Your city, your art

City Art Centre displays Edinburgh's favourites.

Dunbar Close, 1868, by
Dunbar Close, 1868

The Capital’s favourite Scottish paintings will be unveiled this weekend at the City of Edinburgh Council owned and operated City Art Centre.

The results of an interactive vote to establish some of the public’s most loved artwork, as selected from the art gallery’s collection of over 900 oil and acrylic paintings, will go on display this weekend (Saturday 13 December) at the new You Choose: Favourites from the City Art Centre exhibition.

Every year the City Art Centre stages exhibitions drawn from its extensive collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art. Curators spend months selecting which artworks should go on display, and this project has been designed to allow Edinburgh residents and art fans to collectively curate their own exhibition based on their favourite pieces.

The You Choose exhibition features an eclectic mixture of 39 landscapes, portraits, still life studies and abstract images. Renowned Scottish artists have proven to be city favourites, with works from Stanley Cursiter, William McTaggart, Joan Eardley, John Duncan and F.C.B Cadell all due to feature in the exhibition.

Many of the paintings are accompanied by the words of those who voted for them. These quotations explain why individuals chose certain pieces and wanted to see them on display. They provide a fascinating insight into the many reasons why people connect with works of art. One painting of a dog by an unknown artist was chosen by a voter because it reminded them of Greyfriars Bobby, while another image by Jane Stewart Smith of Dunbar Close in 1868 Edinburgh was selected because it made the voter wonder about the lives of the people who lived there in the 19th Century.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, said: “The City Art Centre Collections contain some of the most interesting and influential pieces of art in Scotland and the works are looked after by the City of Edinburgh Council, meaning that they belong to the people of Edinburgh.

“The You Choose: Favourites from the City Art Centre exhibition has given residents from across the city and further afield the chance to collectively curate an exhibition. This is a unique project for the City Art Centre and visitors will enjoy exploring the diverse collection, which features ‘old favourites’ hung alongside lesser-known artistic gems.”

Professor Richard Demarco, artist and art teacher, added: "I am pleased that this exhibition inspired by the physical reality and history of Edinburgh is opening in time for Christmas, as a true celebration of Edinburgh as a uniquely beautiful European city." 

The exhibition You Choose: Favourites from the City Art Centre will be displayed in the new Collection Gallery at the City Art Centre from 13 December 2014 - 24 May 2015.

Opening times: 
Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm; Sunday 12pm - 5pm; please note the building will be closed on 25-26 of December, and 1-2 January.

Admission to Collection Gallery exhibitions is free, but donations are welcome.
There are admission charges in respect of some temporary exhibitions; see the relevant exhibition page for details.

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