AN art exhibition showcasing work from the finest contemporary artists across Scotland and beyond is set to open next month, as a celebration of 100 years of inclusivity within Scotland’s artistic landscape.

Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) will open Then and Now: 100 Years of Visual Arts Scotland at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, celebrating the centenary of the organisation’s work on Scotland’s arts scene.

The organisation was founded in Edinburgh in 1924 as The Scottish Society of Women Artists, with the aim to empower women after their contribution to the war effort.

The National: More than 1500 applications for the centenary show were submittedMore than 1500 applications for the centenary show were submitted (Image: VSA)

Today, the platform is known as Visual Arts Scotland and boasts a membership of over 1000 artists across Scotland and beyond, its sole purpose being to promote and provide opportunities for artists with an association to Scotland.

The new exhibition will showcase 242 artists and over 300 artworks, with art ranging from ceramics, paintings, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and a variety of contemporary art forms.

The National:  (Image: VSA)

More than 1500 applications for the exhibition were submitted by both members and non-members, as the Scottish Government congratulated VSA for their “pioneering” work on Scotland’s art scene.

Tavienne Bridgwater, VAS co-president, said the organisation planned several exciting opportunities across Scotland in 2024, including a TATHA Gallery exhibition in Fife, a partnership exhibition with Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) in Aberlady, participation at the Borders Art Fair, and an exhibition and maker’s market at Dalkeith Palace.

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Bridgwater continued: “We will also be facilitating a number of artist residency opportunities throughout Scotland and the UK and our online platforms will continue to provide an important space for networking and the sharing of ideas, artwork, and dialogue.”

Amanda Airey, VAS co-president, added: “Everything we do is influenced by inclusivity and the idea that artists should and can help one another.

“VAS is a volunteer-led charity, with the core council consisting of artists themselves, helping promote and provide opportunities for our members.

“I hope we continue to enable artists to support artists for another 100 years.”

Christina McKelvie (below), Scottish Government Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, said: “The Scottish Government would like to congratulate Visual Arts Scotland on achieving a century of creativity and for playing such a pioneering role in the development of women earning recognition in creative arts.

The National:

“Visual Arts Scotland continues to give an important voice to the artists, practitioners, and craftsmen, who are crucial in shaping Scotland’s world-leading artistic output. We look forward to celebrating the creativity produced during VAS’s centenary show in 2024.”

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The centenary show will also feature an exhibit of small works by society members, allowing every member of VAS to have their work included in the exhibition, and to provide a varied selection of art for sale at affordable prices.

The exhibition opens on February 17 and runs until March 13.