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
In August 2016 Resipole Studios & Fine Art Gallery is hosting a collection of multi-media artworks by the late, abstract expressionist, Jon Schueler (1916-1992). Sea to Sky is one of a group of exhibitions, both in the US and in the UK to mark the centennial of Jon Schueler’s birth. Sea to Sky presents a collection of 38 works that are central to his time spent on the West Coast of Scotland, where he frequented throughout his career.
This award winning arts venue provides the perfect backdrop to Schueler’s works of art, which is enveloped by the very landscape that inspired the American artist.
We are thrilled to share news that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of works at this exhibition are to be donated to Room 13 International, making this a perfect opportunity to invest in an internationally significant piece of artwork while also supporting a charity, home grown in the West Highlands, that supports artistic development, creativity and enterprise among young people in Lochaber, Scotland and overseas.
The exhibition will run for six weeks (6 August – 18 September 2016) and will feature a number of events celebrating Jon Schueler’s centennial.
Participants in the recent Young Artists’ Retreat, visited Resipole Studios & Fine Art Gallery. They enjoyed a talk and a tour by gallery owner Andrew Sinclair, and all voted this one of highlights of their experience. The Artists’ Retreat, aimed at young artists aged 14-17, was run by Room 13 International with support from Highland Youth Arts Hub.
It’s a first!
In 2015, Scotland hosted the prestigious Turner Prize exhibition for the first time.
The Turner Prize, organised by Tate, is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition in the preceding year. The Turner Prize introduces us to new artists and new ideas in contemporary art.
We took this opportunity to organize a visit to Tramway in Glasgow view the exhibition. We were joined by 26 young people and teachers from Lochaber High School and Ardnamurchan High School. This excursion was supported by Highland Youth Arts Hub, as part of our new venture in working more closely with the local high schools.
At Tramway, we had the chance to examine the work of the four nominees up close, and took part in a workshop to explore the processes behind creating a prize-winning contemporary artwork.
We watched a series of performances of ‘Doug’ by Janice Kerbel. The work takes the form of nine songs for six voices and calls on the history of physical comedy, animated cartoons, narrative ballad and operatic librettos.
Pupils who studied Advanced Higher music immediately related to the use of operatic techniques and the artists concept of applying them in her opera. The songs were imagined disasters of a character called Doug. One pupil recognised the use of glissando (is a glide from one pitch to another) and pitch inversions in performance ‘slip’.
On our tour, we were prompted to discuss how we felt inside Nicole Wermer’s installation ‘Infrastruktur’, consider the use of materials, and how the arrangement of the objects related to the artist’s message in her work.
We completed Turner Prize educational worksheets as part of our tour, besides which each person in our group filled their own custom made sketchbooks. These were created by Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’Brien and filled with questions and prompts on visual literacy.
After our tour, we returned to the studio where there were four activities to help us further explore the four artists. We were really keen to hear how each of the young artists responded personally to the exhibition.
Post trip, Lochaber High School art teacher Miss Blair along with an advanced higher pupil, wanted to put the trip into context and allow pupils who did not attend the trip to be involved in the Turner Prize debate. They organised a re-creation of the four activities and hosted a debate at lunchtime on 7th December (the day the Turner Prize winner was to be announced).
They used a long piece of string to represent a scale by which to measure the pupils responses to the question: Is it art?
The majority of the pupils at the debate said yes because:
“Their work is original and they think of it themselves” and “It takes time and effort to do the art pieces”.
They also created a survey monkey poll for the school to hold their own vote on who should win. The majority voted Assemble. Later that evening, the judges of the Turner Prize came to the same conclusion as Lochaber High School.
Post Author: Audrey O Brien
Photos: Audrey O Brien
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
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.
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!
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.
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 thanks to the Rotary Club of Esk Valley, who are tonight hosting a ceilidh to raise funds for Room 13 International. Members of the club have shown great support for our studios and projects in Scotland and overseas. In 2013 some members attended a presentation from young artists and studio managers responsible for the Room 13 studios in Lochaber, Scotland, and others have previously visited the studio in Caol Youth Centre.
We thank them for their efforts in support of our work and hope everyone has a fantastic evening!