Welcome to the Big Art Show, Paisley’s largest ever open art exhibition.

Big Art Show, Paisley is a major exhibition project by Outspoken Arts Scotland and a volunteer team of professional visual artists working across the West of Scotland. It is a not-for-profit making charitable activity for the advancement of art, education and public benefit.

This new show for the area is a truly open, inclusive, and joyous initiative supporting visual artists and communities to participate in and enjoy the experience of coming together in fruitful purpose. The exhibition takes place in the landmark buildings of the former Paisley Co-operative & Manufacturing Society (1862). Built by hand-loom weavers to address the need for renewed industry and co-operation around textile manufacturing which was rapidly becoming mechanised and threatening labour, income, and social stability. This great period of industrial change and social upheaval reminds us all too well of the lessons of the last few years.

This new art show for Paisley is a splendid example of people working together, in co-operation, bouncing back, post Covid-19 pandemic. A period when we lost friends, family, colleagues and spent a great deal of time in frustration, loneliness, and isolation. This massive new show of nearly 1000 artworks is a demonstration of the skill, tenacity, and oeuvre of artists willing to bare their souls, tell a story, and express their ideas. In this show there are many good examples of artists, young and old, those experienced, and some who are fresh starters, from many backgrounds. Never has there been a more vital time to encourage the freedom of expression, to celebrate our lives and experiences, and to give voice to those whom society would otherwise overlook.

As we enter the next quarter of the 21st century we look forward to a world shaped by values, by kindness and humanity, and by a spirit of inclusion that is less judgemental. We believe art is for everyone and the experience of art, the making of it, the taking part, is a bold act of representation that belongs to us all.

We hope you enjoy this new show and encourage you to visit The Art Department and see Paisley, Scotland’s largest town.