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International artist appointed first Jon Schueler Residency at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI

Japanese artist Takeshi Shikama has been awarded the first Jon Schueler Scholarship, a major new visual arts residency, at Scotland’s National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI.

The renowned artist/photographer was selected after huge national and international interest with well over 200 applications from all around the world.  Kath MacLeod, Arts Development Officer at Sabhal Mor Ostaig said:  “We were absolutely delighted with the number and the extremely high calibre of visual artists who applied from the UK as well as South America, USA, Asia, Australia and Europe.  And we are delighted to be hosting the artist Takeshi Shikama on the first 3 month residency.  The Scholarship will enable the artist to research, develop and produce work in response to the unique environment here in Sleat in the Isle of Skye and also the wider Gaeltachd.

“Shikama will have the opportunity to research, develop and produce work from July to September in the dedicated artist’s studio in a spectacular setting overlooking the Sound of Sleat, the place which so inspired Schueler as an artist. The visual arts studio, housed within the Fàs Centre for the Creative and Cultural Industries here at SMO, is in a culturally rich and multi-disciplinary arts environment. There will be opportunities for other visual artists to meet Takeshi, see work in progress and hopefully spark an interesting exchange of ideas.”

On being awarded the residency, Takeshi Shikama said “To me, photography is not just an image. I am hoping to create photography as an object. I am  very much looking forward to meeting with people and experiencing and learning about the Gaelic Culture. I believe that the Gaels and we Japanese bear resemblance in sensibility.”

The scholarship is offered each year to a different artist and will run from 2013 – 2016. It has been established to celebrate and remember the life, work and artistic influence of internationally renowned artist and abstract expressionist painter, Jon Schueler (1916-1992), and in recognition of his very special relationship with the landscape and environment of the Sound of Sleat.

The Jon Schueler Scholarship is a unique partnership between Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI and the Jon Schueler Charitable Trust, with support from the Royal Scottish Academy and complements the existing artists’ residency programme at SMO which is supported by Creative Scotland through their Creative Futures programme.

Donnie Munro, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Director of Development, Fundraising and the Arts, commented: “ It is a very fitting tribute to the work and influence of John Schueler, this hugely important international artist who spent so much of his time working from his small studio overlooking the Sound of Sleat and it is particularly apt that the residency will run through until 2016, the centenary of the artist’s birth. The Sound of Sleat proved to be a very powerful stimulus to the work of this great artist and the scholarship is a very appropriate way to celebrate and honour that dynamic link.”

At the end of the residency , Shikama will be offered the opportunity to exhibit the work  produced within SMO and it is also hoped that a special ‘Schueler Scholarship Residency Exhibition’ will be mounted at the end of the four years featuring a selection of work produced by each of the artists who have been awarded the scholarship.

The Scholarship is open to international, Scottish and UK artists working to the highest level of professional practise in a visual medium and with a particular interest in landscape and the environment. A call to artists for next year’s Scholarship will go out in October 2013. For more information visit

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