NT Art Month is a brand-new month-long celebration of the arts quarter in Edinburgh New Town. Throughout June, visitors are encouraged to wander the streets of the New Town, soaking up everything the galleries have to offer – paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, ceramics and bronze editions. The inaugural NT Art Month will launch with an exciting Late event across the 2023 galleries.
This new festival, running from Thursday 8th June to 30th June, will comprise of ten Edinburgh art galleries on Dundas Street, Howard Street, Summer Place and Queen Street. The festival highlights the importance of supporting commercial spaces in their role as a platform to nurture new artistic talent and stage to mount world class exhibitions. A much-loved Dundas Street wine bar will also host a small pop-up photography exhibition. NT Art Month offers the opportunity to explore Edinburgh’s wealth of culture and galleries; use the specially designed map to go on a walking tour or check out some of the events across June.
Established in 2017, &Gallery is a contemporary visual art gallery that curates a specialist programme of solo exhibitions along with group shows. Their emphasis is on abstract and minimal painting, drawing and sculpture. Throughout the festival, &Gallery will be exhibiting works by Scottish artists Molly Thomson and Frances Priest. Realignment is Thomson’s debut solo exhibition of painting-objects. Thomson’s work concerns the performance of the painting as an object, generally using the conventional painting panel as a springboard for action and a vehicle for thought. Frances Priest is a pattern obsessive and lover of colour, making work that explores cultural histories and narratives associated with ornamental motifs and patterns. This collection of work includes ornamental motifs, chevron, stripes and Asanoha.
The Atelier Gallery will display Stories. The Gallery presents art from a range of sources from well-known Scottish and British artists. All the art they display is original, complementing their ethos of providing an environment conducive to creation for artists that is best illustrated by their close work with artist-in-residence Linda Park. Stories will explore the role art plays in one’s life. Presenting the inspirational stories behind the lives of each artist, and how their passion for art has transformed into a full-time painting career, the Atelier shows their talent, passion and success in creating a diverse range of timeless, contemporary, original Scottish paintings.
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Birch Tree Gallery will present Through Clouds throughout the festival in Edinburgh. The exhibition sees Paula Dunn’s atmospheric landscape paintings echoed in the patterns of smoke-fired ceramics by Steve Smith, where he uses clay to create minimalist works with clean lines and a quiet but powerful presence. Birch Tree Gallery focuses on artworks that have roots in nature – whether in materials, inspiration or thematic elements. Since its opening in 2017, the gallery has had over 60 exhibitions of contemporary paintings, original printings and fine crafts.
Harvey & Woodd is headed up by husband-and-wife team James and Flora Harvey – drawing on the esteemed expertise of Anthony Woodd, who remains on board as a consultant. The gallery is home to a diverse and constantly evolving selection of the finest traditional and contemporary art, displaying a selection of oil and watercolours by predominantly Scottish artists working from the 19th century to present day.
This June, Heriot Gallery will host a mixed four-person exhibition presenting new works from their gallery artists, including portraiture and figurative work from Ruaridh Crighton, Cally Buchanan, Peter Hallam and Angela Reilly, an award-winning Scottish artist specialising in still life and figurative work. Heriot Gallery, which reopened in July 2021, continues the legacy of what was The Edinburgh Gallery, later renamed the Grilli Gallery, as a popular and successful art venue. Co-owners, Angela Reilly and Lorna McKenna, curate shows of innovative, challenging contemporary artwork by local and international artists.
James Glossop’s photography pop-up A Means To An End, appearing at Bacco Wines throughout the festival, embraces ambiguity and invites interpretation. Its title questions the purpose of image-making and its role in the art world. Instead of telling the whole story, each frame in A Means to an End possesses latent potential, like the opening or closing scene of a film, capturing the feeling that something has just happened or is about to happen.
Celebrating its 40-year anniversary last year, Open Eye Gallery is one of the most well established galleries with an expansive visual arts programme focusing on contemporary painting, printmaking and applied arts and includes some of the most influential artists working in Scotland today.
Pleasures is a series of intensely personal works, capturing artist Sheila McInnes’ everyday life. The exhibition has a common thread running through all the individual works of finding beauty in everyday things: walking the dog, the Scottish coastline, the sea, the company of loved ones and our connection with the natural world. Also on display this June is Harris Machair, a body of oil paintings and works on paper from Ffiona Lewis.
Powderhall Bronze Editions is a new addition to the galleries scene in Edinburgh. Showcasing a large variety of bronze sculpture cast in their own Edinburgh based fine art foundry, Powderhall Bronze, the gallery illustrates the wide possibilities bronze offers and platforms works by many highly acclaimed Scottish artists. Powderhall also exhibit handcrafted furniture by contemporary craftspeople and featured artwork by selected Scottish artists.
Summer at The Fine Art Society runs from 2nd June. This is an exhibition of Scottish and British paintings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as decorative art and furniture from the late nineteenth century. Notable exhibits in this show are two works by one of Scotland’s most daring nineteenth-century painters, William McTaggart (1835-1910). A singularly outstanding and original landscape painter, McTaggart evolved from a Victorian painter in the 1850s to an artist that embraced Impressionism and even Expressionism in the final decades and years of his life. This mindset that kept his art developing through his life lent his work an immediacy and dynamism. Established in 1876, The Fine Art Society’s two elegant gallery spaces in Edinburgh and London specialise in works of British and Scottish art and design.
The Scottish Gallery celebrated its 180th anniversary in 2022. They will host Sir William Gillies: The Visionary Painter, Donnie Munro: On the Bay and Oliver Cook: Momentary Flow. Sir William Gillies is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s greatest landscape and still life painters, and has been one of the most important artists to The Scottish Gallery, holding seven solo exhibitions during his lifetime. June marks the 50th anniversary of Gillies’ death and this exhibition highlights the subtle complexity and lyrical observations in his work. At the heart of Donnie Munro’s exhibition of new paintings will be a series of large works featuring the view from the artist’s home on Skye. And in the Gallery’s second solo exhibition from Oliver Cook, the artist shows how he uses everyday objects as a starting point to explore the relationship between light and the translucent properties of stone, looking at the notion of movement.
For NT Art Month, Watson Gallery will display an outstanding selection of artworks from 12 of their most collected artists including David Yarrow, David Escarabajal, David Reid, Colin Wilson, Gank Pansuay and Paitoon. Watson Gallery offers a broad selection of high-quality contemporary and investment art by Scottish, British, and international artists. The gallery aims to encourage everyone who appreciates all forms of art to come and see for themselves their exciting and ever-changing art collection and the art on offer is suitable for all budgets, from affordable art pieces to investment artworks.
The List are the media partner for NT Art Month while the festival itself is organised by Chloé Nelkin Consulting.
&Gallery, Dundas Street
Birch Tree Gallery, Dundas Street
Harvey & Woodd, Dundas Street
Heriot Gallery, Dundas Street
James Glossop at Bacco Wine, Dundas Street
Open Eye Gallery, Abercromby Place
Powderhall Bronze Editions, Summer Place The Atelier Gallery, Howard Street
The Fine Art Society, Dundas Street
The Scottish Gallery, Dundas Street Watson Gallery, Queen Street