This year Applied Arts Scotland celebrates its 31st anniversary and over the years the organisation has held exhibitions across the country promoting craft by makers in Scotland.
Set up in 1992 AAS lobbied successfully for government support in craft. After achieving this aim the organisation realised it had a wider role to play. It became a place where makers could network and be supported to develop their practices organising events and national conferences and alongside these activities it began initiating ground-breaking exhibitions.
The first exhibition was in 1993 at Intermedia Gallery in Glasgow. In 1997 a touring exhibition in partnership with Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries visited Edinburgh Book Festival, Stranraer Museum, Highland Printmakers Workshop in Inverness and the Scott Gallery in Hawick. AAS presented Scottish Select which was a selected exhibition within a trade fair at Made in Scotland’s International Trade Fair in 1999, 2000 and 2003, the last showcase was also exhibited at Form in the Lighthouse in Glasgow.
In 2000-01 AAS presented The Source exhibition at Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. There were demonstrations by a selection of the exhibitors showing techniques of calligraphy, wood carving, screen printing, basket making and jewellery design. There was a study day attended by 54 school pupils. In the same year AAS Art for Everyday with Redmond Homes won UK wide awards. In 2005 a selected showcase of work by AAS Members was exhibited at the Country Living Fair in Edinburgh.
In 2021-22 AAS presented Meet Make Collaborate, a touring exhibition of individual and collaborative works created by international makers during three residencies and exchanges. It visited the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, The Barn in Aberdeenshire and Lochty Gallery, Carnoustie Library and the works can be viewed online.
The most recent exhibition |Matter| Earth, Materials + Making by AAS’s Closing the Loop research group exhibited new exploratory works by makers collectively working together to explore sustainable making took place at the Barn Arts in Aberdeenshire in late 2022.
In 2023 the AAS Members Open Exhibition at Custom Lane, 1 Customs Wharf, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6A from Saturday 26 May until 10 June 2023 will be the latest exhibition in 30 years of exhibiting craft by makers in Scotland.