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Drawing from Life: The Artist Educator

Drawing from Life: The Artist Educator

A one-day symposium at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre, North Uist

Saturday 23rd November 2019

9.30am – 3.30pm

To celebrate Taigh Chearsabhagh hosting the Donald Smith – Eileanach : Islander exhibition this one-day symposium creates an opportunity to explore the continued attraction for artist educators to live and work in rural island communities in Scotland.

Over the years there have been significant changes to the arts education curriculum delivered in primary and secondary schools. At tertiary level students no longer have to travel to the mainland art schools to study degree courses in arts and design. The option to study with the UHI has extended the breadth of creative learning and lifestyle choices for students who choose to live on an island. At graduate level, new knowledge informed by practice-led research is helping us better understand, appreciate and explore novel and disciplinary/interdisciplinary contexts and concepts.

Inspiring new generations: Capturing island life through drawing and creative enquiry

Some questions…

What is it that motivates/stimulates artists to reside in these remote island communities?

How can the island environment, culture and heritage shape new attitudes to teaching, learning and research in the visual arts?

What is the legacy of the visible/invisible work undertaken by artist-educators like Donald Smith?

Is drawing still valid as a means of authenticating what we see and our experience of an Island place?

What is the relationship between being a fine artist/student in a remote place and the Fine Art establishment, gallery system and markets?

What are the funding considerations that might enable a fine artist to operate in the Islands and what infrastructure is necessary?

Is there such a thing as an island aesthetic?

What will be the impact of Digital Skills on creative practice and learning?

What might we develop as a distinctive offer in Visual Arts learning and research to future generations and what resources will we need?

Taigh Chearsabhagh invites artists and educators from across subject disciplines to join us. Points for discussion will be led by a number of speakers with opportunities for questions and reflection at the end of each panel.

For further information please contact: Keith McIntyre at keith.mcintyre@uhi.ac.uk

Our Café will be open throughout the day to provide lunch, refreshments and snacks.

Donald Smith sketch






Schedule for day:

9.30am             Registration and Coffee

9.50am            Welcome: Prof Keith McIntyre

10.00am          Panel 1: An Island Focus – Drawing from Life

Jonathan Smith: The Paintings of an Islander – the artist educator

Prof Murdo Macdonald: Windows on the West, Re-appraising artists from the Islands

Fiona MacIsaac: Art, Gaelic and Education outreach.

Panel Chair: Prof Keith McIntyre

11.00am           Break

11.15am           Panel 2: New perspectives, new knowledge – Island based research

                        Prof John Kippin and Nicky Neate: ‘In This Day and Age’- Leverhulme  Research

Jean Newman: Island marks – time, geometry and drawing: a research journey

Dr Neil Davidson: Learning to Program and Project Design – Open to extension, Closed to modification

Panel Chair: Rosie Blake (to confirm)

12.15pm          TC: an island Art School

Rosie Blake: Rural arts learning and ecological thinking

LCC UHI students in discussion – our future

12.45pm          Lunch available in Taigh Chearsabhagh Cafe

1.30pm            Ian Stephen and Christine Morrison – Exhibition walk + talk – Donald Smith

2.00pm            Panel 3: Our place in the world – generation

Fiona Pearson: An emptiness full of possibilities -spaces, connections, creative energy

Anne Reid: Teaching children/young people in the Uists

Prof Keith McIntyre – Centres for Rural Creativity + future opportunities

Panel Chair: Fiona MacIsaac

3.00pm            Short Break

3.10pm            Plenary discussion led by Prof Murdo MacDonald

3.30pm            End (Refreshments)