This linked townhouse development, known as Canonwalls and Claverhouse, provides 14 artist studio spaces as well as communal kitchen and toilet facilities.
History of the Project
Wasps opened this facility in 2010. We'd been looking to set up studios within Dumfries and Galloway for the previous 8 years to meet the high demand for studios there and to extend our network’s geographic spread.
Both the Canonwalls and Claverhouse buildings sit in Kirkcudbright's historic High Street, close to the Tolbooth Arts Centre and near neighbour to the Selkirk Arms Hotel where Robert Burns reputedly wrote his famous "Selkirk grace":
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
We were drawn to Kirkcudbright in particular because of its reputation as an ‘Artists Town’, one of several themed towns in Dumfries & Galloway (along with Wigtown Book Town and Castle Douglas Food Town). It is home to interesting historical buildings (including the Tolbooth and 16th century remains of MacLellan’s Castle right in the centre of town) and the local landscape has long attracted artists – in the early 20th century many distinguished artists lived in the town: E.A. Hornel (whose former home is now a National Trust property); Jessie M. King and her husband, E.A. Taylor; and Charles Oppenheimer. It was also the summer haunt of visiting artists, such as S.J. Peploe, the Scottish Colourist, and Robert Burns, Head of Painting at Edinburgh College of Art.
Several contemporary artists live and work in the town today and there are also some great local galleries which is evident through the success of events such as Spring Fling. We therefore jumped at the chance to purchase two former town houses, Canonwalls and Claverhouse, from Dumfries and Galloway Council when they came on to the market in Kirkcudbright back in 2007.
Launched in late 2010, the artists based there have consistently held popular events both within the building and the town itself.
Apply for studios here.