This week as part of our Short Film Series we are introducing volunteer Saula Zuk. Saula worked with some of the children and young people on our Saturday Create Visual Art Classes. She reflects on the importance of art as a therapy and how art can help with wellbeing. Watch her film and find out more.
If you found Saula's story inspiring, why not join our volunteer programme? We are currently calling for applications. Click here for all the details. Deadline Friday 6 January 2017.

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Meet the Volunteers - Short Film Series: Isabella Bunnel

As part of our Meet the Volunteers Short Film Series we are sharing a film about volunteer Isabella Bunnel's experience of working with us. Isabella volunteered with our ReConnect our visual arts programme for adults with mental ill health. Isabella is a freelance illustrator and reflects on what she's been able to offer the artist's that she's worked with, but also what she has learned through the experience of working with them.

Watch the film and find out more. If you are interested in joining our volunteer programme, we are currently calling for applications. Click here for all the details. Deadline Friday 6 January 2017.

You can see all the films that are part of this series by clicking here.

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Meet the Volunteers – Katie Weir

The fantastic Katie Weir has been a part of our Saturday Create workshops working with children and young people. She’s been a great member of the team and we’ll be sad to see her go.
Hear what she has to say about her time volunteering with us;

“Volunteering within the Create Visual Arts programme at Project Ability has been an incredible experience and I feel so honoured to have been given the opportunity. I am a Sculpture and Environmental Art Student currently in my 2nd year at The Glasgow School of Art where I love to experiment in the studio with different materials creating textural and sensory stimulated environments for people to interact with.

The Create Saturday Visual Art Class is a wonderful creative environment offering the children a chance to experiment and play with new materials and make new friends. Every week I can’t wait for another Saturday in the studio to see the children gain so much enjoyment and hearing all their funny stories, they never fail to make me laugh!

Working with children has been a really rewarding experience that has enabled me to build a rapport with each individual and to help them to develop their skills through a process that works for them. I find it really admiral and refreshing to see how carefree and playful they are when they create and the act of decision making that goes with it. They are so confident and trusting in their instincts when making and it is so lovely to see.


This has been a truly wonderful experience and I will be sad when it comes to an end! The children have been a delight to meet and work with and have inspired me to want to pursue a career in working with children in the future. Thank you!”

Thank you Katie!

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Meet the Volunteers - Short Film Series: Florence Dwyer

We have another short film to share from one of the volunteers who has been working with us. This week we hear from Florence Dywer, who was one of our ReSearch residents. This programme offers an artist a studio within our workshops for a month, where they can work alongside Project Ability artists to create new works.
Watch the film and find out about Florence's experiences.

Florence also volunteered our Art Matters team and you can read about her experience of working with them here

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Meet the Volunteers - Maya Kincaid

This week we are delighted to introduce Maya Kincaid, who has been volunteering with the Create programme. Maya has been a fantastic addition to our Saturday workshops team and shares some of her reflections with us here.

"I had heard about Project Ability’s fantastic work so much within my research and was really excited to finally get the opportunity to volunteer with them!
Within my own practice, I collaborate with children one to one and in small group settings. I am a strong believer in encouraging the natural creativity of young people and in directing / controlling their making as little as possible. I believe that children and young people are some of the most inspiring artists and consider their work to be more relevant an inspiration to me than many historical and contemporary established artists.
I have been part of the Create workshops on a Saturday afternoon and I think I have learnt so much more from the young artists than they have from me. It is an enriching experience to watch such a vast variation of free expression and to see how beneficial creativity can be as part of healthy communication. Not only am I in awe of the work produced but it is also an amazing social experience to sit and talk to so many individuals that I wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to meet in other settings. I have had some really great conversations with the artists and learnt about a lot of specialist things such as the prop making industry, international animation and traditional motor-cars, which are things I knew nothing about before starting this position.

