Category Archives: Room 13 Caol

Room 13 is 21!

On 30th April 2015, we will be celebrating 21 years since the children of Caol Primary School founded their own art studio. Since 1994, successive groups of young people have kept the studio running without ever falling behind with their class work. Working with 4 different adult Artists in Residence over 21 years, generations of children at Caol Primary School have achieved truly remarkable things.

They have mounted exhibitions in Tate Modern, The National Galleries of Scotland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. They have commandeered a global company’s corporate social responsibility programme with an ambitious plan to bring creativity to under privileged children throughout the world. They have raised funds to travel the world, and to employ adults to run a global operation on their behalf. They have taken thousands of photographs, sent millions of e-mails, hosted hundreds of visitors. They have even, on occasion, found time to clean the studio sink.


Out of this first Room 13, our worldwide network of studios has grown. The charity, Room 13 International was set up to support a worldwide community of art studios run and managed by the people that use them. Room 13 studios now exist in a range of school and community settings across Scotland and throughout the world.

Celebrating Room 13’s 21st Birthday, we will be joined by members of the current Room 13 studio management team, along with members of the Caol Primary School community, and hopefully some familiar faces from years gone by.

Room 13 21st Birthday Celebration 3 – 6pm Thursday 30th April 2015

Hosted by Room 13 International, Unit 1, Glenloy Street, Caol, Fort William, Scotland, PH33 7DR

Creative Place Awards Nominee 2015

Room 13 International is delighted to announce that we are leading the team which has seen Fort William shortlisted for the Creative Place Awards 2015, funded by Creative Scotland.

Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards have been awarded to smaller communities across Scotland, outside of the main cities, to enable them to enhance and promote the creative activities and programmes in their area. The awards recognise the communities’ ambitions in using the arts for the benefit of both local residents and visitors to their area.

‘Being nominated for the Creative Places award offers a wonderful opportunity for communities in Fort William and the surrounding area to celebrate our environment, mountain culture and native woodland through the planting of trees and the installation of innovative sculptures.’

Richard Bracken, Artist in Residence, Room 13 Caol

Working with the Fort William community, we plan to use the Creative Places award to create a series of interwoven art and arboreal projects, at the heart of which is The Liberty Grove / Doire na Saorsa, planting 1,000 native trees throughout the region. Working with different art forms, from sculpture and poetry to film, we will improve the environment for the entire community, and celebrate the world-renowned landscape of Lochaber in new and innovative ways.

As the lead organisation Room 13 International will co-ordinate a substantial programme of community-led activities, fostering an awareness of biodiversity and appreciation of wilderness, working with local and international artists, poets and storytellers.

Thanks to its inspiring surroundings, and initiatives such as the Fort William Mountain Festival, the town has an iconic status for visitors; now we will enhance and transform its identity, through innovative ecologically-sensitive cultural projects. Working amongst a community consisting of a remarkably strong network of local organisations, including woodland, geology and environmental specialists along with creative and cultural organisations, we will create a grove in which they can share their expertise in outdoor education, ecology and heritage. The Liberty Grove / Doire na Saorsa will prove that the region, and the Highlands as a whole, is supportive of visionary cultural projects integrated within wilderness landscapes.

All shortlisted Creative Place applicants have been asked to submit a second stage application, detailing more information about their project. We will find out if the bid from Fort William has been successful when the award winners are announced at a ceremony on 10 June 2015.

Creative Place Awards Nominee 2015

Fort William – Creative Place Awards Nominee 2015

Lochaber Young Artist of the Year Award 2015


Room 13 InternationalYoung Artist of the Year Award 2015, with the Rotary Club of Lochaber, is pleased to announce the launch of the second Lochaber Young Artist of the Year Award.

With the Young Artist of the Year Award the Rotary Club of Lochaber are carrying on their tradition of encouraging young people to develop their talents; Room 13 International are again supporting the Rotary in inviting Lochaber’s young artists to make work and take part – one overall winner will receive £100 artist materials voucher, two runners-up will each receive £50 artist materials vouchers and up to four Highly Commended entrants will receive a prize and a certificate.  There will also be an opportunity to exhibit and each entrant will receive feedback from the judges on their artwork.

Information, details and entry forms (deadline extended to Friday 17th April) downloadable here:

…and these are the key bits of information:

The award is open to young artists living in Lochaber (Highland, Scotland) aged 7 – 17.  There are no separate age categories.  Extended Entry Form deadline:  Friday 17 April 2015

Young Artists are asked to make up a portfolio of work – a portfolio will ideally contain at least 4 pieces of your own original artwork up to a maximum of 8 pieces.

Portfolio Hand-in Times & Locations (changed to give flexibility):
Wednesday 22 April: From 2pm – 6pm at the Open Studio, Caol Youth Centre

Monday 27 April: From 11am – 3pm at Room 13’s office, Glenloy Street, Caol

Tuesday 28 April: From 11am – 3pm at Room 13’s office, Glenloy Street, Caol

Wednesday 29 April: From 2pm – 6pm at the Open Studio, Caol Youth Centre

Open Studio, Caol Youth Centre, Glenkingie Street, Caol PH33 7DP

Room 13 International, Unit 1, Glenloy Street, Caol PH33 7DR – please use buzzer round the corner on Patience Way (the office is upstairs).

If none of the above times are convenient please email me at, or send a private message via Facebook ( to arrange an alternative.

Awards will be made on the basis of overall achievement.  The judges are looking for evidence of a commitment to making artwork and to see your development as an artist in the work you make.  Portfolios submitted will be judged on:

Originality – confident expression of the artist’s own unique way of looking, thinking and handling materials

Development – exploring ideas and trying out different techniques

Enthusiasm – an overall sense of purpose and interest in making artwork

Need more information?  Contact Fiona at Room 13 International:

Postcards from Scotland

Schooling Scotland: Education, Equity & Community, by Daniel Murphy, book 7 in the ‘Postcards from Scotland’ series, will be launched this evening in Glasgow. The book features a chapter on Room 13!

