Edinburgh has a thriving makers community of artists of all shapes and sizes. Towards the top end of the scene (I’m not saying that makes it better but its easier to consume) is what could be considered our commercial art quarter.
Compared to, say, Amsterdam, London or New York, it’s relatively small, but city-wide it adds up to plenty to see, with a great deal of variety.
It is essentially headquartered on Dundas Street and its side streets and for me the gallery that offers the most interesting and eclectic (and perhaps most quickly rotating) collection is Arusha Gallery. But there are several other excellent galleries in the area.
Situated near the top of the ‘quarter’ only a few hundred yards from George Street you can make it your starting point for a tour of the 13 (that’s what I counted today) fellow commercial galleries within 100 – 200 metres walking distance.
The Arusha is my favourite because it has a pretty unpretentious attitude and its work nearly always has something that engages me.
In recent times they have exhibited the extraordinary Kirsty Whiten (see her various city wide murals including the one at Out Of The Blue Drill Hall), the beautiful work of Romina Ressia and Margaret Ann Bennet.
The gallery has a strong female leaning but is not in any way feminist or female biased – at least not from what I can see.
It’ll be a pleasant few hours and you can have coffee at some of the many nearby coffee shops afterwards.