Midlothian Matters - Making art accessible to everyone

Local artists at one of Dalkeith Arts' recent workshops
Local artists at one of Dalkeith Arts' recent workshops

Dalkeith Arts is a lively and productive community arts organisation, collaborating with volunteers to promote the arts within the Dalkeith and district community, writes Liz Walker.

Our aim is to provide support and inspiration to as wide a demographic and range of abilities as possible.

Currently our programme of events includes a twice yearly exhibition providing an outlet to display local artist’s work (currently around 200 artists and crafts people.) Included recently is our new colourful pop-up shop. This new market place of sale-able and crafty items has been a lovely addition to our traditional show, enabling makers to provide customers with cards and small items and seasonal gifts, like jewellery and table top prints, brooches, to purchase on the day of their exhibition visit.

Our vision is to make the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience. We ask that art is appropriate, and labelled correctly, but that the artist should feel that they should have a place to hang work, perhaps exhibiting for the first time.

Artists and makers work together to hang, invigilate and run the exhibitions, making new connections and this enables people to feel part of a community spirit and promote themselves and others in a professional way.

Our committee is art co-ordinator Liz Walker, chairman Rod Lugg, crafts co-ordinator Gillian Finlay-Coull, PR Mechelle Baxter, treasurer Allison Malcolm, and newly appointed members Margaret Bititchi and Mary, working on marketing.

We also rely on the huge goodwill and energy of the volunteers involved in hanging the exhibitions and promoting each event, helping to create our productive and supportive atmosphere and offer their time to invigilate, plan and co-ordinate. If you would like to be involved, please contact dalkeitharts@aol.co.uk for information.

Also running are inspiring and creative art workshops. Liz and our fellow artist Newton Ross, have a full programme of vibrant art and craft classes which are regularly updated on our Dalkeith Arts Facebook page or on our website at dalkeitharts.org. Information on children’s classes will follow later in the year.

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Email us at midlothianadvertiser@jnlothian.co.uk (subject Midlothian Matters)