Bold, Bright, Exciting Exhibition Helps Launch New Kirkcudbright Gallery

Wasps’ anniversary displays pieces by 60 contemporary artists and makers alongside works by famous names from Kirkcudbright’s past 

An exhibition of work by 60 artists from across Scotland will launch this weekend for the opening of the new Kirkcudbright Galleries.

40/40 Visioncompletes of a year of celebrations marking the 40thanniversary of Wasps Artists’ Studios, Scotland’s largest creative community, which embraces around 1,000 artists, makers and others from Shetland to the Borders.

Kirkcudbright’s new £3.2 million public galleries are close to the town’s vibrant Wasps studios which houses artists and makers with national and international reputations, including Claire and Ian Cameron-Smith, Lizzie Farey and Morag Macpherson.

The Cameron-Smiths, who have curated 40/40 Vision, are long-term supporters of the project to create galleries of national importance in the Dumfries and Galloway town, which has a celebrated artistic tradition.

In addition to staging temporary exhibitions itwill provide a permanent home for the Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection, which is of recognised national significance, that includes works by John Faed, Edward Atkinson Hornel, Jessie Marion King, Samuel John Peploe and Robert Sivell.

Ian, a visual artist and furniture maker, said:The opening of the new galleries is fabulous for the town, the region and the country. And it’s a tremendous privilege to be staging its first temporary exhibition.
“The combination of the permanent collection and 40/40 Visionwill give people the chance to see work by some of Scotland’s finest artists of the 19thand 20thcenturies alongside bright, bold and exciting pieces by the country’s current generation of emerging and established artists.”

The exhibition comes at a time of rapid growth for Wasps with the recent £1.2m first phase of a creative hub in Inverness underway and a major project starting in Perth.

Audrey Carlin, Wasps Chief Executive Officer, said: This is a celebration of 40 years of supporting creative practice across Scotland and highlights the amazing mix of artists, using a rich variety of media, at work in Scotland today. It is the first time we have had the opportunity to bring a collection like this together from our 18 studios around Scotland and exhibit it in this way.
“The new galleries will make an incredibly valuable addition to the visual arts landscape and it’s a great pleasure to be involved with them from the very start.” 

The anniversary year has been about looking to the future of Wasps as well as celebrating its growth from a single complex in Dundee to become a national provider of good quality, affordable studios, offices, workshops and other facilities.

Andrew Burrell, Wasps Chair, said:The 40/40 Visionexhibitionis a great way to mark the end of an anniversary year that hasseen so much progress and in which we have laid the foundations for an even moreambitious and vibrant future for Scotland’s creative community.”

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