SCAN members welcome MSPs

All summer, SCAN members around Scotland have been welcoming MSPs to their organisations including galleries, studios, outdoor spaces, and even a car boot sale, as part of our #ArtUnlocks campaign.

On June 6, Morven Gregor and Sophie Crichton-Smith welcomed Jenni Minto MSP to Mount Stuart on Bute, where they showed her Abbas Akhavan’s stunning show Variations on A Folly, including a beautiful indoor sculpture with running water and real plants. Morven and Sophie explained the local and international reach which Mount Stuart achieves through its renowned residency programme, bringing globally acclaimed artists to the island. The programme also supports emerging artists.

On August 13, Siobhan Healy showed Jenni Minto around the glassmaking studio being built on the coastal Lunga Estate, south of Oban. Created using traditional methods such as rope and pulley, the studio will become a beacon for craft makers and artists across the Argyll region and beyond, helping to preserve traditional crafts. 

On the east coast, Banff-based printmaker Bryan Angus met up with Karen Adam, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, on August 12. He showed her the treasure trove of work in his studio, including beautiful artworks which depict the landscape and rich history of his local area. He also gave Ms Adam a sneak preview of a new public artwork for Banff town centre.

On August 4, Fife Contemporary’s Director Kate Grenyer showed Claire Baker MSP around the Trail of Thought art trail, created by artist Sebastian Chaloner, who has engraved poetic typographic phrases into fallen trees, stumps, and posts. On August 17, Tina Fiske and her team welcomed Oliver Mundell to CAMPLE LINE in Dumfries. He explored Saoirse Amira Anis’s current exhibition and heard from Young Assistant participants Matthew and Hanja how CAMPLE LINE employs local young people through the programme. 

The #ArtUnlocks campaign has been hitting the cities too. On June 25, Patricia Fleming, organiser of Glasgow’s annual Art Car Boot Sale, showed Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, how the event generates income for local and Scotland-based artists. The MSP got the chance to talk to artists Laura Aldridge and Kate V Robertson about their work and current public commissions.

In Aberdeen, Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, met with Nuno Sacramento and his team at Peacock Visual Arts on July 27. He learned about the studio’s vital work with the local community, including through its Boredom Boxes project. These activity packs are created with, and delivered to, young people and families facing vulnerabilities such as food insecurity. 

In Edinburgh, Ben Macpherson MSP, Minister for Social Security and Local Government caught up with Bethany Thompson and Johnny Gailey at Out of The Blueprint on 22nd August. They showed Ben round their eco friendly print workshop and told him more about the work that they do to provide employment and residency opportunities for young artists aged between 16-25. On 25th August, Foysol Choudhury MSP, the deputy spokesperson for the Labour Party on Culture visited Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in Newhaven and found out about the amazing work that they do with local primary schools, young people at risk of homelessness and  Sculpture Saturday workshops with families.

Our members have more visits planned. Armed with our trusty campaign logo, we’ll help them keep showing Scotland’s politicians how contemporary art can enrich communities and lives. We’re also encouraging you all to keep sharing the #ArtUnlocks hashtag if you have an artistic experience that really means something to you. 

Left-hand image: Claire Baker MSP (left) visits Fife Contemporary’s Trail of Thought with artist Sebastian Chaloner (centre) and Fife Contemporary Director Kate Grenyer.
Right-hand image: Kaukab Stewart MSP (left) visits the Art Car Boot Sale with Patricia Fleming.