Scotland has a huge tradition of art and artists from Pictish stone art found on 2000 year standing stones all over Scotland visitors stand and wonder about who carved them and what was their story. In there are over 280 notable Scottish artists born between 1700 - 2004 and new talented artists are being discovered all the time.
When we talk about artists we think of painters but artists cover painters to poets, actors to photographers, sculptures to video and the internet not forgetting music and song in English, Gaelic and Scots and of course fashion, were would we be without fashion.
The work of these artists can be found in galleries, museums, out on the street and during the summer months some villages such as Johnshaven on the east coast of Aberdeenshire have open houses and in the Fife fishing village of Crail artists can be found drawing and painting the beautiful setting of the village.
Throughout the year festivals will spring forth all over Scotland with all manner of work, one of the best place to see all this is in Edinburgh and the festivals held throughout the year.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, which in 2017 spanned 25 days and featured 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues and that was just 25 days during the year are live storytelling, music, fashion, comedy, acrobats, you name it you will find it and if not, why not give it a go yourself.
The International Festival will give you Cutting-edge playwrights, thought-provoking stories, world premieres, epic new productions and local perspectives on global themes; The International Festival theatre programme captivates and keeps you enthralled. Also With world-renowned contemporary dance companies, celebrated choreographers, visionary flamenco and galvanising hip-hop. The International Festival dance programme presents bold and critically acclaimed works, from some of the dance world’s most innovative creative forces. The epic opera programme features powerhouse opera companies in stunning productions of masterpieces from the masters of opera and concert performances by mighty orchestras and the finest soloists, as well as dance, talk and workshops. If you are planning to come to Edinburgh you will need to book your accommodation early or you will find that you’re out of look.
If you don’t fancy Edinburgh then Glasgow the home of the designer Rennie Mackintosh, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, designer, water
colourist and artist. His artistic approach had much in common with European Symbolism. His work, alongside that of his wife Margaret Macdonald, was influential on European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism. He was born in Glasgow and died in London. Mackintosh studied at the Glasgow School of Art is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s leading university-level institutions for the visual creative disciplines. Visit The Glasgow School of Art, the beating heart of Glasgow’s creative output for over 100 years.
In May 2014 fire damaged the west wing of the Mackintosh building meaning there is no visitor access to the interiors whilst restoration is underway. But there is still plenty for visitors to do and see at The Glasgow School of Art!
Join a daily Mackintosh at the GSA Tour with GSA's knowledgeable student guides to uncover the world famous furniture designs of Scotland's greatest architect and GSA's most revered alumnus, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Delve further into the life and times of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and decode the city's distinctive architectural styles on a Mackintosh's Glasgow Walking Tour with GSA’s talented student guides. Discover the unique history of this renowned institution since 1845 and investigate models, videos and artefacts from GSA’s archives in the Window on Mackintosh visitor centre.
Invest in new talent hailing from the School and pick up the perfect memento of your visit in the GSA Shop, where every purchase supports the School. View thought provoking curated contemporary exhibitions in the Reid Gallery, check out current events and make a date in your diary to attend GSA’s annual student degree shows. Find more about GSA here.
Glasgow School of Art is not the only facility to produce tomorrows artists and designers Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee has a world renowned reputation for high-class teaching and research also voted the best university for 2016 and 2017 D of J teaches the 11 disciplines and are also the only university in Scotland to offer a General Foundation entry course to nurture and develop a persons artistic skills. Like GSA they also have the end of year exhibition showing the range of talent that are starting their career.
Of course if Edinburgh is having an International Festival then Scotlands sister city has to have one and starting in 20th April – 7th May 2018 is the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. As one of the UK’s largest and most in uential art festivals, it showcases Glasgow as an important location for the production and display of contemporary visual art. After seven successful editions, it is a festival that has quickly established itself as a crucial juncture in the international art calendar. The aim is to showcase some of the best and most exciting work being made in Scotland and across the UK, but also to introduce powerful international work to audiences in Glasgow. Glasgow International 2018 will include a Director’s Programme, curated by Parry, as well as a wider programme of exhibitions and projects led by artists, curators and producers who live and work in the city.
Over 45 group shows and 35 solo exhibitions by Glasgow-based, UK, and international artists Over 190 artists to be featured across some ambitious projects. Over 130 Glasgow-based artists and with representation from at least 30 other countries, artists participating from Africa, Asia, Europe, South Pacific, South and North America. Diverse new venues used across the city for festival programming including Film City and Platform Swimming Pool, Easterhouse More Information can be found here
Dundee with its history of Jute, Jam and Journalism has now turned its over to become one of the greatest cities in Scotland if not the UK it was awarded UNESCO City of Design status in 2015 and planned opening in 2018 is the Victoria & Albert (V&A)Museum of Design it will be an international centre of design for Scotland - the first ever design museum to be built in the UK outside London. Renowned architect Kengo Kuma's first British building, V&A Dundee will showcase world-class touring exhibitions from the V&A – the only purpose built galleries in Scotland large enough to show these shows in their entirety. University of Dundee consistently producing some of the UK’s brightest artists, designers and innovators. Award-winning jeweller Jane Gowans and fashion designer Hayley Scanlan who both studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design have seen their designs worn by celebrities including Jessie J, Little Mix and Emeli Sandé.
The creative scene in Dundee is thriving. One of the highlights of Dundee’s creative calendar is the Art, Design & Architecture Degree Show, held at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design annually. For 10 days the Matthew and Crawford buildings at the University of Dundee transform themselves into one of the country’s biggest galleries showcasing the culmination of several years of creative development and hard work.
So you can see why Scotland continues to grow as the centre of art and design and why Scotlands visitors are hungry to see what is new and taking away with them impressions and ideas that they will use in their own lives whether its a piece of art hanging on the wall, sitting displayed in a corner or new ideas for budding or talented artists to try. But for what reason you have for visiting Scotland, you will always be welcome.
As festivals are announced information will be placed along with the dates in the events calendar.
(Information thanks to - Dundee Jordanstone College, GSA, Edinburgh International Festival)