Early Engagement

Upland is committed to bringing artists and craftmakers into schools to deliver talks and workshops for young people.

We also provide more bespoke opportunities for young people who may face barriers to education with our 1:1 Studio Visits.

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Sarah Keast working with students at Sanquhar Academy
Ceramics workshop with Chris Taylor at Wallace Hall Academy
Watercolour painting made during 1:1 Studio Visit with Glenda Waterworth
Painting made during 1:1 Studio Visit with Glenda Waterworth
Stained glass made during 1:1 Studio Visit with Linda Hadfield in Southerness
1:1 Studio Visit in Stranraer with Glenda Waterworth
Screenprinting workshop at Sanquhar Academy with Sarah Keast
Image by Mr Coleman at Sanquhar Academy
Sarah Keast at Sanquhar Academy for screenprinting workshops.
Students at Sanquhar Academy learning printmaking with Sarah Keast
Chris Taylor teaching ceramics at Wallace Hall Academy
Upland member Hope London working with pupils at Annan Academy
Ceramics made by students at Wallace Hall during school workshops from Chris Taylor.
Jewellery Workshop with Ruth laird
Banner making workshop with Jo Gallant
Talks in Schools with Upland Members: Alison Macleod, Clare Dawdry & Rory Laycock
Ceramics workshop with Ruth Jones at Dalry Secondary School
Ceramics workshop with Ruth Jones at Dalry Secondary School
Ceramics workshop with Ruth Jones at Dalry Secondary School
Workshops with Hope London at Annan Academy

Upland has a growing program for young people under the age of 30 across Dumfries and Galloway. These year round opportunities for young people's creative development are organised in three main ways: through collaboration with schools, referrals from partner organisations, and direct application to offerings advertised on our website.

This program has evolved in response to needs identified by schools teachers, artists, young people and their families and aims to be reactive to changes as they occur. If you feel there is an unmet need related to young people's involvement in D&G's arts and craft sector, please get in touch by emailing [email protected]. We would love to hear your ideas! 



Upland is committed to developing links with schools throughout Dumfries and Galloway by taking our artists and makers into the classroom. 

This builds on previous outreach work undertaken in 2014/2015, when Spring Fling took six artists as residents into two schools for five days to work with schools and students in Dumfries & Galloway across the curriculum on a project identified in collaboration with the school. (For more information on this previous project see here.)

We are currently working across various secondary schools providing taster workshops across a range of media - from drawing and painting, to textiles and ceramics. In some cases this is one-off opportunity but other schools have worked with us to provide several sessions with an artist, allowing for their students to develop a skill and body of work.

In feedback from the participants in 2023, 97% of students said they would recommend the experience to other young people and would like to do more creative workshops in future. One student said “I liked trying something new and I felt very proud of what I had achieved”. Another said that “everything was explained to perfection. It felt like you were in college!” 

Alongside workshops we also deliver talks in schools, taking artists and makers into the classroom to share their creative journey and discuss how they function as a creative practitioner in Dumfries & Galloway. We work with the school to determine the needs and interests of the students, and bring in relevant and inspiring artists and makers. 

We are passionate about creating quality opportunities to benefit young people, from those with little or no experience in creating and making to those who have gained qualifications through college or art school.

If you would like more information on this project strand or would like to find out how to arrange a workshop or talk for your school then please email [email protected]



Emerge is a programme of mentoring and a bursary for emerging artists or makers who have a connection to Dumfries and Galloway. One place is offered to an emerging artist under the age of 30, and the other is for any age. Read more about the annual Emerge Bursary here. This opportunity can be applied for directly through our website when applications are open.



In addition to the work we do in schools, and that which we offer to young people via direct application (e.g. Emerge and Modern Makers), Upland recognises that some young people face barriers to participating in these settings. We endeavour to make artistic development available to all young people through our tailored program of bespoke 1:1 Studio Visits. 

This new program is being piloted in collaboration with organisations that work with young people with additional support needs or low confidence, to give them the opportunity to visit an artist or maker in their studio for an interactive workshop. The organisations identify a young person who they think would benefit from such an opportunity and work with us to identify an art form or craft that would be of interest to them. They provide support for the young person to attend in a way that makes them feel comfortable, such as accompanied by their support worker, and we provide the connections and funding to identify and pay an appropriate artist or craftmaker for their time. 

These sessions have been highly successful in boosting confidence for the creative young people involved, providing teaching opportunities for our membership and creating lasting connections between artists and young people in the region. 

One participant is now pursuing an art qualification after gaining confidence from this opportunity. She said that the 1:1 Studio Visits provide for young people “the opportunity of expanding their creative thinking and career. I had never thought I could do design as a career until my first session.” 

If you would like more information on this project strand, or work with young people who face barriers to education who you think might benefit from this opportunity then please email [email protected]



For the past two years we have offered a summer school for young creatives above the age of 16 who would like to develop their portfolio and expand their artistic skillset. Designed and led by experienced visual artist Bea Last, the 2-3 week course provides a packed program of experimentation with specific focuses each day, such as creative drawing, drawing to perform, sculptural forms, printmaking, sketchbooks and collage. Participants will also consider documentation, installation, sourcing materials and create personal development projects in order to develop an experimental body of work, enabling the development of artistic practice.

Bea is an experienced mentor and tutor, facilitating and designing workshops for a range of participants. Bea has previously worked with Glasgow School of Art as a tutor for their Widening Participation Portfolio Preparation Course and continues to mentor privately on a one to one basis. She is a Professional Creative Practitioner for Better Lives Partnership, a charity supporting young people on the autism disorder spectrum.

For more information on Visual Art Summer Studio and pictures from previous years click here


First preference is given to our members when identifying artists/makers for paid opportunities to engage with young people. If you are interested in this work, or associated training, apply here to become a member. For all other enquiries, contact our Youth and Engagement Officer, Sahar El-Hady on [email protected]


The current youth programme is funded by the Holywood Trust and Creative Scotland. Previous programmes were supported by LEADER and the Archie Sutter Watt Trust in addition. 


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