Welcome to the Big Art Show, Paisley one of the UK’s largest open art exhibitions.

Inaugurated in 2022, 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. This year the show has doubled in size, and from 2,268 entries, it features 1,600+ artworks over three huge floor spaces of the Paisley Centre.

The 2023 exhibition takes place in the landmark buildings of the former Paisley Co-operative & Manufacturing Society (1862) originally built by local hand-loom weavers, now called The Art Department. Additionally, we are excited to launch a new new film and video installation space called RE:MARKS, in the former Marks & Spencer’s store, at 15-21 High Street.

The Big Art Show is rapidly becoming a landmark event for Paisley and is a splendid example of artists, communities and businesses working together, in co-operation, boosting visitors to our local economy, and aiding the town’s cultural and physical regeneration. We hope visitors to the show will appreciate the skill, tenacity, and oeuvre of our exhibiting artists who have been 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 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.