HOSPITALFIELD was the venue for a top level gathering of university and college leaders on Wednesday hosted by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell.
Principals and their representatives from throughout Scotland attended at the historic arts residential centre in Arbroath to consider the scope for collaboration and complementary activity for the wider benefit of students.
Michael Russell said: “I am keenly aware of the expertise and reputation in all aspects of the arts which are held by universities and colleges.
“In the current economic circumstances we have a responsibility to collaborate in exploiting all opportunities which exist for co-operation between the education and third sectors.
“I hope this gathering will serve to encourage institutions to consider far more closely the scope for complementary activity which could be of benefit not only to the institutions themselves but to the learners they support.”
Left in trust to the arts in 1890 by the artist and almost forgotten visionary Patrick Allan-Fraser, Hospitalfield is a unique institution which does not rely on the public purse for support.
Its programme of artists’ residencies, masterclasses and summer schools has won an international reputation and inspired almost every leading Scottish artist over six generations including Joan Eardley, James Cowie, Colquhoun & McBride, Peter Howson, Will Maclean, Joyce Cairns and new talents such as Patricia Cain, winner of the 2010 Aspect and Threadneedle Prizes.
Chair of the Hospitalfield Trust Kenneth Cargill welcomed the move by the Education Secretary. He said: “Over recent years Hospitalfield has sometimes dipped below the radar of mainstream higher education institutions. Now is an ideal time to reintroduce them to the rich resources of Hospitalfield: its current activities, its history, its art collection, its architecture and the extraordinary story of the pioneering, and visionary, Scot who founded the Trust.
“We want today’s aspiring artists, in all disciplines, to experience what we have to offer. This occasion gives us a splendid opportunity to discuss how we can work together to achieve that.”