Galleries and studios across Scotland are ready to welcome visitors for their first “real life” cultural experiences after lockdown

  • New campaign #ArtUnlocks launches to highlight art offerings that are opening from 26 April as Scottish Government restrictions ease
  • From clean and spacious galleries to safe studio and workshop spaces, art in real life returns to provide people in Scotland with the first in person cultural experiences since lockdown began 
  • Social distancing measures, appointment bookings, cleaning just some of the measures being undertaken to provide a safe welcome for visitors of all ages  
  • The #ArtUnlocks campaign organised by Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), will highlight the cultural opportunities in neighbourhoods across Scotland, with venues that are ready to welcome visitors and artists from 26th April over the coming months. New openings will be announced and shared using the hashtag #ArtUnlocks and a continually refreshed list of contemporary art openings will be available at: For many across Scotland, engaging with and enjoying art has been an essential part in improving well being with the latest figures showing that  96% of Scotland’s population have engaged in cultural activity from home during the pandemic and as we begin the exit from lockdown over 80% have said they want to attend cultural events as we begin the exit from lockdown.

After a year in which we have learned to meet and socalise in the fresh air, communities will also be able to enjoy art outdoors as Collective Edinburgh opens its grounds on Calton Hill ahead of a new large-scale tapestry by artist Christian Newby in the unique City Dome gallery space on 13 May.

Collective Gallery PHOTO Tom Nolan

Sculpture park Jupiter Artland is currently open for visitors and on 8 May will unveil a  brand new work by Rachel Maclean who represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

Developed with teenagers across Scotland her new work responds to the pressures facing young people in the pandemic, the rise of online culture and the decline of real life spaces in high streets and countryside.

Alongside, visitors can see four landmark works made by the artist during the last decade.

Moira Jeffrey PHOTO Alan Dimmick

SCAN Director Moira Jeffrey said: “As Scotland begins to open up after a long, tough winter, we’re delighted to be sharing the good news that contemporary art is safe, family-friendly and opening soon in your neighbourhood. From Orkney to rural Dumfriesshire, Dundee to Edinburgh and Glasgow, you will be able to visit outdoor and indoor venues this spring and summer. As art unlocks its doors across the country, we know it also unlocks potential, new ideas and health and wellbeing. Scotland’s art galleries, workshops, and contemporary art venues are waiting to welcome you.”

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts, Creative Scotland, said: “Scotland is home to an exceptional network of galleries and studio spaces that bring great art and inspiring artists into our communities and our lives.  Throughout the pandemic these organisations have used new and imaginative ways to reach out to people, underscoring the vital role that art and creativity play in our wellbeing.  

“The re-opening of galleries and studio spaces will make it possible for people to see and make art in real life again, and that’s a very exciting and welcome prospect.  Whether you’re a regular gallery goer or somebody who’s just curious to visit somewhere new there’s a tremendous range of opportunities opening up across the country.  

“You can be confident these are spaces that can be visited safely thanks to the care and hard work of the gallery and studio operators – and #ArtUnlocks is a superb way to find out more.”