I am in my final year of study in Sculpture and Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art and having a participatory practice that focuses on children and young people can make it difficult to find direct artists research. I feel like working with the Create groups has been far more insightful creatively for me and I learn so much when working directly with artists and watching their artistic visions unfold. I think that watching the range of uninhibited making alongside meticulous attention to detail and accuracy, I have learnt the merit that both approaches have when making work and I definitely reference these observations when working with children within my own practice. There is nothing more exciting to me about this world of participation than the joy of sharing communication with insightful individuals whilst simultaneously creating exciting visual art. What Project Ability provides for the community is so essential and I have loved being a part of that."

Thank you Maya
 

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Meet the Volunteers - Short Film Series

Project Ability runs a dynamic volunteer programme offering opportunities for artists to engage with both our organisation and the participants who attend.  The programme has developed vastly over the years from its humble beginnings, offering opportunities to five graduate visual artists at any one time, to now over 20 artists, from a spectrum of stages in their career; spanning those still undergoing their training at art school, to those who already have significant experience as practicing professional artists.  

This series of short films showcase some of our volunteers and their unique time with us.

To view all seven films you can visit our You Tube page here

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Meet the Volunteers – Short Film Series: Lucy Payne

This week we’ve got another film to share with you, the third in our series of films celebrating the excellent work our volunteers do with the organisation. Today with hear from Lucy Payne who worked with our Aspire group.
Lucy reflects on her time with us and how the experience enabled her to work one on one with a diverse group. Whilst our volunteers put a huge amount into the organisation and the people they work with, it’s clear from Lucy’s film that she’s finding inspiration in our studios and sharing in the creativity of the people she’s working with.
Lucy is back working with us again on a new illustration project for an exhibition in 2017. So keep your eye out for more details coming soon.
 

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Meet the Volunteers – Short Film Series: Sarah-Kate Goodwin

This week we share with you the second in our series of volunteer films that have been made capturing the excellent work our volunteers do with the organisation. Today with hear from Sarah-Kate Goodwin who worked with our Create team.

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Meet the Volunteers – Short Film Series: Jonathan Kirkwood

Since August 2010, the Volunteer Programme has steadily grown both in the scale and scope of opportunities for volunteering with Project Ability and in popularity amongst the artist community of Glasgow.  The programme has developed vastly over the years from its humble beginnings, offering opportunities to five graduate visual artists at any one time, to now over 20 artists, from a spectrum of stages in their career; spanning those still undergoing their training at art school, to those who already have significant experience as practicing professional artists. 
We have seen the volunteering roles evolve from an experience based opportunity for those who have never worked in the field of art and disability, to more sophisticated opportunities giving a chance for more confident artists to share their skills by designing and delivering workshops to our participants, with support from our Volunteers Co-ordinator and our experienced workshop tutors. 
In addition to our volunteering roles, several successful residency programmes have run throughout the duration of the volunteering programme. Over the years, a wide variety of residency opportunities have enhanced the volunteering programme, each offering a different kind of experience for artists to engage with both our organisation and the participants who attend. 
At the heart of our programme, are the volunteers themselves, each of whom have brought something new to the process.  We will be sharing seven short films over the coming weeks that showcase some of our volunteers and their unique time with us.
First we hear from Jonathan Kirkwood who volunteered with our Aspire group on a Friday.
You can also read Jonathan’s blog post here to find out more about his time with us
 

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Meet the Volunteers - Clara Mullen

We've got another great volunteer to introduce this week - Clara Mullen.

Clara has been working with our Create Saturday Visual Arts Classes, and has been a fantastic addition to the team.

"Hearing about Project Ability through a friend I was eager to learn more about the organisation and become involved. I am currently in my final year of Textile design at the Glasgow School of Art and, alongside this, volunteer as part of the Saturday Create workshop. This is part of my week that allows me to work with a group of enthusiastic people and participate with them in a free exchange of artistic skills.

The Project Ability studio is an incredible place where the young participating artists have access to a wide range of exciting materials including ceramics and glassworks. The staff have created an open space that is centred around individuality and independence. Exploration is really encouraged and participants are able to choose what they wish to do, whether that’s something different every week or a single project that they continue to work on over a month or so. It has been great to see the artist’s model with clay, produce beautiful large scale drawing and create vibrant silk paintings among many more!

