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Along side Craft Town Scotland and West Kilbride we are delighted to announce the 6 artists who are to become part of the Makers & Artists Mentoring Programme in North Ayrshire.

In partnership with Magnox Socio Economic Scheme, Creative Scotland Place Partnership, and North Ayrshire Council, the programme is open to those who are currently unemployed or under-employed and aims to train 10 makers/artists from across North Ayrshire.

Six Artists/Makers have been selected so far, with a further 4 spaces still available. Applications are still being accepted on a rolling basis. Talented makers/artists of all ages are encouraged to apply, and no prior community experience is required.

The 9 month programme will offer hands-on experience to the artists, in participatory arts practice, while allowing them to connect with up to 300 members from the local community through bespoke projects. Participants will also develop their freelance and creative business skills, complemented by 1-2-1 support from a specially selected mentor.

Jennifer Tipton, Place, Partnerships and Communities Officer, Creative Scotland, said; “The Makers and Artists Mentoring Scheme is providing creative practitioners in North Ayrshire the opportunity to develop their community engaged practice by learning from other artists. The Place Partnership are pleased to be able to fund this opportunity at a time of increased need, to help local artists gain key skills and contribute to the cultural provision across North Ayrshire. It is with thanks to the National Lottery that we are able to support this programme."

Meet the Artists:

Caroline Borland is a multi-media artist and jewellery designer/maker based in Irvine, and has exhibited in and around Ayrshire for the past 10 years. She notes that Covid, and other factors, are having a huge negative impact on wellbeing and mental health just now. However, she also knows from personal experience how therapeutic and liberating creative activity can be, and is delighted and excited to be invited to work towards positive change as part of the Makers and Artists Mentoring program.


Rebecca (Becca) Campbell is a sound engineer, composer and musician living in Dalry. Music has been a big part of her life and her passion for many years. She studied in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Ayrshire, working to improve her skills and experience. She is excited to begin working with other creatives to improve morale and boost the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is interested in combining media, and would like to explore how music and visual arts can come together. She is very much looking forward to the challenges and experience that this opportunity will bring.


Gemma Coldwell is a recent fine art graduate whose work spans stop-motion animation, painting, photography, installation, sculpture and sewing. She enjoys experimentation and teaching herself new skills, and is looking forward to working with others and finding new ways of approaching challenges. Having volunteered in school art departments, she is taking the next step towards learning more about working in the community. Gemma is from Saltcoats.


Alex Hogan is currently on a break from studying Communication Design at the Glasgow School of Art. She uses a variety of media in her practice, such as sewing, screen-printing and photography. She wants to raise awareness on societal issues, but in a humorous and inviting way. She is at her best walking out in nature and in the beautiful scenery of West Kilbride, where she lives. She is looking forward to learning from some of the most creative people in North Ayrshire.

Jennifer O’Rourke is a recent graduate in Product Design Innovation from The Glasgow School of Art. At the core of her interests is a passion for sparking creativity within others by facilitating the prompts to question and play with the world around us. With a background in design, she aims to encourage social change and create meaningful experiences. She is now looking forward to getting to know and working directly with local community groups to create artwork, innovate and explore together­­. Originally from Saltcoats, she lives in Kilmarnock and works in Irvine.

Karen Teal was an Art and Textiles teacher in secondary education for 32 years in Wales, China and Switzerland. On returning to UK she has worked with different groups in the community with creative projects and especially using recycled materials and personal location. She is also a textiles designer working with rusted objects and nature to create pieces to be adored and adorned. She has recently moved to West Kilbride from Wales.

Kay Hall, West Kilbride Community Initiative said; “This programme has the potential to encourage many dialogues and opens the way for some truly innovative projects. Craft Town Scotland is looking forward to establishing new relationships across a wide range of creative disciplines”.

For further information on the Craft Town Scotland initiative, visit the job section on our website or contact Christine Novosel, M & AMP Coordinator at or 07436 225196.

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