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Leading artists support Leith School of Art charity auction
John Brown's work is characterised by a rich and vibrant palette and varied use of oil, mixed media and collage.

EDINBURGH.- More than 50 artists from across the UK are contributing work to a charity auction raising funds for Leith School of Art.

Known for its high-quality, hands-on tuition its former students and staff include significant figures in contemporary British arts.

Leith School of Art has inspired thousands of students since 1988. Funds from the auction will allow LSA to continue providing the widest possible access to tuition through assisted places, community classes, schools outreach, and graduate residencies.

Among those supporting the auction is the painter Mary Ramsden, the first Leith alumnus to be invited to exhibit at Tate Britain, London, as part of the Art Now series.

Recalling her own introduction to the school she said: “When I first went to look at the school I wasn’t sure I was ready to pursue a career in art, but I just fell in love with its atmosphere.

“I loved the scale, the intimacy, the caring attitude and the quality of the tutors. I also valued the rigour of the Foundation Course, it’s great, you really have to get on with it.

“When I heard about the auction I was really pleased to offer a painting – I wanted to give something back and support the school that gave me so much.”

The auction is an excellent opportunity to purchase work by LSA tutors, alumni and other well-known artists, such as:

• John Brown: A long-standing exhibitor at the RSW, RSA and RGI, winning many awards including the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Association Residency. His work is characterised by a rich and vibrant palette and varied use of oil, mixed media and collage.

• Callum Innes: One of the most significant abstract painters of his generation he has been short-listed for both the Turner and Jerwood prizes. His work is in collections from TATE London to the Guggenheim in New York.

• Jean Martin: Member of the RSW, and known for her still life paintings, she works in watercolour, acrylics and mixed media and collage.

• Toby Paterson: A leading Scottish contemporary artist and Becks Futures winner known for his highly distinctive paintings, reliefs and constructions.

• Cathie Pilkington: The first female professor of sculpture in the 300-year history of the Royal Academy who previously taught sculpture at LSA.

Online viewing for the auction began on 14 March and the sale itself is on 24 March at Lyon and Turnbull, Broughton Place, Edinburgh.

Phil Archer, LSA Principal, said: “We have a large number of excellent works for sale, and we are very grateful to the artists for their generosity.

“LSA is absolutely dedicated to giving the widest possible access to classes and education for everyone, from people who want to learn to paint and draw to those who are seeking to develop a career in art.

“We are a registered charity and receive no public funding. This auction will play a very important role in making sure the school can push ahead with its plans for the future.”

One of LSA’s recent initiatives has been to set up graduate residencies helping three talented students launch their careers.

LSA, which is based in a 150-year-old former Norwegian seamen’s church, has grown from modest beginnings. An independent charity, its purpose is to teach art to a high standard and to be a nurturing place for students.

Around 300 students a week pass through the studios for courses, workshops and summer schools. Many of those who take the year-long Foundation Course go on to secure places on the best university courses. For others the school offers the chance to develop their creative gifts.

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