We are sad to report that our art collection and archive, both of which date back to the beginnings of Room 13 in 1994, have been badly damaged by a flood of sewage in our premises at The Window, gallery and project space in Caol Shopping Centre.
The flood, which happened early in the New Year, was the result of a blockage in the drain further down the street. Under a build-up of pressure, sewage was forced out through the toilet in Room 13’s premises at the end of the block, covering much of the ground floor.
We would like to thank the local representatives of Scottish Water, who attended very quickly to remove the blockage. They also assisted and gave advice in dealing with the aftermath; as a result of their help it has been possible to contain the problem and assess the damage.
The art collection – canvases, works on paper and framed works, plus archive material, papers and photographs documenting Room 13 since its beginnings in 1994, were being temporarily stored in the Window following the emptying and demolition of Caol and Lochyside RC Primary Schools. The majority of works in the collection were created by young artists in Caol and Lochyside Primary School Room 13 studios between 1994-2016. Among the works were several large scale canvases that had previously been exhibited in major galleries in Scotland, and across Europe.
The Room 13 team and Board are horrified by what has happened and deeply upset at the loss of an invaluable and irreplaceable asset.
Room 13 International CEO Claire Gibb, has been involved the project since she was a teenager and witnessed the creation of many of the artworks, now lost, said:
“It is heart-breaking that so much of Room 13’s history has been destroyed. This is going to be met with huge disappointment and sadness, not just by the community of Caol who take such pride in the work these young people have created over the years, but our worldwide community who have followed and supported our progress for years.”
Gallery-owner and Room 13 International Trustee Andrew Sinclair said:
“We are taking advice from professional cleaning and restoration experts as to how many of the works can be saved. This is a case of appalling bad luck and bad timing. Up until a few weeks ago these works, which have been exhibited to international acclaim, were hanging on the walls of local schools. A comprehensive cataloguing of the collection was due to take place in 2017, with plans underway for key works to be hung in public spaces throughout the town.”
A full statement about the status of the Room 13 collection will be issued once the assessment of damage is complete.
We are thrilled to have received an award from Big Lottery Young Start Fund in support of our new ‘Generation Creative’ project.
The aim of ‘Generation Creative’ is to extend the benefits of participation in Room 13, and deliver our cornerstones of creativity, enterprise, arts and philosophy to greater numbers of young people in the Lochaber area, many of whom haven’t been able to access Room 13 previously.
The £49,490.00 award from Big Lottery will ensure the fantastic new Room 13 studio facilities in Caol Joint Campus are used for the wider benefit of the community, with a key focus on developing young people’s creativity throughout the region. This project will enable our lead artist Richard Bracken to work with children and other contributing artists to develop a programme of delivery for primary and high school students, starting January 2017 and continuing throughout the academic year 2017/2018.
In the course of this project, Room 13 will work with 10 primary schools in the Lochaber area to provide opportunities for children to work alongside professional artists and develop creative projects based on their own ideas and initiative. We will also develop and extend our youth volunteer group (aged 13-21) to involve students from the four local High Schools enabling them to develop their own ideas and projects, gain experience and build an understanding of the economic prospects of a career in the creative industries.
Room 13’s Generation Creative project aims to meet two Young Start outcomes:
Confident – children and young people have more confidence and skills.
Enterprising – Young people are better prepared for getting a job or starting a business.
‘The support from Big Lottery is a really valuable investment in Lochaber’s Room 13 studios. It will allow us develop key aspects of our work with schools and young people at a time when there is more demand than ever for the sort of services our artists and studios can deliver, with less and less provision to support this work. We are looking forward to getting ‘Generation Creative’ underway!‘
Claire Gibb, Chief Executive, Room 13 International
We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in attracting funding from Arts & Business Scotland to support our business development over the coming year.
Donald Hind, Managing Director of the business said “Corpach Boatbuilding Company are pleased to be able to continue with our support for Room 13. We are confident that our collaboration with Arts & Business Scotland will help to sustain and secure the long term aims of this dynamic, creative and exciting community organisation.”
Claire Gibb, Chief Executive of Room 13 International says, “We are thrilled to have received backing from Corpach Boatbuilding Company and Arts & Business Scotland. The support of both organisations is critical to us at this stage of our developmentand we look forward to working more closely with Corpach Boatbuilding Company over the coming year.”
This good news follows our recent move to establish a new office and gallery/workshop space in
Caol, Fort William. It is hoped that gallery will host a series of workshops and events throughout the coming years, starting with a celebratory event on 30 April 2015.
Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland, David Watt added: “Room 13 International is a fantastic initiative and certainly ticks all the boxes in meeting the criteria of projects supported through the New Arts Sponsorship grant scheme. This is an exciting time for them as they celebrate their 21stbirthday and the opening of a new workshop in Fort William which will no doubt prove to be a wonderfulcreative and cultural hub for the community. We wish Room 13 every success with the new venture.”
The event, marking the 21st birthday Room 13, will celebrate the achievements of the organisation to date and will also look forward to the next 21 years. Claire Gibb added, “We are delighted to have a new independent base for Room 13 in Caol, close to the school and community studios. This place is recognised worldwide as home of Room 13, and this new space offers huge potential to develop a vibrant creative hub that brings art, artists and the greater Room 13 International community back to the heart of Caol”.
Room 13 International is keen to develop links with other local businesses and encourage those who interested to get in touch!
The OPEN STUDIO is open to all ages, all levels of experience & it’s free!
We provide a relaxed studio environment for self-directed creative activity – come and use the materials and equipment, do your own thing, work on a shared project, or ask the lead-artist to show you how to make prints, work with clay, make papier mache, stretch a canvas…
Paper, paints, inks, pastels, oil bars, pencils, card & more are available (& free), sketchbooks, clay, canvas, etching plates, lino can be provided at cost. Tea, coffee & water will be available (donations to cover costs welcome).
It’s on 2pm-6pm Wednesdays during term time (and during school holidays by arrangement with lead artist) – pop in, stay for a while, stay longer – we look forward to seeing you!
Room 13 Community Studio, Caol Youth Centre, Glenkingie Street, Caol, Fort William (Scotland)
Lochaber Rotary Club recently decided that recognition and reward for Lochaber’s young visual arts talent was needed. The brief was simple: the new award would be open to artists aged 7 – 17, selection to be based on a portfolio of work showing evidence of originality, development and enthusiasm. Room 13 International was pleased to assist the Rotary Club bring this new award to the attention of Lochaber’s young artists and was delighted to see the quality and hard work evident in all the portfolios submitted.
On May 23rd 2014 at Art Lochaber’s annual exhibition awards were presented by Lesley Benfield, Chief Executive of Fort William Chamber of Commerce, to:
Overall Winner: Ella Robertson Smith, Caol Primary School
Runner-up: Sarah Clelland, Lochaber High School
Runner-up: Wiktoria Zumościk, Lochaber High School
Korrine MacMillan, Lochaber High School
Jamie-Lee Birrell, Lochaber High School
Lachie Robinson, Mallaig High School
Rachel Bolton, Lochaline Primary School
Ella, Sarah and Wiktoria each received a trophy and vouchers for artist materials from Artmedia store in Inverness. In addition, one work from each was selected to be shown in the annual exhibition.
The four Highly Commended young artists each received a sketchbook and certificate. All entrants received a thank-you letter with feedback from the Selection Panel. It is hoped that the award will continue to spark inspiration and encourage young artists to keep making artwork.
Congratulations Ella, Sarah, Wiktoria, Korrine, Jamie-Lee, Lachie and Rachel – and thank you to everyone who got busy, made work and entered portfolios.
Our workshops have been designed to keep you busy all summer – from hour long sessions for new Primary Ones to a week of Portfolio-Building, a 2-day Printmaking Workshop plus our Open Studio sessions on Wednesdays, all based at Room 13 Community Studio in Caol Youth Centre.
We encourage people of all ages and abilities to come along and experience the studio environment, learn new skills, and just have a good time making things – come and learn new creative techniques, try out different printmaking processes, put on a play in a day making everything as you go, take a wander to look for materials and make something from what you see and find:
Ages 4 -5
· New Primary Ones Taster Workshop (hour long sessions)
Ages 5 – 7
· Very Young Artists – exploring materials & techniques
Ages 8 – adult
· Summer Studio – photography, drawing, constructing, painting, looking, printing…
· Working with Stuff – collecting, carving, cutting, gluing, sculpting, drilling, pouring…
· Skillbuilder Workshops – Tutoring in Papermaking, Felting, Plaster & Carving, Printmaking
· Printmaking Workshop – 2 days of linocut, etching, collograph & monoprinting…
· Portfolio-building Workshop – a week (Mon – Fri) focusing on developing a strong body of work & trying new things
· Felt Feet – family workshop learning felting and making felt…feet
· Play in a Day (in collaboration with Dramafish Studios) – family workshop, make the props, costumes, sets and write the play – in a day!
· Open Studio – free, open to all, come along and use the facilities
Please download the full programme for further details, prices and a booking form.