There is such a variety of making and it has been inspiring to see everyone’s particular style develop along with the work they produce.  Having struggled to find my own individual working process it has been great to see everyone work in this unselfconscious way. Each Saturday is a welcome addition to my art school week that in turn has influenced my own thought patterns and practice. It has been rewarding to share my own knowledge whilst also continuing to learn from both the other artists and tutors alike."

Clara Mullen

Thanks Clara!

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Meet the Volunteers - Andro Grdinic

This week, please meet another of our fantastic volunteers: Andro Grdinic, who has been an invaluable addition to our Create workshops.

'I chose to volunteer at Project Ability as a part of my specialisation at the teaching course which was a lot about inclusion and 'thinking outside of the box'. When we were given the option to do anything we wanted I immediately thought of Project Abilitiy's exhibitions, where all great artworks weren't labelled with different diagnosis. I actually couldn't tell if those artworks were just any children's art or not. Visual arts are definitely a field were disabled children can express themselves equally and Create workshops definitely prove that. 

Very soon I understood that these kids communicate constantly and it was just a matter of understanding them. Tutors, parents and other volunteers helped me a lot by demonstrating various ways to achieve this and so immediately involved me as well.
There is a great mixture of children in groups and not all of them necessarily have the same type of disability, but when we're working with them these differences just disappear.

I've learned a lot from children in the workshops, probably much more than I taught them and it was a great experience for understanding myself as well.  I'm hoping to be able to apply my experiences in the mainstream schools where children quite often end up a bit excluded.'

​Thanks Andro
 

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Meet the Volunteers - Jonathan Kirkwood

In this week's 'Meet the Volunteers', we are delighted to introduce Jonathan Kirkwood. Jonathan has been volunteering with Project Ability's Friday Aspire group, where he has been a brilliant addition to the group. 

 

"Having previous experience volunteering with social groups and currently studying at GSA, applying to volunteer at Project Ability seemed like an obvious decision to make.  When I understood that the opportunity to come and not only volunteer with Project Ability but also meet all the amazing and colourful characters involved along the way, I jumped at the chance. I haven't looked back since and find myself leaving the Aspire group at 3pm on a Friday looking forward to the following week.

Throughout my time studying I have been interested in the processes of the brain. Having an older brother with autism and a dad who is colour blind, I have always had a keen interest in how individuals process and perceive the world that surrounds them. Creating a platform for dialogues and discussions that revolve around personal and collective experience is central to the work that I produce, no matter what the subject matter. I have always enjoyed working with people with additional support needs, I know just how important social groups and organisations such as Project Ability are, not only to those who attend but also their families and in the case of Project Ability, the art community within Glasgow. Without Project Ability so many brilliant works of art and friendships may never have been given the opportunity to come to fruition.

The energy and buzz around the studio really gives you a lift, with so many ideas being generated all at once within Project Ability's space that it sometimes seems impossible to keep up with everyone. I've found this enthusiasm and love for producing works of art has really pushed me to challenge my own practice and motivation. Not only have I seen an improvement in the way I approach work but it has also reinforced my commitment in pursuing a career in art therapy. I sometimes feel like I could simply sit back and listen to all the beautiful little snippets of conversation that occur whilst being at Project ability on a Friday. I've found myself smiling and laughing the majority of the time, simply getting to know everyone has been a massive privilege and to be there and experience first hand so many fantastic artists at work has been invaluable.

From the get go I have been welcomed and felt at home within the Aspire group. With many of the skills and materials being used to create being completely new to myself, I found the first block of workshops as being a huge learning curve, quickly picking up new techniques and ways of making marks. The patience and time that has been given to me to learn and process these new skills as been amazing, and that’s not only been from the tutors! Already in the new block of classes I have learnt so much. This has really helped to improve my knowledge and understanding of not only my own practice but others too. The overall experience has been refreshing and an absolute pleasure, and one I will always be grateful for being given."

