Speyside art star of the future praised for exhibition leadership

Kathleen poses alongside some of the college’s artwork

An aspiring Speyside artist is being praised after leading a five-strong team in staging a major exhibition in Glasgow.

Former Grantown Grammar pupil Kathleen Thorpe has been part of a five-strong team studying towards a BA Contemporary Art Practice degree at the City of Glasgow College who have organised a week-long exhibition that showcases the finest works of students and graduates.

The college’s Faculty of Creative Arts called on the expertise of Kathleen and her team to launch the long-awaited event, which showcased some of the finest works among the college’s collection of around 1000 paintings, drawings, prints, and pieces of glassware and jewellery.

The aim of the exhibition – which was displayed on the walls of busy corridors and in dedicated ‘gallery’ spaces – was to ensure the art became more accessible to, and served as inspiration to, the hundreds of students and staff members that would pass by the works every day.

Many of the pieces of art will be used as interior decoration within the college’s new twin-site ‘Supercampus’ development at Riverside Campus (Thistle Street) and City Campus (Cathedral Street).

Kathleen, 23, said: “Before this, I’d never been involved in staging an art exhibition so I found the whole experience quite challenging but I learnt a lot and really enjoyed myself.

“I’m really happy with how the exhibition turned out and the opening night was very successful – I felt very proud when senior members of college staff and board members turned up to see the exhibition.”

Among the pieces put on display was a watercolour painting of Paralympian Michael Kerr by former City of Glasgow College student and renowned artist Tom McKendrick. The college purchased the Clydebank-based artist’s painting, ‘Michael Kerr, Paralympian’, after he took home the City of Glasgow College Award earlier this year.

Kathleen said: “I’m a big fan of paintings that have stories behind them so I loved Tom McKendrick’s portrait.

“I loved going through all the artwork and picking out my favourites – we found some really unusual pieces and I’m pleased that so many people have been able to view them as a result.”

Sandra Gunn, Faculty Director of Creative Industries at City of Glasgow College, said: “We have an extensive collection of artwork at the college and so we decided to host an exhibition as part of the inaugural Creative City festival to give students, staff and members of the public the opportunity to see it.

“The event was organised by a group of five Contemporary Art Practice students, who were able to select which pieces of art were featured in the exhibition.”

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