More than 30 contemporary artists have contributed original works to an online auction which will help to raise money for the rebuilding of Leith School of Art (LSA) after Covid-19.

Running from now until 18 June 2021 there are many artworks to choose from, with affordable pieces available by Alan McGowan, Toby Paterson, Angie Lewin, Eric Cruikshank, Paul Furneaux RSA and others.

The proceeds will help propel the Resilience Fund appeal towards its £100,000 goal, allowing Leith School of Art to rebuild its resources and expand its charitable aims, including school and community outreach projects.

The School also wants to enhance its curriculum and expand its programme to give intensive support to talented university post-graduates.

Launched in April the appeal has already hit the halfway mark, thanks to generous supporters.

Leith School of Art, a Scottish charity, puts a strong emphasis on nurturing students and providing a caring sense of community.

Alan McGowan

Edinburgh-based figurative artist Alan McGowan believes the School had a transformative impact on his own career. For around a decade he regularly went there for life drawing sessions that were highly appreciated for giving artists affordable access to models.

He said: “There were very few other places like it – where you could go and make art and which had such a positive vibe.

“It really helped me work out where I was going, and played a big part in my development as an artist – without Leith School of Art it simply wouldn’t have happened.

“I’m supporting the auction is because I really value what the school gave to me and want other people to benefit from the opportunities it offers.”

Alan has also taught at Leith School of Art and is hugely impressed with its approach and ethos. He said: “There are three elements that make up its essence – an emphasis on making art, on high-quality teaching and on providing a supportive environment for students. These things make it a very special place, somewhere with a culture that empowers.”

These sentiments were echoed by Paul Furneaux RSA who said: “In my own practice as an artist, as long as I can remember I have come across graduates from Leith School of Art.

“On every single occasion they have talked warmly of their experiences there. I have seen it reflected in their work. I see it as a positive life enhancing environment.”

Eric Cruikshank added: “Art is generally a solitary practice, so art schools are important as a means of an introduction to a wider creative community. At Leith School of Art students are introduced to this community with genuine heart and passion and I am more than happy to help in any way I can.”

Founded in 1988, and based in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church on North Junction Street, the school is well known for its foundation course that has propelled many young people into high-quality degrees and on to successful careers.

Leith School of Art was set up as an independent alternative to mainstream art colleges and has a national and international reputation for excellence.

Nick Devison, the School’s Principal, said: “The auction offers original art to suit every taste and pocket, and could be a superb opportunity to pick up an affordable investment, with work available at range of prices from excellent contemporary artists.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many artists in donating work to help us raise money that we urgently need both to rebuild after Covid-19 and to achieve our other goals like expanding our community outreach projects.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve already reached the halfway point in the appeal and we hope that the auction will help us take another big step towards the £100,000 target.”

Donations can be made to the Resilience Fund at www.donate.leithschoolofart.co.uk

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