Yesterday evening Nita and I travelled through to Edinburgh to attend what was the final event at ‘the gallery on the corner’.
As you’ll remember this magnificent little gallery was set up by the charity ‘Autism Initiatives Scotland’ back in April 2010. The gallery had a dual purpose; to work as a professional gallery supporting artists affected by autism or other health issues …..in short, the idea was for it to be an inclusive gallery. Its second role was to provide training, in the form of apprenticeships for young people affected by autism. The apprenticeships were based in either the main gallery, learning the retail side of the business or downstairs in the gallery workshops, (learning new creative skills).
Over the last five and a half years the gallery has performed well and has been very successful……having held numerous exhibitions and trained many young people through its apprenticeship scheme. Some fabulous artists have emerged with the help of the gallery and are going on to develop careers in the arts, whilst others have gone on to college or to do other jobs.
As patron to this gallery, it has been a real privilege to have been part of this (albeit from the side-lines). I have, as you know, been lucky enough to have been invited to show my work in this great gallery and have held two solo shows there ….. the second one being back in August this year. It’s been a great window for my work in Edinburgh and I really appreciate the opportunity.
So then, it was with great disappointment that I learnt a couple of weeks ago that the charity was closing ‘the gallery on the corner’. I really don’t know the reasons for this decision and don’t want to speculate here …..but it seems a great shame after it has done such good work and after all the hard work by the staff, volunteers and trainees over the years. There was a great sense of sadness yesterday evening. That said, the evening was one to celebrate the great work that the gallery has done since 2010 and there is talk of bringing some of the artists together again in the future to hold exhibitions in different venues. This would be great and would be a fitting way to celebrate the success of this unique gallery and project.
My thanks to everyone at ‘the gallery on the corner’ for their hard work over the years and my very best wishes to you all in your future careers. Thanks finally to all of you who have visited and supported ‘the gallery on the corner’ …..I hope you enjoyed the experience.