Thank you very much, Jonathan!

Project Ability currently have new volunteer opportunities, beginning August 2016, for practicing visual artists at any stage of their career. The deadline for applications is 22 July 2016. Find out more here.

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New volunteering opportunities at Project Ability

Are you a practicing visual artist at any stage of your career looking for an exciting and new experience?  If so, Project Ability needs YOU.

We are delighted to be able to offer exciting opportunities, across all of our workshop programmes, for both graduate and undergraduate artists to get involved with our visual artists. Our increasingly popular volunteering opportunities won’t only give you invaluable experience, teaching in the specialist area of art and disability, but will also challenge your own practices and introduce you to fresh new approaches to art making.

We are now open to accept applications to our volunteering programme, details of our available roles and how to apply can be found here

Deadline for applications is Friday 22 July 2016.  All enquiries to volunteer@project-ability.co.uk

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Meet the Volunteers - Kate Timney

This week, we are pleased to introduce Kate Timney, another of our brilliant volunteers. Kate has been volunteering with Project Ability's Thursday Night Social workshops since February, and has been a really fantastic member of the team.

"I have been working as a freelance illustrator and artist since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2014. Driven by my interest in art education, I began volunteering in the new Thursday Night Social group. I have been there for around four months and am really enjoying my time there spent supporting the artists.

The studios at Project Ability are absolutely incredible - there are facilities for printmaking, ceramics, glass, textiles, painting, model-making, drawing… The standard of equipment, materials and the work produced is extremely high. I had used the Glasgow Print Studio workshop on the floor below on many occasions and was so excited to discover this fantastic hive of activity above it!

Working with the artists has been such an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, during which I have gained insight into many diverse approaches to creative practice. It has been inspiring to see the variety of working styles in the studio - some bold and urgent, others delicate and meticulous - and the broad range of exciting work that is being produced.

The artists have been invariably welcoming and open in sharing their practices with me, and the opportunity to work with them has had a real motivating impact on my own work. The enthusiasm for making art in the Project Ability studio has re-invigorated my approach to creative work.

Through Project Ability I have broadened my understanding of education in the arts and it has also been loads of fun!"

Thank you very much, Kate!

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Volunteers Week 2016

1-12 June 2016 is Volunteers Week

Now in it's 5th year, the volunteering programme at Project Ability has gone from strength to strength. Over the years, the programme has attracted a variety of artists at all stages of their careers; undergraduate students, post graduate students and established practicing artists, looking for a new experience and to learn from the artists, young and older, that we support. Our opportunities to volunteer have spanned across all three of our programmes giving artists the chance to experience collaborating with people with learning disability, people with lived experience of mental ill health and children with disabilities.

With this variety has come a wealth of talented artists, each contributing to our programme in their own unique and immensely valuable way, learning and sharing approaches to working with both our participants and workshop tutors.

The volunteers input has no doubt enhanced the service we already provide, introducing a new and different energy to the workshops and making for a truly inclusive working studio environment. One where artists from many different life experiences share and find common ground, developing their practices together to make richer and more meaningful art.

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, both past and present!

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Meet the Volunteers - Lara Edgar

With this week's 'Meet the Volunteers', we are delighted to introduce Lara Edgar, who has been volunteering with the Create programme. Lara has been a fantastic addition to our Saturday workshops team.

"After noticing on opportunities.creativescotland.com that Project Ability were looking for volunteers I decided to apply. I have always expressed interests in working with children, young people and/or adults who have additional support needs and I had heard of Project Ability in the past. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain some first-hand experience working with people.

It has been a pleasure so far to volunteer with Project Ability. I work with young people in the ‘Create’ programme on a Saturday and find it great to see how enthusiastic they are about making work. The staff are fantastic to work alongside who offer advice and help when needed. Overall I find the organisation very relevant and necessary after seeing for myself what the young people get out of it. It is such a rewarding experience and I hope I have had the same positive impact on the young people at Project Ability as they have had on me!"

Thank you very much Lara!

