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'Ophelia'CURIO Gallery is the brainchild of five Edinburgh University Alumni, like-minded individuals who came together to produce a stunning exhibition that has already attracted the attention of artists and students throughout the city.

Nicholas Wong, Allie McLaughlin, Antonia Grant, Emily Dunn and Joanna Todd come from very different backgrounds but came together when they studied Contemporary Art at Edinburgh University. After graduating they set up CURIO Gallery with the aim of promoting local artists and to develop their own curatorial skills.

CURIO Gallery is not currently based around a fixed space, it is a moving gallery that uses social media as a circle for ideas and as a platform for new artists and exhibitions.

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CURIO say ‘using emerging artistic practices we aim to bring a fresh, original and innovative approach to curating, showcasing the talents of the curators as well as the artists.

Their first ever show opened Sunday 7th May at The Pavilion Cafe in The Meadows, the show is entitled ‘Surface’ and explores techniques and styles in Graphic Art featuring the work of artists Greer Pester, Katrina Pietrzyk, Gabriela Nuñez and Sharon Whyte.

'Munito at Home'‘Munito at Home’ © Sharon Whyte

Nicholas Wong said:- “Because our strongest presence is online and we usually communicate through social media, it was difficult to know how successful our first show would be, but everyone really enjoyed it and a number of artists have asked for us to use them for future shows, which is great.”

CURIO  is a curating project that works with Edinburgh artists to create ambitious collaborations that otherwise would have have been difficult to realise within the traditional structure of the art market. In this sense the collaboration has emerged against the backdrop of the difficulties of the art market and the economic climate more generally, where Government funding for the cultural sector in particular is likely to be cut.

An important aspect of the collaboration is the intention to promote discussion and collaboration with others, with the goal of developing curatorial practice as well as the artist’s.  Joanna Todd says:-“When we first advertised for artists we were overwhelmed by the position response, it seems that artists are excited by our collaborative and low-key approach which gives artists a chance to have their first shows.”

CURIO hope that their exhibitions act as a spring board for educational and creative events which they hope to be able to provide in the future as an important part of their manifesto prioritises community engagement and audience development.

'Untitled'‘Untitled’ © Greer Pester

Unfortunately CURIO is currently experiencing problems with the space at the Pavilion, and City of Edinburgh Council have reduced the amount of space they had originally intended to use.  Allie McLaughlin said:-“We love this space, we had banked on drawing in crowds from the Meadows, especially during the festival, it’s perfect. However it is a shame that we have recently been forced to make the exhibition space smaller. We hope people will still see the beautiful work on display in the main cafe area.”

Part of the Pavilion is used as a popular cafe and two times a week some of the adjoining rooms are used by Cricket teams. The area should prove very popular during the upcoming Meadows Festival. Antonia Grant said:-“Although we were really excited to be able to work with the cafe, ultimately we will have to look for other spaces for our next shows. It is difficult to find suitable space for art shows that isn’t usually used by somebody else, but we hope something will turn up.”

Have a look at photos from CURIO’s first show here.

You can follow CURIO on Twitter @CURIOGallery or check out their blog curiogalleryedinburgh.wordpress.com

For inquiries please email curiogalleryedinburgh@gmail.com