‘Postcards from Scotland’ – a series of small books relevant to Scotland but also about the big issues of our time – is a collaboration between Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing and Argyll Publishing.

Postcards from Scotland aims to help develop new thinking in a readable and accessible format and publicise, to a much greater audience, some of the projects in Scotland which are already aiming to help bring about a new way of living.

Visit the Postcards from Scotland website for more information or to buy any of these fascinating and insightful books.

The webpage contains a link to Daniel Murphys’ Tour Journal in full, which includes a detailed description of his visit to Room 13 Caol. Jump to page 29 for Room 13, or browse the full document to find out about a range of other inspirational schools across Scotland.

Highland Youth Arts Forum – 2 Lochaber Representatives needed by 10th July

Are you based in Lochaber (Scotland)? Are you aged 14 – 19?  Interested in the arts?  Interested in finding out what creative projects young people in your area would like to get involved in?  Want to tell the Highland Youth Arts Forum about it?

Room 13 International is looking for 2 young Lochaber people to represent the area at the new Highland Youth Arts Forum which is being set up to lead the development of Highland Youth Arts Hub.

Room 13 International is one of 12 organisations working together to establish a Highland Youth Arts Hub. This is part of a new initiative supported by Creative Scotland which will result in 10 regional youth arts hubs across Scotland.  Representatives from each of the member organisations will meet quarterly to plan and deliver a programme of multi-art form projects and explore new ways of working that will result in stronger partnerships between arts organisations working with young people in the Highlands.  Integral to the programme will be a new youth arts forum comprising young people with interests across a range of art forms and from a wide geographical area. These young people will develop leadership skills, be creative in their communities, consult with their peers, and advocate for the arts.

As this is a new development, details of how the youth arts forum will function and what being a member will entail are likely to be worked out in consultation with the young people themselves in the first meeting.  This is excellent CV stuff and there are good skills to be developed from participating – if you would like to be considered please fill in the form HYAF.APPLICATION-FORM1.JUN14 and send it back to us asap – deadline is 10th July.

Room 13 International
The Hub
30 Fassifern Road
Fort William
Scotland  PH33 6QX

Room 13 Open Day

We have an open day coming up where you can come by and experience Room 13 by diving right into the middle of it all and see for yourself how a Room 13 works within a school and community environment!

There will be visits to the original Room 13 based in Caol Primary School at regular intervals throughout the day. The artists in residence and managers will be on hand and will happily answer any questions you may have about what really goes on in a Room 13. It will be also a great opportunity to bring up any individual project ideas you may have which are relevant to your community or organisation and you can book a one to one meeting to discuss it further.

Room 13 Open Day, Caol Youth Centre from 11:00am – 3:00pm on the 27th of September.

Come by for the whole day or just drop in for a chat!

Contact: for further details on the day’s events..

Richard Demarco Visits Room 13

We were delighted to welcome Professor Demarco and Terry Ann Newman, Deputy Director of the Demarco European Art Foundation, to Room 13 studios in Caol on 13th June 2013.

Professor Richard Demarco, founder of the Demarco European Art Foundation is an artist and promoter of the visual and performing arts. Since the 1960s, he has been one of Scotland’s most influential advocates for contemporary art, promoting cross-cultural links, presenting international artists within Scotland and establishing outgoing connections for Scottish artists across Europe.

Recently, Professor Demarco attended a presentation by young artists from Room 13 studios in Lochaber which was held in the Scottish Parliament. Following this, an invitation was extended to visit the original Room 13 in Caol Primary School.

Demarco was struck by the similarities between the ethos of Room 13 and the teachings of his late friend and colleague, Joseph Beuys. He appeared to revel in the work of the young artists and said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the experience.

More photos of Professor Demarco’s visit to Room 13 are posted online.


Former Room 13 MD Rocks at Business!

Check out Becks Cosmetics, just one of the successful companies set up by Becks Macdougall, who started her career aged 11 as Managing Director of Room 13 Caol!

Creativity = Capital Room 13 Presentation at Scottish Parliament

Creativity = Capital            Room 13 Presentation at Scottish Parliament

At the invitation of MSP Jean Urquhart, Room 13 has an opportunity to present to an invited audience in a committee room at the Scottish Parliament on 23rd April.

We have called the event ‘Creativity = Capital’ based on the premise that creativity is important in all aspects of life, business and community.

Room 13 artists, studio managers and invited guests will present what Room 13 is about and why creativity is valuable – to individuals, education, and society.

Speakers will include:

Young artists and management team of Room 13 studios in Caol and Lochyside Primary Schools – representing generations of pupils who have amassed 20 years experience of running their own art studio and without ever falling behind with their class work!

Claire Gibb, Chief Executive of Room 13 International, the charity formed to support and promote the ethos of Room 13 and young artists worldwide.

Fiona Clancy, ‘Head of Disruption’ at global marketing and communications company TBWA Worldwide. Room 13 and TBWA have been working together since 2003 to plant the seeds of creativity in schools and communities from Soweto to South Central LA.

This is an excellent opportunity for Room 13 to engage directly with many leading Educationalists, Politicians and members of the Arts and the business community; individuals who are well positioned to guide and influence others.

Glasgow International Festival

Room 13 artists from Caol and Lochyside were invited by University of the West of Scotland’s Artist Teacher Programme, to make work in response to works by some of the contemporary artists showing at Glasgow International Festival 2012.

Karla Black CakeView more photos of this event on flickr