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Meet the Volunteers - Simon Worthington

This week, we are very pleased to introduce Simon Worthington, another of our fantastic volunteers! Simon has been a great addition to our ReConnect workshops.

"I was attracted to Project Ability by the consistently exciting gallery programme and shop. On my first visit to the studios I was overwhelmed by the creative and supportive atmosphere.

Volunteering at Project Ability has given me the opportunity to spend time in the studios and, using art as common ground, connect with people I might have otherwise never met.
Being out of education for a few years it is really good to be back in a communal creative environment, the level of insight into other artists' practices is really valuable and I often find myself thinking 'I can't wait to try that when I get home.' As a shared working space, Project ability couldn't get much better. There is a sense that it is a place where many people come throughout the week and invest a lot of their creative and social energy, which contributes to an uplifting atmosphere.

Another thing that's striking about Project Ability is the range of materials and facilities available, this ethos of quality and professionalism is really impressive and must contribute towards the atmosphere of pride felt by probably everyone involved. In the studios seemingly anything is possible.

I chose to work with a ReConnect group and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I very quickly felt at ease in the group and very welcome in the whole at Project Ability. The open plan nature of the space means you can't go anywhere without a few smiles and 'hello's.

There is no visible structure to the classes which means you don't assume a predetermined role. Whilst this might seem daunting initially, it allows everyone to be themselves and work with autonomy. Most of my time is spent chatting to the artists about this or that. I can't offer much technical advice but enjoy talking about what work people find inspiring and why they think they're drawn to making art. It's great to see the same faces each week and watch their projects develop.
Celine, the tutor in our group is a master of facilitating a comfortable and informal environment- the importance of this over anything else is what I will take away from the experience."

Thank you very much, Simon!

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Meet the Volunteers - Jyni Ong

This week, please meet another of our fantastic volunteers: Jyni Ong, who has been an invaluable addition to our Create workshops.

"I was recommended to volunteer at Project Ability by a friend as an inspiring insight into Glasgow's Art community and a refreshing break from being an art student at GSA.

I have found it incredibly inspiring and have realised many things about my personal working process by working with Create participants. Their enthusiasm and love for creating art is wonderfully infectious and has inspired in me a resurged appreciation for making through materials. I love their spontaneity and energy to follow their ideas and their eagerness to explore new mediums. I have learnt a lot from them, particularly in their lightheartedness and enjoyment in their activities which I often miss in my own work in the attempts for perfection.

Seeing how unself-conscious and confident many of the participants are in their work is great to see and has taught me a lot about how I wish to view my own work. Also, witnessing the progression in their work over the weeks is incredibly fulfilling and how their ideas have manifested and developed in the things they have made, which are often of a really high standard. The tutors are also lovely and incredibly patient and generous with their time and knowledge attributed to each participant. Overall there is an immensely special feeling of community and welcoming support to all in Create. Most of all, I have learnt to try and enjoy myself as much as possible in my work like how all the participants do and I thank them and all the tutors for giving me these realisations and greatly inspiring me."

Thanks Jyni!

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Meet the Volunteers - Katrina McCann

The sun is shining, our studios are once again buzzing with creativity after the Easter break, and our volunteers are back for another block of workshops! This week, we are delighted to introduce you to the fantastic Katrina McCann, who came to Project Ability via a student placement and has been volunteering in our Create and Aspire workshops.

"I have loved my time at Project Ability and found it to be one of the most welcoming and friendly organisations that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I worked with both ‘Create’, on a Saturday and ‘Aspire’ on a Monday Morning and although both classes had extremely different environments, what remained the same was the unique, amazing standard of art and a warm welcoming attitude.

I was introduced to Project Ability through my placement at university where I study psychology, and felt my placement reached a personal level, as I have grown extremely fond to the people attending Project Ability, as well as the tutors and other volunteers. I have been inspired by the people who attend Project Ability and their fearless attitudes when approaching large scale pieces, along with their individuality which has created quirky and fun projects I could only imagine of doing.

