Town Toolkit | Kirkcudbright Artists’ Town
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Kirkcudbright Artists’ Town

Kirkcudbright is Scotland’s Artists Town. Like Castle Douglas and Wigtown, this is built on an existing strength. The town has long been home to artists such as Hornel and the Glasgow Boys. More recently, national exhibitions have come to town, all contributing to an increase in the number of year-round local galleries and studios in in the town centre. All this activity generates business and attracts more visitors.

Between around 1850 and 1950 Kirkcudbright was an established artists’ colony with names like the Faed family, Jessie M King, EA Hornel, the Glasgow Boys and many other painters said to be attracted to Kirkcudbright by the quality of the light.

Now, a couple of generations on, Kirkcudbright is again becoming established as an Art Town. The artists who are working in Kirkcudbright today and the local community are working hard with this goal in mind. The town’s galleries, like the Tolbooth Arts Centre, are full of local art and heritage.

The annual Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail, held over a weekend every summer, sees activities, exhibitions and displays happening all around the town centre.

All this activity is led by the local community, with a number of local organisations collaborating to co-ordinate activity and help secure resources, including the Kirkcudbright Forum, Development Trust and Community Council. Thanks to the efforts of these and others, a major new public art gallery – Kirkcudbright Galleries – opened in the town in 2018, providing a home to display many fine works of art, as well as a café, kids and family activities and an educational programme.

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