Opportunity for a Visual Artist

Artists’ Brief and Development Opportunity – Room 13

We are looking for a visual artist to take up an exciting opportunity in Lochaber.

We have a nine month contract to offer an artist who will work with us to develop and deliver a series of workshops and creative engagements with community groups and local schools, including Lochaber High School. This work is part of Room 13’s delivery as a partner in the Highland Youth Arts Hub and the contract will be awarded to someone who is socially engaged, self motivated and who, ideally, has some experience of delivering innovative projects and working with the wider community, specifically young people.

The Highland Youth Arts Hub (HYAH) promotes cross-art-form working. Applications are welcome from artists who are comfortable working with a range of media, including digital software, photography, music and creative writing.

The aims of the role will be to –

  • Work with pupils and staff across different departments at Lochaber High School to promote engagement with, and understanding of, contemporary arts practice.
  • Identify, enthuse, mentor and involve a core of young people as collaborators in visual art projects.
  • Develop and deliver a series of workshops with community groups keen to work with Room 13.
  • Develop own practice through using studio and gallery space available.

Room 13 are one of twelve partner organisations that make up the Highland Youth Arts Hub (HYAH). The Highland Youth Arts Hub is one of nine such groups that have been set up across Scotland to deliver the National Youth Arts Strategy; ‘Time to Shine’, supported by Creative Scotland.

This opportunity includes the offer of accommodation, and the selected artist will be supported by the wider Room 13 International team based in Lochaber.

Download the full brief here for more information on this opportunity and details on how to apply.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Friday 28th of August 2015

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A Mosaic for Maddie

Room 13 Aragon have just completed a commission by their school to design, create and install a large mosaic in honour of Maddie Thompson, much loved and missed pupil of the school and Managing Director of Room 13, who died, last October aged just 10.

Maddie's Mosaic (2)  Maddie's Mosaic (3)

The whole school community got involved in the creation of the mosaic and the process is recorded in this short film, which like the mosaic itself is full of joy in celebration of the life of a young girl.


More about Maddie Thompson, and the legacy of her life and death in the community of Aragon Primary School in this piece written by Artist in Residence Louise Frewin in Room 13 studio network blog:


Room 13 Boston


Lead artist and facilitator Amy Raymond has been working with staff and students to establish a new Room 13 studio in Excel High School, South Boston, MA, USA. The team are currently working on a campaign of awareness and fundraising ahead of opening their studio in the fall.

Visit their website to find out more about their school, and their aspirations for the project. Support them by donating a tool or contributing to their crowdfunding campaign!



Room 13 Fingal ~ Ireland

We are pleased to share news of 2 new Room 13 studio start-ups in the Republic of Ireland, supported by Fingal County Council Arts Office.

Room 13~Scoil BhrídeCailíníNational School and Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School in Dublin 15 are the first Room 13 studios to open in the Republic of Ireland.

The studio doors were opened for the first time with great excitement in November 2014 with artists Orla Kelly and Anne Cradden. Each artist is working as artist-in-residence in their respective schools, invited by the students,schools and Fingal Arts Office.

By now, both studios are evolving organically and are informed by the students’ line of inquiry. The studios are open five days a week and currently have ages 6-12 sharing the facilities. However the 10-12 year age group are lead protagonists, taking responsibility for directing the studios’ evolution. The studios are in the early stages of development, but they have made a commendable difference in the lives of many already. The students are very proud of their art studios and would choose to work there all day given the choice!

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Some of the key people involved in these 2 new studios explain in their own words what Room 13 means to them:

Room 13~Scoil Bhríde Cailíní Students:

‘If you drop some paint on the floor it’s not a big deal, it’s easier to work when you’re not worried about being clean.’

‘I feel very lucky to have an artist in our school.’

‘The art studio is a freezone.’

‘We get to try different styles of art that we’ve never seen, tried or heard of before.’

‘Room 13 is different, it is a room for art and it’s messy.’

‘It’s not like a classroom.’

‘You get to use lots of art materials and you can work on any art project you want.

‘Sometimes it’s challenging, once I had to go and use the hot glue and Orla was there to rescue me!

Orla Kelly,Artist in Residence, Room 13~Scoil Bhríde Cailíní:

‘I am a contemporary artist working presently with painting and drawing. On a regular day I can have about 20 drop in visitors to my shared studio space in Scoil Bhríde Cailíní to see what I am working on, to chat about art, materials, constructing and engineering, or just to give a hug. It’s not a regular studio environment, as the average age of those I share with are 8-11 years old but it is a perfectly dynamic and rich one,  offering daily crits, posing meaningful aesthetic challenges, providing an enthusiastic and vocal audience for developing work.