I hope to do a post grad in art therapy at the end of my psychology course, and have found this experience to be both fitting to my degree and instrumental in learning the amazing effect art can have on people, outwith the workshop. Project Ability not only offers the development of skills, but also the chance to socialise and connect with a range of amazing people, which generates a positive energy that is contagious to everyone who attends.  You are offered the experience to not only assist the development of artistic ability, but also to see a person grow in confidence, and light up every time they enter the studio.
I would encourage anyone looking for a volunteering position to consider Project Ability, as the experience has been invaluable, and I would love to have the opportunity to return in the future."

Many thanks Katrina!

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Meet the Volunteers - Florence Dwyer

Another week, another 'Meet the Volunteers'! As usual, we are more than pleased to introduce you to one of our amazing volunteers - this time, the brilliant Florence Dwyer, who has been both part of our Art Matters team and also undertook a ReSearch Residency.

'I've had a great time volunteering at Project Ability so far. Helping out in Art Matters on a Saturday afternoon, I was welcomed by a group of people, each unique and united in their dedication and enthusiasm towards their art. I straight away picked up on such a calm and relaxed atmosphere, and it was noticeable how everyone felt so comfortable in this environment. I was quickly integrated into this feeling and soon started to have good conversations with people about what they were working on.

The work that is created in these sessions is full of energy. I feel so lucky to have had an insight into this and have been amazed at how quickly people produce incredible things. People seem fearless of scale, making decisions impulsively allowing them to express themselves in non-restricting ways.
I've learnt from how the tutors work alongside everyone in a way that allows people autonomy, freedom to paint/ draw/ sculpt, and feels completely non-hierarchical. Both tutors provided such good energy and enthusiasm to the space which created such a trusting environment.

The positive energy and focus generated in these sessions is definitely something that's contagious. I feel uplifted leaving the project ability studios at the end of the workshop which is something that's had a good impact on my own work. My practice as an artist is predominantly sculptural, it mainly involves ceramics, casting, drawing and photography. I am interested in autonomy in spatial environments, and how physical infrastructures and furniture/objects can effect this. My time at project ability has definitely given me a lot to think about in relation to this and has also made me feel a lot less precious about the way I make work.

I would love to continue my experience in working in this kind of environment and am excited about starting the next block of workshops with everybody.'
-Florence Dwyer

Many thanks Florence!
 

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Meet the Volunteers - Lucy Payne

We love reading about how volunteering with us impacts our volunteers' practice and outlook! This week, please read about the amazing Lucy Payne, who has been a great addition to our Aspire team.

"I am currently in my final year at The Glasgow School of Art, specialising in Illustration on the Communication Design course. I enjoy working across a range of mediums including ceramics, printmaking, animation and drawing. I am very much interested in the process of making not just the final outcome and seeing the work of those in my Aspire class has confirmed the importance of the process of making for me. Prior to this I had never worked in any sort of workshop context but had always wished to. After art school I hope to continue working with others in the realm of community art.

I volunteer on the Tuesday morning Aspire classes. It was amazing to see the range of materials on offer such as ceramics, printmaking, painting, glass, knit and batik. Members of the class could choose from week to week what they wished to create, this range of materials and resources allowed for their ideas to be fluidly translated through different mediums. It was also refreshing to see the speed at which people worked, being free to create as much as they desired in our 2 hour slot. On the other hand it was great to see the patience and determination of others involved in long, painstaking projects, of which you could really get under the skin of. It has also been great getting to know the different personalities of the class, all of which welcomed me wholeheartedly on the first week, casting aside any feelings of nervousness I may have had. Some of the artists I worked with more closely which allowed me to get to know what makes them tick and why they are drawn to their chosen subject matter. We also made great use on Project Ability’s library, using their wide range of artist and general interest books to draw reference from.

The workshop tutors were particularly helpful in showing me the ropes. Their love of the job is evident and they create a relaxed, trusting environment to work in. They gave me lots of advice when working with certain methods and materials which has broadened my knowledge and practice. Everyone I have met who works at Project Ability has been open and kind and I love the studio atmosphere where everyone you pass says hello. The studios are wonderful to work in due to their huge windows and the open plan nature of the space, allowing you to mingle with different people. Volunteering alongside my university work has been great for me as it creates a break in routine and allows me to see how other artists work, drawing influence from them.

