Strathclyde University's arts facilities, including the Collins Gallery, under threat from budget cuts
In the wake of Strathclyde University's proposal to cut funding for the Collins Gallery, the Ramshorn Theatre and the Music Society, Collins Gallery curator Laura Hamilton states her case
The Collins Gallery has been an integral part of Glasgow’s vibrant arts scene for almost 40 years and, financed by the University of Strathclyde, has carved a unique niche as the key provider of high calibre exhibitions, educational events and publications, which focus strongly on craft and the applied arts, both national and international. Located close to the city centre, the Collins is undoubtedly one of the best temporary exhibition spaces in Glasgow, attracting an annual attendance of around 37,000 visitors from the art and academic communities as well as the general public.
We are also responsible for the curatorship of some 2000 items held in the University’s permanent collections of Fine Art and Historic Scientific Instruments, and over the years, have been involved in several commissions of public art for the campus, including stained glass windows by John Clark for the Barony, and sculptural work by Jack Sloan, George Wyllie and Shona Kinloch.
As part of a review of its cultural strategy, the University has issued a consultation paper which proposes closure of all three strands of its cultural interface with the city. Responses to the paper have been invited and the Court will review the situation in May.
It is clear that very few areas, across all sectors of society, will remain unaffected by today’s economic climate but we obviously hope, and will strive to ensure, that measures can be implemented to secure both the long-term future of the Collins Gallery and more immediately, the realisation of major projects currently being developed for the next nine months. Not least of these, is an exhibition which celebrates the life and work of the remarkable George Wyllie, whose archive was generously gifted to the University of Strathclyde last year.