Glasgow: where creativity thrives

Glasgow: where creativity thrives

Twenty five years after the city became the first in the UK to win the title of European Capital of Culture, Glasgow continues to gain momentum. Aside from boasting such accolades as UNESCO City of Music and having been appointed to the Creative Cities Network in 2008 (spotlighted in the first blog in our Glasgow series), the home of the 27th Annual EAIE Conference also has a reputation for its cutting-edge arts scene, architectural heritage and design.

Find out why Glasgow’s is still Scotland’s city of culture and keep an eye out for some of these gems interspersed throughout the conference programme.

Museums and galleries

It’s no surprise that a few museums popped up in our list of Glasgow’s top attractions. The city is proud to have one of Europe’s largest civic arts collections, housing the work of artists such as Dali, Van Gogh, Degas and Monet. Plus, Glasgow has more than 20 museums, including the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (where we’ll be welcoming first-time conference participants at the Newcomers’ Welcome Reception). And that’s not even the best part – many of the museums offer free general admission to boot!


In addition to its outstanding museum offering, Glasgow lays claim to the Art Nouveau genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. An architect, designer and artist, Mackintosh is regarded as the founding father of the ‘Glasgow style’ and has left an astonishing body of work throughout the city, including these highlights.

Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art was the heart of the art movement in Scotland and is considered to be Mackintosh’s greatest architectural masterpiece. Voted the finest building designed by a British architect in the last 175 years by the Royal Institute of British Architects, it’s still a working art school today.

The Lighthouse

One of Mackintosh’s earliest buildings, The Lighthouse was originally designed as the Glasgow Herald newspaper office and is now home to Scotland’s Centre for Design & Architecture. This year it will be the backdrop to one of the EAIE’s Expert Community Receptions happening at the conference (hint: the ultimate place for academic and credential evaluators to network).

House for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover was inspired from Mackintosh’s portfolio of drawings of 1901 and includes a permanent exhibition of contemporary artists who have brought Mackintosh’s vision to life. Representatives from the University of Aberdeen will host a virtual campus tour at the House for an Art Lover – one of many campus tours on offer at EAIE Glasgow 2015.

“The Glasgow Miracle”

A true testament of the fact that Glasgow lives and breathes creativity is demonstrated by the number of individuals with close ties to the city who have won or been nominated for the Turner prize, one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual arts awards. Following Glasgow-based artist Douglas Gordon’s win in 1996, the curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist labelled the former shipbuilding city’s thriving art scene “the Glasgow Miracle”. Since then, the city has produced a remarkable 18 Turner Prize winners and nominees who have hailed from, trained in, or worked out of Glasgow.

The 2015 Turner prize and exhibition will come to Scotland for the very first time at the end of this year, hosted by Glasgow’s very own Tramway, an international art-space based in a former tram depot that is renowned for producing and presenting contemporary arts projects.

Creative spaces

Tramway is just one of many innovative art spaces that have sprung up within the city since the ‘Year of Culture’, turning redundant spaces and buildings into hotbeds of creativity.

The Briggait

Originally built in 1873, the Briggait was Glasgow’s fish market for over 100 years. Now, this beautiful building in Merchant City, after having been empty for the better part of 20 years, has been transformed into a space for visual artists and cultural organisations.


Established in 1983 by a group of graduates from Glasgow School of Art who were discontented with the lack of exhibition spaces and opportunities for young artists in Glasgow, Transmission has since put Glasgow on the world art map.

The Glue Factory

Once a real glue factory, this space now hosts exhibitions by the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow International and others, and has quickly developed into one of the most creative venues in Glasgow.