By Iain A MacSween
A special exhibition lasting for three weeks will again showcase the best of Uist art this summer.
‘Art on the Map’ is an annual event, run by the Uist Arts Association. Held at Taigh Chearsabhagh arts centre, in Lochmaddy, the exhibition officially opens on the evening of Friday June 17, and is on until Saturday July 9. Alongside the exhibition at Taigh Chearsabhagh are special studio events, with participating artists opening their doors to anyone who is interested.
One of the co-ordinators for Art on the Map is Louise Cook of Shoreline Stoneware. She said: “This will be our 14th event, and the nature of ‘Art on the Map’ is to showcase local artists and makers, and that can be anything art and craftbased in the Uists.
“There is such a wide variety. We have had local photography, painting, mixed media, bookbinding, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and sculpture.”
‘Art on the Map’ provides an invaluable platform for makers to show off their work to the public, as well as giving a chance to talk to them, to hear what inspires them and learn how they make their works.
There are venues from South Uist through Benbecula and Grimsay and up to North Uist and Berneray – a truly inter-island event for the Southern Isles. A series of specially created ‘Art on the Map’ brochures and signs point the way to interested parties.
“The whole concept gives makers more confidence to show their work and share their skills,” said Louise. “This year we also have a second brochure for our artists and makers who are open to the public ‘All Year’. Our three-week event has proved so popular, that a number of members are now open all season. By having a specific brochure for these members, we can provide detailed information to visitors who are interested in visiting arts venues in the Uists, throughout the year.”
Such is the reputation of ‘Art on the Map’, said Louise, the event has morphed into a talent-spotting ground. “I know from having discussions with other makers that they have had gallery owners from the mainland coming across to develop links for exhibitions,” she said. “A number have had works sold on the mainland as a result. We’ve discovered that ‘Art on the Map’ is well-known not only on the mainland, but it has attracted international attention too.”