Artist-run spaces

In the last twenty-five years one of the most important features of Scotland’s visual arts scene has been artist-led culture. Artist-run spaces continue to appear, develop and thrive right across the country. We take a closer look.

Artist-led spaces

Across the country artists have set up galleries, studios, temporary or itinerant projects, publications, festivals, events, gigs and exhibitions. A fluctuating network of individual artists, loose collectives, membership groups and charitable organisations are the building blocks of artistic practice in Scotland. Some have become established galleries with permanent homes and some public funding, some are temporary and exist thanks only to the goodwill and hard work of their founders. All of them rely on the labour and commitment of the artists who volunteer to run them.

Courtesy of Generator Projects, Dundee
Courtesy of Generator Projects, Dundee
Members Show 2014, Generator Projects, Dundee

You will find that most of the artists in GENERATION will have been actively involved in, or shown their work with, artist-run initiatives. If you are visiting GENERATION and want to know more about Scotland’s artist-led culture we have listed below some of the places where you could find out more.


Generator is a membership organisation founded in 1996 and run by a rolling committee of volunteers. It hosts a project and exhibition space, Generator Projects.


Embassy Gallery is an artist-run gallery founded in 2004. It holds exhibitions, events and off-site projects and co-ordinates Annuale a festival of grassroots artistic activity in Edinburgh.

Courtesy of Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh
Copyright the artist. Courtesy of Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh
Phase (2013) - Jessica Argo, at Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh

Rhubaba Gallery and Studio is an artist-run organisation founded in 2009 that provides studio space for artists and an annual programme of exhibitions and events.


David Dale Gallery and Studios is a non-profit organisation based in the east end of Glasgow. Established in 2009, it is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, promotes international contemporary art and provides artist studio spaces.

Market Gallery is a visual arts organisation run by volunteers based in Glasgow's East End. It was established in 2000 and presents contemporary exhibitions, projects and events.

Southside Studios was founded in 2005 to provide studios and support for artists in part of the city where provision was sparse. It also hosts exhibitions and events.

Courtesy of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
Courtesy of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
Transmission Gallery, Glasgow

SWG3 is an arts facility providing studio space to a community of over 120 creative practitioners from many disciplines. The building also produces a visual art exhibition programme, live music and electronic events.

The Glue Factory is a venue for exhibitions and events run by a committee of volunteers. Since 2010 it has showcased bold and ambitious projects from visual art and design to contemporary performance and film.

The Pipe Factory runs a public visual arts and learning programme, which includes exhibitions, workshops, residencies, events and publications. It also provides affordable spaces for artists to work.

Transmission Gallery was set up by artists in 1983, it is run by a committee of volunteers and provides a place where artists can meet, exhibit and see the work of their peers and influences.

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