Volunteering here has introduced me to working with artists in a supportive capacity, which I have found completely engaging and fulfilling. The artists in my class have definitely influenced my own practice, inspiring me to be less precious about the work I make. It also has confirmed for me the cathartic nature of making and creating and showed me the level of engagement making art can bring. Project Ability has provided me with a wealth of experience of working with others, equipping me with the skills I will need when finishing university. I am greatly looking forward to seeing all the faces I have gotten to know in the next block of classes.

Thanks for this great experience!"
Lucy Payne

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Meet the Volunteers - Sarah-Kate Goodwin

The first block of workshops this year is almost over, and our volunteers have been settling in brilliantly! They will all be back for the next block, and we're delighted to share their experience with you via this blog. For this year's first Meet the Volunteers, let us introduce you to Sarah-Kate Goodwin, who has been a fantastic addition to our Create team.

"With an education in the fine Arts and an interest in the relationship between human interaction and creative exploration I was very excited to be given the opportunity to volunteer with Project Ability. Feeling a bit nervous about how helpful I could be I was quickly put at ease by the children and young adults taking part in the Create workshops.

From sharing my own passion, skills and experience of art practices I have been rewarded with much more than I could have hoped for. Every week I learn something new from the experienced tutors and the many talented artists within the group. The enthusiasm and creativity present in the workshops are invigorating and not long after I had walked through the door did I find myself feeling like part of the furniture.  I have met so many interesting, unique and talented individuals who continue to inspire me every week and encourage me to experiment, play and explore my own art practice more honestly and freely.

Project Ability is a safe haven and a creative hub which provides a glorious space for individuals to come together and express themselves through many art resources.
I will be sad when my time comes to an end but it will always remain as one of my greatest experiences and I hope to continue working in this field in the future.

Thank you to everyone involved, I am having so much fun,

Sarah-Kate"

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Launch of the ReSearch Residency programme

At the end of 2015, we advertised for a new opportunity for Glasgow-based artists: our ReSearch Residency programme, and are now delighted to announce that we have picked seven talented artists for the first half of 2016.

Artists in residence 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. 

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

The first artist in residence, Joanna Peace, started on February 1st. Each artist will document their work and their experience in our studios via a newly launched instagram account: @PA_Research_Residency.

The following artists taking part in the residency programme will be:

Jen Bradley - March
David Roeder - April
Florence Dwyer - May
Scott Lang - May
Shireen Taylor - June
Ailsa Sutcliffe - July

We very much look forward to seeing what these residencies will produce! We will be advertising for the next series of residencies in the summer.

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Board Members Wanted

Project Ability is a leading visual arts charity which has developed and delivers an innovative workshop and studio practice for children and young people with disabilities, adults with learning disabilities and adults with lived experience of mental illness.  Our year round exhibition programme showcases the participants’ artistic practice and the work of key contemporary national and international disabled artists. 

Over three hundred people each week attend our workshop programme.  We are open six days a week, forty weeks a year.  Our studio and gallery provide 1500 square meters of accessible, first rate facilities for a range of visual arts media and processes.

Project Ability is supported by Creative Scotland as part of their Regular Funding portfolio.  Project Ability’s reach to diverse communities across Glasgow and the surrounding areas and its ambitious artistic programming makes it an important resource in the contemporary visual arts community.

Please download the attached Board Members role description and send your application form back by the 19 February 2016 to submissions@project-ability.co.uk.

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Volunteer and Research Opportunities at Project Ability

Want to volunteer with us? The new block of workshops will start soon and we are looking for volunteers for our fifferent visual arts workshops. You can read more about it here.

We also have a series of month-long Research Residencies, starting in February, and open to artists based in or around Glasgow. Click here for more info.

The deadline for applications is Monday 11 January.

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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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