The studio is almost always an ordered mess which is perfectly fine. After we visited Francis Bacon’s studio at The Hugh Lane Gallery on one of our cultural visits, we agreed that sometimes a certain amount of chaos is required for creating, although we didn’t want to reach his level just yet. When the young artists and I work together in the space we usually do so on the floor. It means we are all on the same level, investigating together. The conversations we share are a mixture of student –teacher technical inquiry, philosophical wonderings, aesthetic meanderings probing the nature of the arts and life. It is a generous and honest environment.’

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Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together NS Students:

‘Room 13 is not an ordinary place’

‘It’s a place in our school with an artist’

‘The studio is having an Art Mart…we will be making our own art…and selling it and use the money to buy more art stuff like paint, fabric, paper’

‘Room 13 is a place where you can express your feelings’

‘I think about art in a different way now’

Anne Cradden, Artist in Residence, Room 13~Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School

Room 13 has been a revelation for me. At the start, I thought that helping the students with their investigations and then doing my own work in sculpture and drawing would be two entirely separate strands of the same project. However, the fact that we work side by side has meant that an incredibly dynamic creative environment has developed, where I believe the students’ approach to art making, and my own, have evolved and changed at a fundamental level. We have been working with an emphasis on experimentation and process rather than on “the end result,” and I have been amazed not only by the work the students have produced but also the important and exciting issues that come up in the studio, such as the value of contemporary art, the intersection between art and science, and the meaning of beauty. However, Room 13 has also fundamentally changed how I produce my own work. On one level, being able to use the school building for temporary sculptural installations has been incredibly inspiring. More importantly, sharing the studio with the young artists has meant that constant consultation and discussion with them has become the norm for me, and now I find their input, their unique perspective, and their practical help invaluable.

Julie Clarke, Fingal Arts Office:

‘The children are more than capable of generating their own ideas in the studio; our role as the involved adults is to build the capacity of the children to explore, invent, experiment and realise their ideas. The studio is a hub of creative activity, where amazing conversations and creative exchange takes place on a daily basis. The senior students (5th&6th) are gaining an understanding in to my work in Fingal Arts Office and the important role played by organisations and individuals providing contexts within which art can be made, shared and received. For some students this is an exciting element of the studio programme, and for others the art making is more exciting. Wherever their interest lies, there is an important role for everyone who wants to be involved’.

Room 13 ~ Fingal is proudly supported by Fingal County Council Arts Office.

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Tall Tales of Mud & Mischief

Room 13 International has teamed up with Bright Productions to stage two exciting public events this summer, each leading to the creation of an intriguing temporary artwork in an urban setting.

Members of the public, young and old, will be invited to collaborate with lead artist Richard Bracken to construct ‘the best den ever’ while storytellers and performers will be on hand to capture public reaction to this activity, gathering stories and memories of mud and mischief, weaving new tall tales and generating much laughter and a few surprises along the way!

These events have been devised in response to a brief from Highland Play Improvement Group, aimed at engaging people in play and exploring the benefits of play, while challenging people’s views on play in public places.

The first event will take place in Cameron Square, Fort William, on Saturday 4th July 2015, 11am – 3pm. This will mark the start of a campaign to promote and encourage den building and unstructured play activities in communities Highland-wide throughout the summer, culminating with a principle event in Falcon Square, Inverness on Saturday 1st August.

Children and adults alike can participate all summer long by posting photos of their own den building exploits or sharing their childhood memories of mud and mischief to the online campaign using the tag #mudnmischief.

Cath King, Chair of The Highland Council Play Improvement Group (www.playhighland.co.uk) says:

‘These events offer an exciting opportunity to enable adults to remember what it felt like to be children involved in free play, away from adult supervision, allowing them to take appropriate risks and develop the skills needed for adulthood.’

Highland Play Improvement Group aims to implement the national and local Play Strategies and has the specific aim that 87% of children are actively involved in self-directed ‘free’ play with access to the outdoors daily by 2017 through improved societal:

  •  acceptance of appropriate risk taking
  • expectation of being outside in different weather conditions
  •  recognition of the importance of self-directed free play for children and young people of all ages


Room 13 International is being supported by Highland Council to deliver these events. Our key collaborators include Bright Productions (delivering theatre events, education and entertainment Highland-wide) and community partners such as Nevis Radio (a community radio station based in Fort William, broadcasting to the surrounding region of Lochaber and all parts of the Western Highlands), Dramafish Studios and Youth Highland who will help promote the campaign and gather stories of Mud & Mischief via social media and other local channels.