Selectors Foreword

Rowena Comrie – Co-Chair (Art Paisley)
The marvellous variety of tastes, fancies and fashion provided by Allders department store
is a legacy now radically renewed with a popular cultural role in the centre of Paisley. Whilst the art gallery and museum are being reformed, Allders has been utilised as an exciting alternative creative heart for the town, the home of The Art Department.

Art Paisley Ltd was formed earlier this year to tap into the potential that the former Allders store offered: an exciting opportunity to engage with all types of creative people. The Big Art Show attracted much interest; we had over 1200 entries from which we have displayed almost 1000 art works. The show
has an incredible variety of art and reflects popular interest among the public, in being creative.

It was a pleasure to work with fellow selectors, a team of Arts professionals who all have the commitment and enthusiasm to give their time freely to this great undertaking. For this, our inaugural show, we enjoy support from members of the Society of Scottish Artists. We would like to build on our partnerships and collaborations, continuing to create great exhibitions for Paisley and beyond.

Eòghann MacColl – Co-Chair (Art Paisley)
When we made the call out for the first Big Art Show, we had no idea of what kind of a response we would get. The whole ethos of Art Paisley is to give everyone an equitable platform on which they can share their creativity.
When we realised the response was massive, we knew we had struck a chord with folk and we are delighted we took the bold step to launch when we did, given the circumstances, many have been struggling and even hurting and the Big Art Show is a tonic to that, it’s a warm cuddle. Goodness knows we all need one! We really hope you enjoy the exhibition, Paisley might never have seen one quite like this, certainly not on this scale!

We are also delighted to be connecting with Outspoken Arts and their partners, One Ren, PACE, National Theatre of Scotland to name a few, and of course the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) who are curating some of their members to show within the exhibition. These interactions and conversations are the glue between us all.
The connections we have with individual creatives, as well as these partners, local
and national alike, are significant. We want to support everyone and in the interests of all.
Please enjoy the Big Art Show, tell a friend and consider participating in any positive way you can.

Tha sinne an dòchas chòrdadh taisbeanadh ruibh.

Jamie McAteer & Olivia Turner – Co-Presidents (SSA)
This year, the Society of Scottish Artists celebrates its 130th year, since its founding council staged the first SSA Annual exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. Since then we have continued through the decades to support and invigorate the Scottish art scene, through many highs and lows, our society and economy have endured. When times are trying, artists thrive in creativity and it is no different as we emerge from this recent global pandemic. The Big Art Show will exhibit nearly one thousand works as evidence of this.

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support this exhibition with a selected showcase of SSA Graduate and Professional members, who were selected through an open call. Invited artist Thomas Adam will display a new work specifically made for this exhibition, along with nine other SSA members to show the width and breadth of diverse work produced by our membership.

As part of the exhibition we will also be offering a new award in collaboration with Outspoken Arts Scotland. The Society of Scottish Artists & Outspoken Arts prize will include £200 plus a 1 year’s free SSA membership.